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  • Food & Fun

    To Absinthe friends

    By Frances Atkinson 09 September 2015

    AFTER drinking Absinthe, Oscar Wilde said it made him feel as though tulips were growing on his legs. For Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas and Picasso their attraction to the Green Fairy coincided with a time when artists were exploring the dark reaches of creative life. Toulouse-Lautrec was said to conceal a draught of Absinthe in his walking stick, while French troops fighting in Algeria in the 1830s used it for medicinal purposes as an anti-malarial. Few drinks in history have attracted so much scrutiny and been so closely linked to influencing the creative output of artists and writers who made Absinthe a symbol of Bohemian life. Today the recipe is transformed, so you can enjoy this highly alcoholic beverage (47-74%) without the original ingredients that caused unpleasant hallucinations. Expect strong flavours, especially anise and herbs including coriander, fennel and hyssop. For those seeking to honour tradition you’ll need an Absinthe fountain (via eBay) filled with cold water, Absinthe spoons and sugar cubes. Place a glass with a dash of Absinthe under the fountain until the slow drips dissolves the sugar. The rest of us can simply buy a bottle at most good liquor stores.

    Bar Ampere, 16 Russell Place, Melbourne
    www.barampere.com

    Absinthesalon, 87 Albion Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
    www.absinthesalon.com.au