Vice Squad
Monday, November 07, 2005
Absinthe Present (and Past)

There's nothing like legalization to spur on absinthe culture to such a pitch that beleaguered mostly-retired vice bloggers have trouble keeping up. First, Wired has a great article that among other things, suggests that the legalization of absinthe in Europe was due to an EU oversight in promulgating food regulations in 1988. (Another example of inefficiency being a virtue in bureaucracy.) But more importantly, it looks as if the combination of modern chemistry and access to intact, century old bottles of absinthe have allowed the absinthe that once captivated the artistic classes of France and Europe to be re-created.

In another piece of historical absinthe preservation (if not re-creation), a 12-minute movie from 1913 depicting absinthe preparation is now available on DVD. In the early days of film, before the spread of the absinthe ban, there were many films depicting (or rather, sensationalizing) absinthe drinking; but apparently, only this 12-minute film has survived.

The removal of the ban is a boon for certain absinthe producers, of course.

Vice Squad's absinthe habit was mostly recently stoked here.

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