Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Dedalus Book of Absinthe

I just finished reading The Dedalus Book of Absinthe. The book was a great collection of everything about the drink Absinthe. I first heard about Absinthe when I read about it killing Edgar Allan Poe. It is no longer clear that it was Absinthe that killed him, because had dried out at the end of his life.

I first drank Absinthe at my cousin's flat. I was travelling to Prague and he was excited that there was a lot of Absinthe there. Now that I have read the book I find that Absinthe was originally a Swiss or French drink. It was banned in France and many other places. It was never banned in the UK, because not enough people drank it. I also drank Absinthe in Prague. I found a bar called
the Marquis De Sade bar and ordered a beer and Absinthe. At the time I thought my life has reached this low point, but then I took a sip and thought tasty.

In the 90s people drinking Absinthe became a bit fashionable again -- although it totally missed me.
The drink was imported from Prague. The usual suspects Johnny Depp and Damien Hurst were seen drinking it.

There is a lot of literary tradition with drinking Absinthe, which is why I sometimes drink it. Oscar Wilde and Aleister Crowley used to drink it. It has the reputation of driving a person to ruin. I got a bit depressed to see a number of writers who drank Absinthe to excess for some weird reality and artistic reasons. In the end they were destroyed and found no new realities -- just illness and poverty.

I usually drink a small glass of neat Absinthe, but this book convinced me that I should add water. I should get a special spoon.