For entertainment, Erik, Gilbert and I frequented the nightclubs of Montmartre. I had never been to a follies and seen the singers and dancers there. Again, no one seemed at all shocked at a woman with two men, let alone that one of those men was masked. It was a rather more dissolute world that we inhabited by virtue of avoiding the Opera Quarter. Erik began an occasional indulgence in opium. I developed a fondness for absinthe, amused and intrigued by the so-called ritual that turned the strong-smelling yellow drink into a pale green treat called louche. I even had my own special sugar spoon after a while, shaped like the Eiffel Tower in honor of its opening. Gilbert was the only one in our trio who abstained; that way, he knew we would all get home safely. — Excerpt from In The Eye of The Beholder
Back in 2017, the first year I did this challenge, I also used Y is for Yellow. Today’s look at the color is based not on a dress, but a drink.
Absinthe verte (green absinthe) starts out as a clear yellow or green liquid that smells strongly of licorice/anise. It is entirely too strong to be drunk at full strength. When you add water, it becomes what is called a louche … and it changes color to a pale, cloudy green. Absinthe blanche (white absinthe) is a clear liquid that louches blue.
By now, you know that I prefer primary experience whenever possible in my research. So yes, I’ve taken absinthe. I’ve had both types, and prefer absinthe blanche.
The ritual described in the passage above may be found in its entirety here.
Note: quality absinthe does not need to be sugared, but some people louche through sugar as a matter of personal preference.
It is worth noting that, despite its reputation, absinthe does not cause hallucinations.
There is an interesting timeline of absinthe history here.