Absinthe

If you go into one of London’s most fashionable bars, there’s a good
chance that you will see the most fashion-conscious drinkers with a
curious blue-green drink in front of them. What is this new craze that
everyone is talking about? Absinthe.

There’s nothing new about absinthe. What is new is that it is available for almost the first time this century. It will set you back about 10 pounds for a double shot in a bar, or 40 pounds a bottle through the Internet, but supplies sell out quickly, and you cannot find it in your local supermarket.

The taste is, frankly, disgusting – a bit like cough medicine – and you may well wonder why anyone would want to touch the stuff. The answer is simple – fashion. A dangerous drink that was unavailable for many years, and which has been celebrated by painters like Van Gogh and Picasso – it couldn’t really fail to become trendy.

Absinthe contains 70% alcohol and is made from a variety of plant products. It also contains a plant called wormwood. Wormwood is hallucinogenic and it is said that large quantities of absinthe will drive you mad.

In France it was drunk by people of all social classes and it was banned there in 1915. In the United States, the authorities outlawed it even earlier – in 1912. But after the fall of the Communist regime in the Czech Republic, a company called Hill’s started making it again.

Glossary 

fashion-conscious – módydbalý/trendy
available – dostupný
to set back – stát (o ceně)
a double shot – dvojitý panák
frankly – upřímně
disgusting – odporný
a cough – kašel
to fail – neuspět
a plant – rostlina
wormwood – pelyněk
to drive somebody mad – dovést někoho k šílenství
to ban – zakázat
to outlaw – prohlásit za nezákonné, postavit mimo zákon