Potent Absinthe Mix Stirs Up Controversy

Friday, May 30th, 2003

According to Potent Absinthe Mix Stirs Up Controversy, absinthe will be available in Britain soon — mixed with beer:

Absinthe, the fiery tipple with purported hallucinogenic properties, has stirred up fresh controversy in Britain where it will go on sale in nightclubs and bars next month packaged to be mixed with beer.

“Deco” comes with a small bottle of Kronenbourg lager with a shot of absinthe attached. The idea is to down the 45 percent-strong absinthe and drink the five-percent strength lager as a chaser.
Popularly held responsible for painter Vincent Van Gogh’s mutilation of his own ear, absinthe has been banned in many countries but was never outlawed in Britain.
“The actual alcohol content in a Deco is 2.5 units,” said David Jones, a company spokesman. “This is actually slightly less than the 2.8 units in a pint of Kronenbourg or lager of similar strength.”

Historically, absinthe was not a low-alcohol, beer-based drink:

Taken with ice water and a lump of sugar, the bitter drink became popular in 19th century Europe. It was distilled with a blend of herbs and was nicknamed “the green fairy” because of its emerald hue.

Vintage Wilde:

“After the first glass you see things as you wish they were,” absinthe lover Wilde wrote. “After the second, you see things as they are not.”

“Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world,” Wilde concluded.

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