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what to eat with absinthe ?

I recently purchased a bottle of absinthe, but haven't opened it yet (in all fairness, it's only been a week). I also have never tried absinthe before .....is there anything that is uniquely enjoyed with absinthe, or is it something I should enjoy all by its lonesome ???

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  1. Depends on how fast you see the flying pigs ? I would say bread to absorb the alcohol.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Jimbosox04

      It would take an unbelievable amount of the fake absinthe we get in the states (and NA) to actually make one hallucinate. You really just end up getting drunk. To the OP, it is extremely hard alcohol, enjoy in moderation.

        1. re: MattInNJ

          that hallucinogenic stuff has been pretty much debunked anyways, ya know.

          1. re: jgg13

            Ya I know, If I wanna hallucinate I usually just end up taking psychedelics.

            1. re: MattInNJ

              That's a much more efficient solution to the problem, fo' shua :)

              I long ago came to the conclusion that the hallucinogenic stories were due to the proofage. In my misspent college days I used to drink a lot of 151 rum straight, and it had a real trance-inducing type of buzz vs. normal spirits & beer.

          2. re: MattInNJ

            for what it's worth, this isn't fake absinthe...

            1. re: im_nomad

              Then you should be very careful with it, and also not announce that you have it, real absinthe in the true form found in Europe is illegal to have in the US of A.

              1. re: Jimbosox04

                According to the FDA, absinthe is not illegal. The guideline now is that any beverage containing any member of the Artemisia genus (which wormwood falls under) cannot have more than 10ppm of thujone, the chemical in wormwood that is harmful. And there are now brands of absinthe being produced in the USA.

                1. re: spellweaver16

                  and the ppm of the European Version is alot more pure than what you can purchase here. Just like almost anything else, the old world version is usually much better.

                  1. re: Jimbosox04

                    Except that even vintage era absinthes have been shown to have levels of thujone so low so as to not really have any effect, so who cares?

                  1. re: Jimbosox04

                    Actually, the vast majority of absinthes sold in Europe are identical to those sold in the US. The US and the EU both require that thujone levels be below 10 ppm, and most French and Swiss absinthes meet that requirement.

                    The only difference is that the US bans anything with more than 10 ppm thujone, while the EU permits it but requires special labeling (in Czech "Horka Lihovina," in French "Amer aux Plantes d'Absinthe," in German "Bitterspirituose"). The stuff that's affected is primarily Bohemian-style absinth (no "e"). And from what I've heard, it's over-the-top bitter, tastes like mulch, and is generally unpalatable.

                    The highest thujone levels (30,000+ ppm) are found in Absinth L'Extrait de Fee. According to one taster, "It was the first "absinth" aka czechsinth I'd purchased, and the taste was terrible. Every sip walked the line between wincing and vomiting."

                    Think I'll stick to the French stuff.

              2. absinthe can pair nicely with herby seafood or shellfish, grilled or poached in butter, with only the barest squeeze of lemon or lime. i've also heard of pairings with fennel-based dishes to bring out the anise flavor, but haven't experimented with those, myself.

                1. Fish and shellfish would be nice, maybe some pork chops with tarragon will be good.

                  1. It's typically served with sugar and a classic way is to pour it over a sugar cube.

                    That or funny mushrooms.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lergnom

                      This is correct !! I seen the gift kits at the Airport in Munich Germany comes with a small spoon for holding the suger cube.

                    2. Doesn't answer the OP's question, but apropos of the subject of absinthe, Felten's article this week was on the same subject:

                      1. A review from the 5-13 NYT on 20 absinthes they sampled:


                        1. The first time, have it on its own. Well, not entirely on its own, absinthe is usually over 120 proof. The way to have it is an absinthe drip. Put an ounce of absinthe in a glass, rest a slotted spoon (I've substituted a dinner fork just fine here) over the top of the glass, and place a sugar cube on the glass. Then, very very slowly pour ice water over the sugar cube until you've poured 3 or 4 ounces of water into the glass. It's now ready to drink.

                          I think it does perfectly well on its own as an after-dinner digestif. However, as some have mentioned, it does go nicely with seafood, especially shellfish.

                          As far as the reputed hallucinogenic effects... there is thujone in absinthe, but due to the extremely high alcohol content (60-70% ABV), you'll be on the floor with alcohol poisoning long before you feel any effects from the thujone.

                          1. I would have to say lobster. Dont know much about absinthe but if gives you half the kick of magic mushrooms you will be laughing your ass off just looking at it.

                            1. So im_nomad, I assume that you have pounded back your booze now. Did you see any green fairies or did you find it was just bad tasting strong booze?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Crispy skin

                                I still haven't opened it ! But I will report back when I do so.

                              2. The suggestions to pair absinthe with seafood or shellfish sound good, but I would drink it alone. I find the flavor pretty strong, and it also numbs the mouth a bit. The only food I've had with absinthe is tunafish finger sandwiches put out by the bartender, and that was fine, because who doesn't like free sandwiches? But the combination didn't really improve either the absinthe or the sandwich.

                                1. Definitely by itself. In my opinion, pastis of any kind don't go with food at all.