There was a social networking lunch today at a local Thai restaurant in Dayton (Centerville) called Bahn Mai Cafe. The menu was nice, with a good mix of Thai foods, lunch specials and apps. They even had pho, which I now wish I’d tried… Not because what I had wasn’t good, but because someone else got it, and it looked really great!
These social networking events can be a lot of fun. The first time you go, you know nobody, and, if you’re an introvert, you may leave not knowing anyone. I happen to not be too much of an introvert, so I meet a fair number of people, though I don’t flit around the table to make sure I memorize everyone’s name and face (I probably should learn how to flit like that better, but I’d look pretty silly doing it).
I did enjoy my meal; it was Pad Kapow. Some that know me may think that I ordered something with “Kapow” in the name just because it brought back memories of the old Batman show with Adam West. Actually, I ordered it because it had lots of basil in it. The scale was 1-5, and I got a 3, but I wish I’d gone with 3.5 or 4, though it was pleasantly spicy.
The food was really secondary, though I’m glad to find a nice Thai place a bit closer to home. I was most looking forward to trying something not on the menu, though. Paula Ivins, the owner of Lucid Salon in Lebanon, Ohio, brought along a bottle of absinthe, which I’d been wanting to try for some time!
She had been given a bottle of Lucid Absinthe Superieure (Lucid Salon / Lucid Absinthe, get it?), and she wanted to try it, so I picked up a couple of absinthe glasses and spoons, and she brought the bottle along with some sugar cubes. We probably should have asked the restaurant if it was okay, but we did it anyway… With a straw for a dropper, I started dripping ice water onto sugar cubes on the absinthe spoons.
Absinthe has been illegal in the US for quite a few years, but has recently been allowed again, as long as it contains less than 10 ppm of thujone, which comes from the wormwood plant. It’s been shown this is safe at these levels, so there’s nothing to be concerned about when drinking real absinthe, though some say not having thujone does not really affect flavor. I don’t know, as this is my first time trying absinthe, and Lucid is made using an old recipe, though there’s some question about whether there is any thujone in Lucid.
The absinthe was originally a pretty clear greenish color. Once the ice water and sugar starts dripping into the absinthe, the liquid gets cloudy and opaque, called the louche affect. Since absinthe is very high in alcohol content (124 proof!), diluting is just about required, using 1 part absinthe to 3 parts water.
Lucid Absinthe is made in France with Grande Wormwood, as well as European green anise, sweet fennel and other herbs. It has a spicy taste to it, with strong anise flavor that seems to calm down after a couple of sips to show fennel and coriander. It’s kind of a medicinal herby taste. And it’s strong! It doesn’t taste heavy in alcohol content, but it is. I could feel a bit of it after just one drink. But I did like it! It’s not something I’ll have often, but I think it would make a great after-dinner drink in the winter after a rich meal.
And Paula was way too kind, sending the bottle home with me!