Our first encounter with absinthe -- the "Green Fairy" -- was a matter of chance. We hadn't really known anything about absinthe when we first sampled the "mysterious" green drink in a small, quaint Continental bar.
It was a dark, foggy November afternoon, and, after half a day of walking, we were tired, cold and frustrated with the weather: this wasn't turning out to be the pleasant, sunny weekend break we had hoped for. We hesitated a little before entering the lone, seedy-looking cellar bar. But after the long hours of sightseeing in awful weather, we were at a point (mentally and locationwise) where any place that served drinks was a delightful sanctuary. Overcoming our initial reluctance, we entered -- and this was a decision that would start our love affair with the Green Fairy.
Since the day we first tasted the drink, our curiosity has led us along an exciting path of discovery. Absinthe, we began to realise, was more than "that bohemian drink that makes you trip", as we had always thought. Absinthe, we began to grasp, was the very symbol, the essence of the weird and wonderful place called bohemia, the metaphorical land of the avant-garde: the land of Rimbaud, Verlaine, Van Gogh and Degas; the land of immense talent and fresh ideas; the land where conventions were frowned upon and rules were meant to be broken.
Suddenly, we wanted to know more. What was the secret of the Fairy? Where did she come from, and what were her powers? As Aleister Crowley put it: "What is the fascination that makes her so adorable and so terrible?"
The Green Fairy, of course, has never been a stranger to controversy: Great works of literature and artistic masterpieces have been attributed to her, but so have mayhem and destruction. She was portrayed as both a goddess and a devil, the extremities of the moral spectrum.
We created Absinthe Fever to share some of what we know about absinthe, and as a platform for discussing all aspects of the wonderful drink.
Absinthe Fever is not intended as a dry, encyclopaedic study of absinthe. We certainly want Absinthe Fever to be comprehensive, but we also hope it to be a practical, no-nonsense and user-friendly guide to the unique green drink. Above all, we want Absinthe Fever to be a community website where everyone is invited to come and share their experience, opinions and knowledge.
We have deliberately designed this website so that you can participate. Agree, disagree, love it or hate it -- tell the world what you think, what you feel, what you know. Our articles are meant to answer the questions that most people ask about absinthe, but they are also meant as points for discussion.
So come and join us, and take it where you will; freedom, after all, is the spirit of the Green Fairy.
Jamie & Samantha
Dorset, November 2006
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