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FOOD& DRINK Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder preparing your own absinthe

1 Start by pouring absinthe into the glass equal to about one fifth of its capacity. An ounce to an ounce and a half is common. In time you will determine the best absintheto-water ratio for your taste.

2 Place the spoon across the rim of the glass, with the notch of the spoon resting on the rim and place a sugar cube upon the spoon.

» Photos courtesy Jay Verspeelt Jay Verspeelt If drinking is our pastime, we deserve to know what’s on the shelf.

Absinthe, originally created in 1790s France, has had a long and infamous history. It’s synonymous with Van Gogh and Hemingway, has similar properties Pour a small to THC with its wormwood content and amount of water it almost overtook the wine industry in onto the sugar, saturating it. Allow France, resulting in a smear campaign it to sit for a minute launched by vintners. so that the sugar begins to loosen Don’t expect to get high off it, THC-esque and dissolve on its or not, but with it’s ultra high alcohol conown. Slowly drizzle tent it could put you on the floor. As Milk a very slender Coffee Bar owner Angelo Marignani puts stream of water it, “First the man takes a drink, then the onto the sugar. drink takes a drink, then the drink takes the man.”

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Stir any remaining, undissolved sugar in the bottom of the glass. Now, sit back and sip your absinthe slowly.

Marignani runs a cafe with the widest selection of absinthe available in the city, currently with three kinds on hand. This might not sound like a lot, but some brands have been on backorder at the LCBO for almost three years, according to Marignani. The Urbanite decided to sample Milk’s own selection at 11 a.m. last Friday.

Hill’s (70 per cent ABV), est. 1927 Czech, $12 a glass at Milk, $42 for a 375 ml bottle at the LCBO.

This Bohemian style drink smells light on the nose and has the bite of alcohol. It sits on the pallet pleasantly but tastes more like Scope mouthwash than what most consider as absinthe. Marignani describes it as diesel fuel. It’s not bad, but its grain alcohol base leaves a little to be desired. Lucid (62 per cent ABV), est. 2007 France, $12 a glass at Milk, $64 for a 750 ml bottle at the LCBO.

This is — hands down — the drink to order. It is rich, robust and flavourful, full of the star anise black liquorice taste for which the drink is known. It starts with a viscous concentration that as the glass decreases becomes more watery. The drink smells of moss. Le Fée (68 per cent ABV), est. 1915 France, $14 a glass at Milk, $92 for a 750 ml bottle at the LCBO.

This is a stellar, beautifully designed bottle. Wwhen poured, the green liquid is reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City. This pulled at the throat, but not in an unpleasant way. The flavour is robust

and heavy on the black liquorice but less candy-like than Lucid. Le Fée is to Lucid like Magners is to Somersby; Le Fée is probably superior in authenticity but that only counts for so much. The winner in this tasting is hands down Lucid, which is probably not how you’d feel after drinking this much. The uninitiated drinker should keep in mind that every glass is technically a double due to the high alcohol content, and The Urbanite’s three drinks brought on the effects of six. After a few drinks of absinthe, you should make a conscious effort not to slur your words. Getting up and walking around after is only recommended to professionals. “Some people would say it (absinthe) would help you because it might help you solve a problem in your altered state of consciousness you might not have been able to before,” said Marignani. Amen to that. [Editor’s note: This review was submitted on a piece of cardboard paper, written in crayon, two days late].

Volume 1, Issue 8 - March 26, 2014  
Volume 1, Issue 8 - March 26, 2014  

In this issue: The Urbanite sits down with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, searching for the best absinthe, ethnic eats open downtown, Windsor inven...

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