Barcelona Photoblog: Absinthe Tête - à - Tête

Friday, February 23, 2007

Absinthe Tête - à - Tête

How odd can a post about Barcelona be? How can you relate every single image you capture on those streets with the city? Well, sometimes it really gets tough. Of course you can always mention the place- carrer Princesa to be exact - and the neighborhood - Barri de La Ribera (next to Barri Gotic) -. But how do you make a liquor store pop up in the middle of the story? I don't know. I just wanted to take a picture of that little devil on the label of that Absinthe bottle, I just wanted the emerald colors of that spirit in my picture. Fortunately, it turned out that Absenta has a lot of history behind, that it originated in Switzerland, that it was some kind of elixir depicted as as an addictive, psychoactive drug in the XIX century and extracted from Absinth Wormwood, a medicinal plant. It became very popular in the Parisian district of Montmartre so it is commonly associated with artists. It was banned in the USA and Europe in the 20s and manufactured again by the end of last century. So you see, it is trendy, you can buy it right now in Barcelona, it was related to art and I could show it. I can't believe my luck. I just wanted that little green devil after all!


  1. Anonymous5:38 PM

    Lovely photograph. Absinthe was always legal in Spain, the UK, and the Czech Republic. The recent renaissance began in Prague and has spread (thanks to a relaxation in the law) across the EU. It was originally imported back into the UK from the Czech Republic and caused a stir in the late 1990's. One slogan was "Let's party like it's 1899" :-)

    Barcelona was the place to get absinthe for folks like Hemmingway. I do not know about devils, but the absinthe bottle is alleged to have a green fairy inside. The green fairy is actually a poetic description for the effects of the thujone contained in the wormwood.


  2. Fantastic info. I am glad to know more about this and that you let my visitors know. I had read this for my post: "Whereas the heavy aniseed flavour of La Fée Parisian Absinthe is often not suitable for use in cocktails, La Fée Bohemian Absinth has a refined subtlety, whose distinctive flavour is a mixologists dream" but also this, "Often called Bohemian-style, Czech-style, anise-free absinthe or just absinth (without the 'e'), Bohemian absinth is produced mainly in the Czech Republic where it gets its Bohemian designation. It contains little to no anise, fennel or other herbs normally found in traditional absinthes produced in countries such as France and Switzerland, and can be extremely bitter. Often the only similarities with its traditional counterpart are the use of wormwood and a high alcohol content; for all intents and purposes, it should be considered a completely different product. In most cases, Bohemian-style absinths are not processed by distillation, but are rather high-proof alcohol or vodka which has been cold-mixed with herbal extracts and artificial coloring. Not all absinth produced in the Czech Republic is in the Bohemian style, and there has been a resurgence of traditional absinthe to compete better with the growing world market." Of course both sources add up to my post and I should have mentioned this important part too. Thanks again for coming and don't hesitate in defending your tradition and products.

  3. You managed to get a very picture photo. What a fantastic light, the green is almost hypnotizing!

  4. Hi Carlos, I like the green tone of this shot, the green devil label is pretty cool too. Been busy lately and just checking some of your recent photos, I like the red feather mask, the "zebra" and the one on Valentine's day featuring Sara :-)

  5. Gorgeous photo! Oh...loved your hilarious acceptance speech--VERY good job there too! I want to try Absinthe...have you tried it?

  6. Anonymous11:42 AM

    I think the green makes the whole picture. If the color was red or yellow or orange, the picture would not be as great as it is. I never saw the devil until I read the content. Nobody mentioned what this tastes like? Surely not licorice?

  7. Anonymous3:24 AM

    Fascinating information on Absinthe.

  8. Recently I had a cocktail called "Death In The Afternoon" - absinthe and champagen and crushed ice.

    Wow! Just one, and less absinthe than recommended and my head was mush!


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