January 26th, 2008

Dexter & Stagg
  • tmfiii

Holy Cow Batman!!!!

Today I took a ride with Sean, aka runoknows, down to Schneider's in DC.  Regular readers of the Den will recognize that Schneider's is our regular candy store and the best place to find new and interesting (and tasty) beverages.

I picked up some good stuff.  Some Massennez Creme De Peche, some Cherry Herring, a small bottle of Clear Creak Eau de Vie de Pomme, and a bottle of Aperol.  While I'm standing there looking at all the liqueurs and apertifs, something catches my eye.  I look down a shelf and almost hiding, tucked next to the wall are two small green eyes staring at me.  I take off my glasses and run my face, just to make sure that what I am seeing isn't a hallucination.  But when I look down again, those two green eyes are still staring at me.

Lucid Absinthe has come to DC!!!  The liqueur guy at Schneider's came by and asked if I had come for the Lucid.  I explained how happy I was to see DC finally getting some of the real stuff especially since Lucid has been on the market for a while now.  He said they had a few bottles last week but local restaurants bought them out and the four bottles on the shelf were their latest shipment.  I asked if there were any plans on getting any of the other new absinthes on the market in and he said that they were going to try.

Happy Days!!!!

So tonight . . . hell later this afternoon . . . I will get to have my first true Sazerac cocktail.  I plan on using the Lucid, 18yr Sazerac Rye and Peychaud's bitters of course.

Stay tuned for updates and pictures from my night of experimenting.



Feeling Lucid now

As my esteemed co-poster tmfiii pointed out, we did a pilgrimage to Schneider's today.  I wish I could get out there spending less than three digits.

I actually would've today had it not been for one thing: Lucid absinthe.

I have kind of a "hate/hate" relationship with Pernod.  I definitely don't care for it straight, even watered-down.  In most drinks I don't really care for it, either, though it's definitely needed in some.  You can't make a Sazerac without a pastis, Pernod being the only one I own and what most people seem to use, and I like the drink on a whole.  I even recognize the contribution that the Pernod brings to the drink but I'll be darned if I want anything more than the bare minimum amount of it in my drink.  Like Campari, it seems to be one of those things that can so easily take over a drink.

So we're at the store.  I picked up a bottle of the Dekuyper Apricot-flavored brandy.  The current Raiders of the Lost Cocktail competition features apricot flavored brandy and suggests a couple of different kinds: Apry, for instance, Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot, and Giffard Abricot du Rousillon.

Unfortunately, VA ABC and Schneider's both do not carry any of those, as far as I can tell.  I ended up with a bottle of Jacquins from VA and a bottle of the Dekuyper from Schneider's.

But I'm not done there.  I came to a determination.  I will - catch this - make my own.  Yes.  I'm going to take some brandy, and some apricots, and see what I can do.

(I hit one catch while at the grocery store: tiny apricots were listed as $4.99.  Not per pound.  Scared, I only bought one, plus a can of dried apricots.  However, it ends up that it was per pound.  On the other hand, I'm not making a whole lot of it, so one should be fine for now.  I don't know if I'll risk using any of the dried ones to bring out more flavor.)

But that's still in the future.  I have other things to think about, too, since the Raiders isn't due until February 15th and the "Variations" Mixology Monday is coming up on February 11th.

I'm digressing completely here.  So I'm walking around Schneider's with a bottle of apricot flavored brandy in one hand and a one liter bottle of Grand Marnier in the other (a birthday present).  Marshall gets all hot and bothered when he sees Lucid.  Seriously.  Between you and me, he was shrieking like a cheerleader and bouncing up and down flapping his hands yelling "oh my god oh my god oh my god!!!!"

(Note: that did not actually happen except in my head.  However, it was quite the entertaining mental vision.)

You see, I know jack about absinthe, as I've mentioned before.  I know I have Pernod, and I know I don't like it that much.  So spending $64 on a bottle of Lucid just wasn't doing it for me.  But Marshall was all excited about it, and they only had four bottles of it in.  The rest of the city had been sold out so far thanks to the restaurants buying it all up when it first came to town.

And if I am one thing, it's a fairly obsessive collector type.  That was fine when it was (say) roleplaying games, but with a bar, well, it's expensive.

I'm also the kind of guy who buys things so that he has it and others don't.  I guess the official word for that is some sort of obscenity.  Oh well.

So we're standing there, talking, and I just don't see why he's so excited.  I see Absente and I go "Ooooo!" because I had it in my head that it was like Pernod, but better.

It may be, but it was the same price as in Virginia, when you can find it, and I don't need another bottle of pastis.  I still had no idea, really.

We're getting ready to go and I say, you know what, screw it, if Marshall is so excited about the Lucid, and it's so great and everyone loves it so much that everyone buys it all, heck, I'm going to get me a bottle of it.  What else am I going to use that money on?  Charity?  New cargo pants?  Cat food?  I think not.

So I buy it.  Half my bill for the day there was that single bottle.

On the way home Marshall explained to me how Lucid is actually absinthe, and not a pastis like Pernod.  He talks about the guy who made it, and stuff like that.  He explains how it'll taste different than Pernod.  He goes on and on about things like that because, well, he's Marshall, he's the guy who knows all that stuff.

I mean, I know a lot of stuff, but he's the one that remembers the details.  Maybe it's the whole lawyer thing or whatever.  Whatever.

So now I'm home and the green cat eyes of the Lucid bottle are staring at me.  I want to put it next to one of my cats for a picture but they're mad at me, so that might not be the safest thing to do with a relatively expensive bottle of liquor.

What I definitely will do is, at some point here soon, make myself a Sazerac.  I've just got to decide which rye to use for it: the Red Hook or the Russell's Reserve.

Maybe I'll end up making two.