diumenge, 15 de febrer de 2015

Absinthe / Food and drink (4)

Amb una mica d’Oscar Wilde i 4 pel·lícules, em vaig quedar amb les ganes de saber lo que era l’absenta però sabia que estava prohibit en molts països ja que es deia que era una beguda molt perillosa. Aquest perill és, però, una mica de llegenda segons una mirada a Wikipedia i per això es va tornar a fabricar i comercialitzar fa uns anys. I concretament a Tortosa és un dels llocs on es fabrica – per tant, l’any passat en vam comprar.
Bé, provat ja – diversos cops – he de dir que (a) m’agrada, i (b) no m’he convertit ni en artista ni en un borratxo. Té bon gust, em recorda una mica a begudes com les herbes de Montserrat, bàsicament perquè està fet d’herbes – el principal sent el donzell (o artemisia absinthium!).
Hi ha (almenys) dos maneres de preparar-ho. Pel que diu Wikipedia, la més espectacular – amb foc –es una “nova” manera de fer-ho, però els famosos artistes de Paris ho feien amb la segona versió, amb aigua gelada.
1.Amb foc, poses dos tarrons de sucre damunt la cullera especial dalt del got. Li fas passar l’absenta, i prens foc al sucre. Es desfà i cau a la beguda. Ho remenes i ho dilueixes amb aigua freda.
2.Metode més tradicional – poses un dit (o dos) de la beguda al got i els dos tarrons de sucre a la cullera. Tires aigua gelada poc a poc damunt el sucre, el qual es desfà i cau a la beguda. Remeneu i a beure! Sembla ser que una proporció bona, pels dos metodes, és una part absenta a 4 o 5 parts d’aigua.
En fi, ho explica tot molt millor a la Wikipedia. I aquí tens l’info sobre la beguda tortosina.
So, thanks to Oscar Wilde and a couple of films, I always wondered what absinthe (the weird green drink all these artistic-type folk used to down by the bucketful) was – I say “was” as I was sure it had been banned thanks to all the crazy behaviour it led to. So, imagine my surprise when I saw it is made and sold in Tortosa! A bit of internet research soon showed up that it hadn’t been banned everywhere, and it’s fame was a little bit exaggerated and, in fact, it was/is now coming back into fashion. So I bought a bottle of the stuff.
I have to say I like it – it has a delicious “herbal” flavour (basically it is made from herbs such as wormwood) to it and goes down well on a night after a hard day’s work. It has not converted me (yet) into either (a) an artist or (b) a drunk. Despite the word cannabis blazened across my bottle, it no longer (if it ever did) includes any cannabis.
According to Wikipedia there are (at least) two ways to prepare it.
1.       1) With fire. Balance the special spoon you get when you buy the drink over a glass. Place two sugar cubes on it. Gently pour the absinthe over the sugar. Then set light to the sugar and it will gradually melt into the drink. Stir and add cold water.
2.      2)  The cold water method. Set up your spoon and sugar cubes again, having already put the drink in the glass. Pour cold water slowly over the sugar and into the drink. The sugar dissolves. Stir it in and Bob’s your uncle.
In both versions, it seems that a suitable proportion is one part absinthe to 4 or 5 parts water. Apparently, the “burning sugar” method is a modern idea, and the Bohemians and other drunkards who used to live it up in Paris used the second method. Me too, I tried the first, but prefer the second. Anyway, you read and I’ll drink. Oh, and here’s the local manufacturers’ web page.

4 comentaris:

  1. All I know about it is that 'Absinthe makes the Heart grow Bolder'.

  2. But is it very bitter, that it needs sugar? I might ask my flight attendant daughter to pick me up a bottle next time she comes through duty free.

    1. Hi Kate, sorry for the delay in responding - it's been one of those months! Yep, it's pretty bitter without the sugar (and water). According to science/legend, there's also something magical happening when the sugary solution mixes with the absinthe releasing all kinds of mysterious flavours inspiring artists on towards new feats.... :)

    2. Oh great! When (IF) I ever run out of ideas, I shall drink lots and lots!