So what exactly do you do when you get an e-mail from a complete stranger saying, "Hey! I make absinthe lollipops! Would you like to try one?" Well, if you're me you say "Sure!" Then when it comes in the mail you think, hmmm, should I really eat this? What if it's laced with drugs? But you really want to try it because it seems so interesting. But then you can just imagine the newspaper article the next day: "Woman Dies From Poisonous Pop," and all the people reading it saying, "What kind of idiot would eat something that came in the mail from someone they didn't know?" And then you'd feel really stupid, even though you were looking on from the great beyond.
So I did what any dedicated candy blogger would do: I made my friends try it.
First, a little bit of history. Absinthe is a potent liquor that was made famous by French artists and poets. They called it the "Green Fairy" because of its color. It's made from wormwood, which, according to the lore, has hallucenogenic properties; this, however, has been disputed. Absinthe has been banned for quite a while in many countries, including the U.S. Apparently now the laws are loosening up and you can buy it in some places. It's also legal to trade or barter for it, which is where Jason, our Mr. Lolly gets his ingredients.
I asked him about the chemical properties of the pops-- do they still pack a punch? Yes and no. Alcohol burns off at 300 degrees (and anyone who's made candy knows that you have to get it hotter than lava to make it work), but the thujone, the chemical in wormwood, remains extant. Will you get drunk or hallucinate from the pops? No, says Mr. Lolly. But some people claim it makes them very chatterboxy.
So the lollipop arrived and it was quite lovely. A very pale, translucent green. I broke it up into bits and we all had a piece. I thought it tasted just like Nyquil. Mr. Goodbar said, "No it doesn't taste like Nyquil! It tastes like licorice!" I wasn't sure how to respond to that. Nyquil is licorice-flavored, is it not? He and Nick both liked it a lot. I can't say if they got any extra chattery since they were both yapping away debating global warming. (Nick doesn't believe it exists; Mr. Goodbar is ready to live off the grid. Vin called the conversation to a halt by making the great observation that it doesn't matter if it exists or not; we should all be kind to the earth.)
Anyhow, if you'd like to try one of these pops for yourself, or perhaps give them as a gift, check out the website at http://www.litabsinthe.etsy.com/. At $4.50 each, they're an indulgence, but hey, you're worth it.