19 January 2014

How to order absinthe from reluctant bartenders

I have a friend that's kind of an expert on all things related to drinking. Sometimes he imparts his hard-earned wisdom to this lightweight geek.

Even among bar staff in France and the States, there exists a common misconception that the sale and consumption of absinthe is illegal. There is, however, a bar downtown that serves absinthe diluted into a cocktail.

Getting the bartender to serve the absinthe in its pure form is a simple four-step process.
  1. Order one aforementioned red absinthe cocktail.
  2. State that you would like the cocktail without sugar.
    Important: Wait for an affirmative answer.
  3. Charmingly ask the bartender to also hold the water.
    "They'll hesitate," according to this seasoned drinker, "but now they've committed to the possibility of withholding ingredients."
  4. Finally, request that the drink be served in a shot glass.
Et voilà, you now have one ill-advised and coyly-manipulated beverage.

01 January 2014

Because of gravity

This New Year's Eve, one of my good friends came back to France from her semester abroad in India. While our other friends are at work, she is meant to be preparing dinner chez our hostess for the evening. In a moment of insanity, she swears that she has it under control and doesn't need my help.

So I'm pretty deep in simultaneously studying for exams and watching the entire first season of Girls when I get the call.

"Kris, I am so sorry to ask. I need your help."

And she proceeds to recount the most ridiculous baking accident I have ever heard.

"I was trying to make a cake for tonight, and I dropped all the eggs. Can you buy some at the store? And I need help cleaning up the mess... I cut my hand on an eggshell."

Of course I'm more intrigued by her embarrassing mishap than les théories de l'individu. I tell her I'll run to the store and be there in half an hour.

When I arrive, I find her relaxing with an herbal remedy for her cooking stress. She gestures vaguely towards the kitchen. "They fell behind there."

I peer into the kitchen and have a gander behind the wheeled cart that's jammed between the sink and overflowing shelves of tea and appliances. She's managed to drop the eggs in the most inaccessible spot possible.

As she squeezes in behind the cart, she says, "You can't tell anyone about this." (Sorry.) "It's not even my fault. It's because of gravity."

I mostly mock her and steer her head away from the water heater as she rapidly shoots up and down from the eggs on the floor. She grumbles about some god being racist and swears in French as she cringes at the gooey mess of raw eggs.

Suddenly she bursts out laughing. I stare at her, certain that this whole culinary affair has caused her to lose her mind.

"It fell on the heating pipe!" she exclaims delightedly, presenting the egg to me. The yolk has solidified from the heat. "I made an omelette!"

Other things that came out of this French girl's mouth during the pre-festivities:

"J'ai cuisiné aujourd'hui. Truc de malade."

"Nothing, nothing is wrong, everything is perfect!"

"Oh merde."