One spirit that I have severely lacked any knowledge of in the past is absinthe. I know that most of the stories about its mysterious ‘effects’ are rubbish and I’ve only really had two interactions with it: Firstly there’s my love of the Sazerac, which is turned from good into excellent by the absinthe washing of the glass to serve it in. Secondly there’s the bottle of blue and yellow food colouring heavy absinthe that I got when my mate Beth disappeared back to the USA, leaving her booze collection behind. Along with the (excellent) Herradura Añejo and Zubrowka there was also a bottle of absinthe, which I took to using to make pastis as if it was Pernod – splash of booze, bit of ice, topped up with water. In short – it messed me up. It’s not the plants or colourings that did that, just the horrendous levels of alcohol that I was sticking down my neck almost unknowingly.