Citation: kamoey. "Jaeger without the Sugar: An Experience with Absinthe (exp20908)". Erowid.org. Feb 7, 2003. erowid.org/exp/20908
During the height of the internet boom I became quite wealthy. I was also a lifetime recreational drug user who had tried many things. Absinthe had long been on my list of things to try but it wasn't something that I'd ever had an opportunity to get my hands on.
That opportunity presented itself to me finally. I found some English folks online who were selling massively overpriced Czech Absinthe (averaging around USD$50 per bottle, I think). I was able to order online with a credit card and several weeks later a shittily packaged box that looked like it came from somebody's dorm room arrived from Prague. I had spent close to $1000 and the box was full of 15 or so bottles of Czech Absinthe - all different brands.
The bottles themselves were on the whole quite beautiful. None of them were in standard 'bottle' shape and some of them used ceramic instead of glass. The bottles were works of art (and incidentally, after all the absinthe had been consumed I was able to sell the empty bottles on eBay for almost as much as I paid for them full!).
While each of the different types of absinthe varied somewhat, the typical color was green with perhaps a slight hint of blue. Every one of them tasted terrible. One of my friends said they tasted like Listerine. I would describe the taste as Jaegermeister without the sugary syrup.
The taste was so terrible that the liquor was frankly quite difficult to drink.
We drank it using the 'Czech Method' of scooping up a teaspoon of sugar, holding it to a shot of absinthe until the sugar wicked up the liquid to saturation then setting the sugar on fire until it carmelized the sugar, bubbling and boiling. This would then be quickly stirred into the shot along with a shot's worth of cold water.
Even with the sugar it still tasted like shit.
Now real Absinthe afficianados will cringe at this, but we ended up being able to stomach the flavor by adding absinthe, grenadine syrup and ginger ale together in a pint glass. It was still gross but one could swallow it with relative ease.
As for the effect - first, the alcohol itself packs quite a wallop. I have a couple of empty bottles left here and one of them says 60% alcohol, so once we started drinking absinthe we'd immediately started getting ourselves drunk.
The effect is hard to describe. It is referred to as the 'absinthe stupor.' There is a body high and some euphoria. As I drank more the stupor (and the drunkeness) increased and I eventually blacked out - even after just 2 or 3 drinks sometimes. I have almost no memory of consuming much of my absinthe.
It should be noted that absinthe is not illegal in the US because it is scheduled by the DEA and considered a drug - rather it is a foodstuff banned by the FDA for safety reasons. The FDA doesn't consider thujone to be safe for human consumption.
The horrible flavor of the absinthe ruined the romance of it for me. I have always been a francophile and spend much of my time in Paris. Another poster pointed out that what is sold now isn't 'real' absinthe. I would certainly agree with him with some brands, however I tried some of the famous old Czech brands and they sucked wind just as bad as the obviously new and faker ones.
I think absinthe is worth checking out at least once if one has the chance and its even worth paying $60/bottle or whatever - if only for the novelty factor and the 'coolness' of giving it a try. Its very cool bringing a bottle to a party.
Too bad it sucks.
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