17 February 2010


No, not a post about cross-country skiing, but our recent adventures with absinthe. You know, that anise-flavored, wormwood-derived drink that supposedly made madmen of Wilde, Rimbaud, Verlaine, et al (wait--does its moniker as the "the green fairy" have a different meaning? :-P ).

After my recent photography opening, we went with Donna and Dan to Flora, a hip spot with a great room, food, drinks, and staff in a restored Deco building in Uptown Oakland.  As we toasted at the bar, I noticed this beautiful, Art Nouveau absinthe "fountain," and long story short, with just one drink shared amongst us four we ended up with numb arms and legs.  Did you know that absinthe can be up to 74% alcohol?  I swear even smelling the drink made me intoxicated...

But it was tasty and fun, with a special presentation and equipment, including ice water, a fountain, sugar, and a filigreed sugar spoon, as you can see in this quick vid I shot at Flora:

P.S.  Do you know what makes absinthe a spirit and not a liqueur?


  1. Is it really absinthe if it's not GREEEEEN?

    And what the F is the difference between a spirit and a liquer? Is it that a spirit is not derived from something else? Or am I just being dense?

  2. apparently there are different-colored absinthes--but this one was greyish-green before the ice water was added and it got cloudy. liqueurs have sugar added...

  3. yes, here's how I felt...degas really captured it:
    or is it more like this:

  4. that's great and right! but i thought for sure you were ready to dance on the bar... :-P


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