Yes, the bad boy of the spirits world is no longer ethereal. Two new
brands of absinthe, which was banned in 1912, are now available for
purchase. And, how cool is that?
Scientific tests have proven that, when consumed in moderation,
absinthe is not the liquid version of heroin or crack cocaine. Nor will
it drive drinkers to emulate the excesses of van Gogh, Lautrec or Oscar
I first became aware of absinthe’s effects a few years back. It was
then that Ted ‘Ludicris’ Birkhahn and I traveled to Munich for a
combination business and pleasure trip. Once ‘in country,’ we connected
with Chris ‘Repman, Jr’ Cody, his fellow Peppercom/Europe Intern, Brett
Lichtmann, and P’com Euro MD Jacki Vause.
It was there that Ms. Vause introduced Chris and Brett to absinthe (an experience I don’t think either will ever forget).
While it didn’t kill them, I think the Deutsch absinthe made a definite
impression on Chris and Brett. Both lamented the spirit’s ban in US and
plotted ways to smuggle a bottle or two through customs. Happily for
all concerned, they failed.
It will be interesting to see if absinthe can overcome its negative
stereotypes and sell well in the U.S. Truth be told, the marketers will
have to convince skeptics like me who still believe what Oscar Wilde
had to say about the mysterious beverage way back when: "After the
first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second,
you see them as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really
are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”