Chuck’s Absinthe Experiment

In this special edition Friday evening blog, Chuck will endeavor to dispel or engender some of the myths surrounding a certain spirit called absinthe. For those of you who might not have heard of this peculiar liquor, absinthe is a licorice-flavored liquor infused with a wormwood that purportedly gives the spirit hallucinogenic properties. A popular drink of the Paris arts crowd in the 1800’s, absinthe earned the nickname “The Green Fairy” because of its signature green color and the alleged hallucinations that result from thujone, the chemical compound in absinthe that comes from that wormwood.

I use the words “purported” and “alleged” because absinthe became the target of a temperance campaign in the early 1900’s that resulted in absinthe’s banishment from most of western civilization that lasted until only recently. Reports of those effects and its “dangerously addictive psychoactive” properties have since been shown to be greatly exaggerated–if not entirely invented–for the benefit of the temperance movement’s goals.

Still, much of what was written and described about absinthe by the very bohemian artists and writers who extolled it–including Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, and Oscar Wilde, just to name a few–leads anyone to believe that absinthe indeed has some exceptional effects on its consumer, effects that go beyond it’s rather potent alcohol component as a 140 proof liquor. Even recently, travel star Anthony Bourdain subjected himself to an evening of absinthe, but with ambiguous results: were the effects of Anthony’s absinthe evening the simple effects of alcohol or that of thujone?

Through the magic of live blogging technology, and for our reader’s education, Chuck has volunteered to subject himself to a controlled absinthe experiment. Timed as it is to prime you for your own Friday evening activities, Chuck is taking advantage of being 6 timezones ahead of our earliest American readers. He will be sacrificing his normal evening libations of wine, sangria or rum so that the absinthe experience, whatever it might be, is pure and entirely unaffected by any other factors. For additional integrity of the experiment, he has not eaten anything.

Furthermore, Chuck has programmed tonight’s “live blog” to automatically add his typed updates in 10 minute intervals whether Chuck hits “submit” or not, just in case the alleged effects are real and prove a hindrance to finding and clicking said submit button, and these automatic updates will continue for 90 minutes, which should be sufficient time to note any substantive differences between absinthe and a typical alcoholic drink, after which time the blog will be automatically published. Hence, dear reader, you are assured of an educational experience one way or the other.

Shall we begin?

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Chuck's Absinthe Experiment
Analyzing the Bouquet



Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Chuck's Absinthe Experiment


Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Chuck's Absinthe Experiment
Really Not Fond of the Licorice Flavor


Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Chuck's Absinthe Experiment
One More Gulp To Go

Minute 0: First off, this is a really stiff drink! And I’ve got a sufficient quantity of it in this little bottle that I’m not going to just “chug it”. Hence, I’ve sipped it, giving me a chance to actually evaluate it’s flavor. After the heat of the alcohol settles, the taste is a slightly bitter “green herbal licorice” sort of flavor (green as in vegetation’s chlorophyl). If you’ve had ouzo before, the taste is similar, but a bit more intense, perhaps because of the high alcohol content. Overall, its taste is not completely unpleasant, but it’s definitely not something I’d seek out on a regular basis, but then again I’d say the same of ouzo and anything with an anise or licorice flavor (I’m not a fan of licorice). If you like licorice, you might really like the intensity of absinthe.

Minute 10: As you can tell from the picture above, I’m sitting in the little courtyard of our AirBnB place in Ibiza. It’s been a wonderful little spot to do some work and writing in the mornings. The afternoons have often proved too hot and sunny, but early evenings, like it is now, when the sun sets behind the buildings to our west, it’s a lovely little corner of the world again. At the moment, the sun is still peeking through the crack above our gate, and if I sit just right it warms my face nicely, though I’ve noticed a little dampness around the edge of my forehead: a little sweat from the intake of alcohol, no doubt, but not anything unlike what I’d experience from downing similar quantities of rum, whiskey, or vodka.

Minute 20: We have a neighbor two doors down from us that we’ve seen every day since we been here. He leaves in the mornings, we exchange “hola’s”, and we sometimes see him return that evening. He speaks even less English than we speaks Spanish, but he always smiles and waves at us when we see him, just wavin and smilin and sometimes we see him riding his bike along the playa. We have no idee what he does, we think he’z retired or somethin! Anywho, he just left for a bikeride on the beach and when he saw my empty bottle of absinthe he gave me a warning–I understand the word “precaucion” in Spanish–and tapped his head saying “loco” a few times. The reputation of absinte is universal!

Minute 30: I admit, that teeny itsty bitzy little bit of absinth has caused a nice little buzz! It seems such a small amount of booz to cause such a buzz (a “booz-buzz”, haha) and I think I should have som more to justify the buzz, so to speak. but I hardly think that hardly indicates any adictive propties, and besides I don’t got no more so I ain’t gonna drink no more, LOLOLOL! Logically, mathmatically, socially, and ecumenically speaking the “buzz index” as defined by the IBC (internatinal buzz counsil–they’re Frnech) is idenical to similar quantities of hooch of a 140-poof nature. So I’m just saying…

Minute 40: The sun is setting and its SPECTACLUR! Here am I, on my sun porch in Ibiza, in the sun, watching that ole ball of sun fire, that life-giveng ball of fire, set on anothe day of my life. And yours. Good by sun! good by day! You know how sometimes the sun looks diffrent colors when it sets? Well MY sun is GREEN today, tongith, whatever. It’s a lovely shade of lime green. LIME BLOODY GREEN hahaha, alittle british lingo for yo, anif I had a lime right now, man I’d EAT it. good by lime green day!

Minute 50: To cebelerate the passing of yetanotha day, I am dancing. Thats not because of any wormwood I think, just cause I can dance and I wanna. Lori wont dance with me for some reason. She’z my wife, by the way, my coblogger, my love and my travlin bud. I think I’m rumbaing a sexy sexy rumba but I also like to watz. Walts. WALLZ. sometimes we foxchot. This courtyard of ours is small but just the rite size for watzing. Loriiii come wallz wit me!!

Minute 60: Our neybor came back and he sat with me for a few minuts. While he was gone out he musta learned to speek english cause we jus had the most wonerful confersation. damn but that rosetta stone stuff realy realy works! he’s a delifhtful man, really, and he tole me all about his family here and there and that he was wonce the president of a small african country and now he rides his bike on the playa lookin for his socks. or somethign like that. anyway, he’s a really plesant man wonce you get to now him. I’m gonna have to get me some of that rosetta stone! i wish i still ahd some of this green stuff to share with him, but now itz gone and he’z gone and i’m all alone again. I dont feel like dansin anymore. man, I’m hungry, when can I have some pizza? i think the first rosetta ston langage i’m gonna learn is ukraninan

Minute 70: I m nekkid!! i don’t know why, but i like it. i’m on my porch NEKKID in ibiza. more peeple shold be nekkid, that’s what I thing. think.

Minute 80: roseta stons youkrainian is TUFF an i’m havin trubba fittin my fingas onda KEY BORD wgouiejghuidf thu son es gone and I m gonna sing to ya now: ees neine oclock on a friday reglar crowd shuffas in and sing me a song oyu da peeano man! hey you wanna hear some YOUKRANIAN? ? ????? ???? i tellin ya this rosedda stuff works! i juss callt dominoes bak home in atlanta and triedto order a egstravagantsa an the dude sayd they cant delver to ibiza. what? reelly?


Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Chuck's Absinthe Experiment


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