in Asda? Good grief... spotting this bottle nestling inconspicuously
amongst the spirits in my local branch, I felt myself torn.
On the one hand, it was cheap and available; on the other, I
had a strong suspicion that it would be pretty grim stuff, and
quite possibly not even the real deal. After examining it from
all angles for some time, I finally decided to take the plunge
and shell out fifteen quid, figuring that, at worst, it would
be something to take along to a party. Let's face it: much as
you wouldn't open vintage champagne just for swigging on a night
out, so the classier brand of absinthe demands savouring. This
stuff looked as though it could stand a bit of drunken manhandling
from people who didn't know better.
examination of the bottle - a plain enough container with a
long neck that seems almost designed to encourage you to swing
it around in a suitably bladdered manner - revealed that this
previously-unheard of brand originates in Poland. It has a suitably
ornate yet minimalist label which gives little more away (no
thujon levels listed for instance, though this isn't unusual),
and a search of the net was equally fruitless - neither the
brand nor importers CdC are anywhere to be found. The fact that
the CDC in America is the Center for Disease Control was hardly
through the frosted glass, you can see that this is pretty damned
green, and pouring it out reveals an imposingly radioactive-looking
brew. It has a potent aniseed smell to it, and for all the world
resembles Czech absinth (though the label uses the 'e' spelling).
Disregarding this, I decided to prepare a glass in the traditional
dripping water style rather than the Czech flames a go-go method.
Diluted, the drink turns a pale, cloudy green, rather like a
glow-in-the-dark fluid. The taste? Well, pretty much as you'd
expect. The aniseed is still dominant, ala Pernod, but it's
not unpleasant. You're unlikely to switch from a classier brand
after tasting this, but it does seem to stand up against similar
looking absinthes quite well. And one glass did bring about
an agreeable buzz, so I guess it works.
less alcohol content than most rivals - and I suspect minimal
thujon levels - this is probably a safe bet to drink in reasonable
quantities at the aforementioned parties, and the price can't
really be argued with. But you ought to have a decent brand
for more select entertaining.