15 December, 2012

Absinthe Bar

My absinthe experience.
Je ne regrette rien. That's the theme of the day. There were certain touristy things which I've had on my list to do since I arrived. Things that fell through the cracks, over missed dinner dates, or failed rendezvous. Time is running out, and I'll be damned if I'm leaving Belgium with any regrets. I can honestly say, today, I completed the list. In the morning I ran out to Stockel for waffles, then to Chez Leon's for moules provencale followed by a walk from Anderlecht to Vlezenbeek to the secret Neuhaus discount outlet. Then I said good bye to one of the first people I met here, Liz (who is an awesome blogger and you should check her out, read her blog.) Then off to the Grand Market for the Plaisirs d'Hiver, a light show, and finally absinthe.

Absinthe? Oh yeah. I briefly texted a friend while waiting for the eight PM opening time (apparently it's best to be smashed after dark), but she declined. No worries, my bilingual, bisexual, bipedal bar maiden kept me company while instructing me the finer pleasures of the French method of drinking absinthe. Apparently there are three, but we both agreed the French who set the higher standard in most cases, should be the methodology we'd employee for our experimentation and my curiosity.

Dripping water over a sugar cube on a slotted spoon, eventually you have a sweetened licorice drink with the same alcohol levels used in funny car racing (Formula-One for you European types). Technically they call absinthe a "spirit", and you're in good company when you drink it. Everyone from Hemingway to Oscar Wilde has consumed the Green Fairy as it's known.

So where do you get absinthe? Floris bar, across and part of Delirium here in Brussels. About 5 Euros a glass, even on a thirty degree night, it will make you sweat. You can feel the skin peel off of your lips as you come into contact with the glass, and the fauna in your digestive tract weep tears of anguish as they burn away. Apparently I'm in the minority at stopping at two of these too. The two gentlemen beside me took a family pack of 12 glasses to a table and began their evening of debilitation without much worry. Let's just say,  that absinthe, is by far the strongest alcoholic drink I've ever had. It's not truly all that pleasurable other than the novelty, (I'm not big on licorice.), but none-the-less, it is the one drink you will find that is the one which you'll, perhaps, both regret drinking, and not-drinking should you abstain. So go for it, live a life without any regrets!!! (Or kidneys.)