In my Exotica release, Lucid, the heroine and her friends share the favorite drink of poets and artists, absinthe.
Since 2007, absinthe has been legal in the United States. In the 19th century it was much maligned for having suspected hallucinogenic properties.
I was given a bottle of Lucid Absinthe as a gift and thoroughly researched the infamous drink before trying it. I learned how to louche the absinthe by pouring icy water over a sugar cube to make the green liquid cloudy. The taste was similar to black licorice. The effect was similar to a strong glass of Merlot. No hallucinations!
However, trying the drink and learning about its sketchy reputation, gave me the idea for my story, Lucid. My heroine, Jayne, visits the same villa where Percy and Mary Shelley and Lord Byron spent a dark, dreary summer. Hoping to capture the atmosphere of that faraway time, Jayne tries absinthe for herself. Afterward, she is confronted with a man who claims to be none other than the rakehell poet, Lord Byron.
Want to try absinthe?
Pour roughly three ounces of absinthe into a heavy parfait-style stemmed absinthe glass. A perforated absinthe spoon is set upon the rim of the glass and on the spoon is placed a cube of sugar. Ice-cold water is ever so slowly dripped from a glass carafe onto the cube. The sugar dissolves as you continue pouring until the ratio of absinthe to water is about two to five parts, depending upon your taste and fortitude. Give the absinthe drink a spin with the spoon and drink like you dripped - slowly. Enjoy!
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