The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Absinthe gets cleared

Sally points me to this NYTimes article, Trying to Clear Absinthe’s Reputation, by Harold McGee.

Basic points: High alcohol is the killer, not wormwood. But wormwood is psycho-active — so is sage with the same chemical. Czech absinthe generally sucks. If it’s not green, it’s not the real thing. If it doesn’t cloud well, it’s not the real thing. Champagne has its own secrets; unclean glasses work best for bubbles.

Framed by a Hemmingway story. Male journalists all want to be like Papa. Why?

An alert NYTimes forum member sends us to a Terra online video feature, Forbidden Fruit: The Absinthe Drinker, (about 7 1/2 minutes) in which retired neurosurgeon David Cook (who is wearing Merrell Mocs) talks about absinthe and the myths and bad science associated with it.

And Ze Frank explains the real way that champagne works.


  1. And even more about champagne!

  2. “Czech absinthe generally sucks!”

    Why do you say that? Did you try Tolouse Lautrec Absinthe from Cami? That’s Czech. Did you try Trul Absinthium 1792? That’s Czech. They both louche (process observed when adding water) and have that well known liquorice flavour. The flavour is different in other Czech absinth – more minty herbal – and come from a different tradition.

    There are a lot of folk who repeat this myth about Czech absinthe – it is promoted by individuals whose commercial interests are in other geographical areas. BTW: These areas have recently established distilleries producing absinthe. If you do not like Czech absinthe..fair enough, but it is an opinion. Don’t fall victim to the web based “merchants of smear”

  3. Paul

    2/18/2007 at 9:04 pm

    Sorry. I don’t sell absinthe. And all the Czech absinthe I’ve had was far far lower quality than the Ibizan that I’ve sipped. I hope some day to try out Tolouse Lautrec Absinthe from Cami or Trul Absinthium 1792. But until then the sick medicinal Czech stuff that I recall can’t be improved even by flaming sugar cubes.

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