A good friend invited me to sample absinthe the Swiss distilled spirits that carries with it a long history of folklore. It's popularity grew in the late 19th and early 20th century France, particularly among parisian artists. The hysteria surrounding absinthe fueled the misconception that absinthe was a powerful intoxicant, caused
hallucinations that drove men "mad", threw them into epileptic fits,
and made Van Gogh slice off his ear.
Often referred to as 'The Green Fairy' because of its coloring, absinthe originated in Switzerland as an elixir. I found this elixir to be quite potent but warming as it went down. A strong anise taste penetrated each sip. I found the absinthe ritual of dripping water over a sugar cube with a special spoon to be exhilarating. The clear green absinthe turns into a cloudy yellow color after the water is added. One small glass was plenty being 68% alcohol by volume making it 136 proof. A memorable evening was had by all. The hand made apple tarts were exceptional. The absinthe experience... brilliant! My ears are still present and accounted for.