Social networking with the green fairy

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!

I should have had pho

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).

Starting lunch at Bahn Nai

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.

Pad Kapow

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!

Lucid Absinthe

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.

Clear absinthe with sugar read

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.

Foggy Absinthe

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.

Paula trying Lucid Absinthe

Duane trying Lucid

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.

Lucid Absinthe

And Paula was way too kind, sending the bottle home with me!

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About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.
5 comments
mrsleep
mrsleep

I used to make Absinthe while it was illegal, much better and stronger than the stuff they sell in the stores now. You might be able to get some Absinth kits from Europe that will make for a much better experience.

Curt
Curt

I haven't tried it, as I've just now tried absinthe, but it looks great... It's on my list to try!

Curt
Curt

My take on Tastecasting is that it's best when used in conjunction with local establishments. Those are really the ones I prefer, over large chains, etc. Absinthe isn't something I'll have often, but I'll try it now and then, very much in moderation!

My Year on the Grill
My Year on the Grill

LOL... I have danced with the fairy. It's an experience. Great post, sounds like fun experience, I am trying to get tastecasting up and running in KC, but can;t find enough tasters yet... soon hopefully Will get my apple recipe up today

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