Monthly Archives: August 2007

Muse in an absinthe tank

Absinth Muse

Here’s the Bairnsfather poster girl – the absinthe muse – inspecting one of the new tanks at the Bairnsfather family distillery.

Kyle Bairnsfather, who is an enthusiastic renovator of pinball machines, recently took delivery of a new generation of distillery equipment. Ever the perfectionist, this week Mr Bairnsfather took apart all of the new machinery, cleaned every screw, and assembled them back together so that he could get to know the machines better!

Reality AbsinthWhat makes Bairnsfather Absinth different?

This is a good question, and one that has been noted by other absinthe enthusiasts, most recently in Leif Rogers’ My Love Affair with Reality. It is not just that this absinth is a natural handmade product, there is modern technology in partnership with tradition.

The key is the filtration technology that the Bairnsfather line uses together with a proprietary freezing process. This allows the tones of his traditional mountain herbs to shine through, like a hazy sumner afternoon in the Lusatian mountains, the ancient mountain range that is home to the old Sebor distillery which Kyle now runs.

Bairnsfather absinth is sadly not widely available. Major ecommerce outlets do stock the range alongside the other Czech brands (some of which bear no comparison to this hand-crafted artisanal absinthe).

The current production is usually all sold before it is even born. One customer from Poland recently drove 100 miles to get her hands on a bottle!

As the weather in Prague is currently chokingly hot, a glass of iced Reality is a refreshing reminder of the mountains and the stunning virgin forests. These forests and meadows, especially around the German border, are untouched and offer a great spot for a relaxing escape far away from the crowds and bustle of the city.

How to drink Bairnsfather absinth? In my opinion it is best with ice, this produces a profound louche – especially in the anise rich Absinth Bitter. Na zdravi!

Absinthe Times?

Absinthe Time

The Plot to get Zagorova drunk on the Green Fairy

The drink of the 19th century bohemians, the infamous absinthe, often gets the label of something forbidden. It is no wonder that the singers of the musical “Jack the Ripper” approached it with some uncertainty.

Zdenek Podhursky, Roman Vojtek, Petr Vondracek and the ever so spirit-keen Richard Tesarik tried the bitterness of absinthe and the variety of ways to drink it while christening their new Jack the Ripper video-clip.

Even Jana Vaculikova and Hanka Zagorova — the cast members of the gentler sex — put on a brave face. Hanka doesn’t drink spirits at all, but she was interested to find out about the drink that inspired the artists of the 19th century:

“We all need inspiration, and we all have our ways to obtain it,” Hanka said, adding that she doesn’t intend to rely on absinthe for it. “I just took a sip, so that I knew what it tasted like. It’s a very interesting drink, but I doubt I’ll become a convert,” she laughed.

She apparently feels at home in her first musical. “I am very glad I did it. I feel good with the people that I’m working with, and that’s why I’m here with them today, out of the theater.”

Absinthe, the so-called “Green fairy”, is still forbidden in many countries because, in large quantity, it has the same effects as marijuana. It can be drunk with a burnt cube of sugar or with water poured over a sugar cube.

“The fire thing was really interesting, and it turned down the wormwood bitterness,” said Richard Tesarik with satisfaction. “I’ve tried absinthe before, but it’s not really possible to drink more the two shots, better to wash it down with beer after that.”

(Translated from the Mlada Fronta Dnes newspaper)

Note: For those of you outside of the Czech Republic, Hana Zagorova is something of a pop-icon in this country (and a really nice girl too). During the events of November 1989, she used her appeal to support the overthrow of the rotten communist regime (famously documented in a tape smuggled out of a Party meeting where the then-Chairman complained bitterly about her involvement: “Why is she doing this to us? I had her income statements brought to me earlier… Doesn’t she have it good here? Now she turns against us...” A talented performer indeed, she was here with us before the wall came down, and she is still with us now (unlike so many others). Keep going Hanka, we wish you all the best!

The Great Absinthe Plot ?

Meanwhile, 5245 miles away in New Orleans, the new Chemise Verte (Green Shirt) stormtroopers continue their battle to conquer the Universe, but will they set the world alight with their new brands of USA safe absinthe?


Forbidden Photo

Update: Following a complaint we are no longer allowed to publish the private photograph of Ted Breaux at one of his absinthe ceremonies in New Orleans. If you wish to see the original photo you can see it here:

Who knows? Currently on overdrive in a fanatical campaign to create their twisted New Jerusalem, barely a day goes by without some hack publishing a glowing review for their new era absinthe, and of course a quick swipe at the Czechs! Perhaps they could take some lessons from the Communist old guard in propaganda? but I don’t think they need any!

Perhaps the first victim of this new wave of absinthe hysteria is a very nice little absinthe from South Africa called Doubs? It appears from this article : L’absinthe de Pontarlier victime de la contrefaçon that Doubs have withdrawn from the market following legal threats! I didn’t pay attention during French lessons, so that is what I can surmise from the article anyway.

On the same theme, if anyone knows what this disturbing image is about, perhaps they could get in touch? It was sent anonymously and is rather sinister, don’t you think?

New Order of Absinthe