DIARY: TOP GEAR - Absinthe

Like the Incredible Hulk, absinthe is green and packs a powerful punch. Unlike the big mutant bloke, it was once known as ’the green fairy’.

Like the Incredible Hulk, absinthe is green and packs a powerful

punch. Unlike the big mutant bloke, it was once known as ’the green

fairy’.



Early this century, absinthe was the favourite tipple of artists and

poets, who were addicted to its cheap potency despite little

side-effects like blindness and insanity. Oscar Wilde said it was more

beautiful than a sunset and later Ernest Hemingway, macho as ever, noted

in his diary: ’Got tight on absinthe. Did knife tricks.’



In an effort to put a stop to such self-indulgent bollocks, the French

authorities banned absinthe in 1914. But our lot never did - which is

why, at the fin of another siecle, people are guzzling the stuff in

trendy bars all over the country.



It’s certainly effective. One minute you’re sober, next - bam! - you’re

arseholed. Plus, you get to enjoy the ritual of burning a teaspoon of

sugar over the glass and then stirring it into the liquid, before adding

water. Or you can use it to make cocktails such as the Glad Eye, the

Atom Bomb or the Knock Out. You get the message.



But in case you need another explanation of absinthe’s popularity, let’s

leave the last word to the very un-PC Ernest Dowson, who wrote:

’Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder.’





Absinthe - about pounds 5 a shot



Available from Alphabet, Cantaloupe, Detroit, The Met Bar, Pharmacy,

Saint, Denim.



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