Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Travels: Adventures in Absinthe

So many blogposts backlogged from my previous trip to Europe! I have a few more posts to put up before I resume with regular beauty and fashion posts, so bear with me! 

While in Prague, I visited an "absintherie" next to the hangman's restaurant I'd blogged about previously here

While in undergraduate school, I, like so many other girls my age, had these beautifully illustrated but heavily mass-produced and embarrassingly clichéd reproductions of historical absinthe posters framed on my walls. Suddenly I found myself eyeballs-deep in an establishment reminiscent of my college days. 

Absinthe spoons hanging on the wall with historic photos and some of the Art Nouveau pictures that advertised absinthe in the 20th century.

Absinthe's origins can be traced back to 18th century Paris, but the Czech Republic- mostly Prague- has enjoyed a long and colorful history with absinthe as well, having been a steady supplier of the drink since the turn of the 20th century.

This version of absinthe has a giant beetle Eurycantha horrida, also known as the Spiny Devil Walkingstick, floating around.

These have a "delicate aroma of cannabis". I'm not sure if they also taste like it as well.

So many different kinds of absinthe.

We asked for the beetle. 

The bartender obliged.

Some legs were eaten.

The absinthe here was prepared in the Bohemian method in which a presoaked-in-absinthe sugar cube is placed on top of a spoon with holes in it, lit on fire, and dropped into the absinthe shot awaiting in the bottom of the glass. It creates a stronger drink, but some people say it destroys the absinthe flavor.

Certainly is very pretty though.

Not tasty in the slightest.

The absinthe ice cream was much better. It tasted like a mint ice cream cone, with faint hints of alcohol.

Absinthe does not have hallucinogenic properties. This is a myth that has perpetuated to the point where absinthe was widely banned around the world. Absinthe is made in a variety of different ways, and naturally will reflect whatever its mixed with. It does contain a trace of thujone, a chemical similar to THC in cannabis, but you'd have to consume an unrealistic amount of absinthe in order to get any sort of hallucinatory effect, by which time you'd already be dead from alcohol poisoning.

Check out Absintherie if you're ever in the Czech Republic! It's a unique way to encounter historical culture in a different sort of way ^.~ 

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