Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A little about absinthe

Having written about some of the legal issues of absinthe here and here, I thought I should note The Diluted Mystery of Absinthe from The New York Times that gives a more business-oriented view of the product:

Now it is legal, and so we are in the midst of what appears to be an absinthe mini-craze. But to follow the arc of this craze, like others that have come before (remember cigar bars?) is to see just how quickly something that was once illicit — and acquired notoriety because of that very illicitness — can lose its sheen of mystery and become, well, rather uncool. Once the naughty aura of the forbidden fruit is removed, all that remains is a grasp at unearned sophistication.

If absinthe were a band, it would be Interpol, third-hand piffle masquerading as transgressive pop culture. If absinthe were sneakers, it would be a pair of laceless Chuck Taylors designed by John Varvatos for Converse. If it were facial hair, it would be the soul patch. If absinthe were a finish on kitchen and bath fixtures, it would be brushed nickel.

The absinthe available over the counter nowadays is neither dangerous — in fact, it’s debatable whether it ever was — nor illegal (and whether it ever was is also unclear, but that, apparently, is a really long story).