Please Excuse My Absinthe

Please don’t think pour-ly of us. We are going into some dark territory here – the emerald world of absinthe. Long shamed for it’s potentially harmful properties, the drink has been trying to stage a comeback for the past 10 years.

At the center of the absinthe story is an herb called wormwood, which contains thujone a chemical that in extremely large concentrations has harmful effects.  According to the pro-absinthe Wormwood Society, the amount of thujone in each batch of absinthe is so low that you needn’t worry. Absinthe, they say, doesn’t make you hallucinate, it doesn’t make you crazy, it’s just a drink.

A site called supports that premise, saying an absinthe “buzz” is similar to that of tequila and “can best be described as a kind of heightened clarity of mind and vision, warmed by the effect of the alcohol.”

That’s what we feel when we drink it, clear-headed and drunk at the same time. Is it safe to drink? We think Skinny Chef Jenny Iserloh has a pragmatic take on it.

We’ll soon be exploring absinthe more in another piece. For now, please know real absinthe is legal to buy, and if you’re curious, and your body can handle a variety of flora and a high alcohol content, there’s only one brand to sample: Switzerland’s Butterfly, which is 130 proof and has an international reach.

Please note: Absinthe isn’t the best tasting drink – unless you enjoy tickling your tastebuds with the combined flavors of metal and licorice.

Still, one glass of Butterfly mixed with water and sugar equals a fantastic time. Good conversation, lots of smiles, and a little mystery. Like us, you may wonder if you’re feeling great because of the alcohol and the company you keep – or if there’s something more to this drink.

Also, please be aware that if you stop at one glass, a fuzzy-brained hangover is instantly noticeable. As a fellow drinking buddy said of his one glass: it was “fun,” but led to a “wtf moment for like 8 hours.”

So, is a fast hangover – with a moody and sentimental aftertaste — worth the experience?  Yup.

Will we be going back for another glass of Butterfly this weekend? Yup.

Will we have two glasses in a row? Probably not… Then again…

To learn how to properly drink absinthe — and, by golly, don’t do a straight shot — we once again refer you to the Harry Potter-sounding Wormwood Society.

Have a great weekend, and keep on clickin’ on!


Photo Courtesy of Zastolskiy Victor/