Archive for August, 2008

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Thar’ She Blows – Absinthe in Early Australia

We at are on a particular journey to uncover the hidden history of our Green Muse in early Australian history, and show that it was not just a Continental phenomenon, but that the importation and consumption of absinthe was an established part of society down under.

One part of the detective tale is establishing the trade routes, and given the predominant French presence in the South Pacific, it is not unreasonable to have assumed that the Franco-governed islands would be be a reasonable jumping off point.

Our suspicions have recently been vindicated by the below cutting of ‘shipping intelligence’ reported in the Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, as reported on the 23 February 1848.

25 cases of absinthe from Tahiti aboard the Sarah Ann, imported into New South Wales on the 17th February 1848.

Needless to say this opens a new chapter of absinthe history to be explored.  What were the main brands consumed in Australia?  Who were the purveyours? What establishments stocked absinthe? How was absinthe framed in context to the temperance movement in Australia?

Stay with us dear reader as we turn back the musty pages of history over the coming months, yea verily, maybe even years as we piece together what should be a veritable jigsaw puzzle of revelatory proportions.

Posted by Jonathan on Aug 17th 2008 | Filed in History,News | Comments (0)

Mad Goths & Englishmen Go Out In The Midday Queensland Sun

With apologies to Noel Coward.

It must be the season for art-macabre with Robert’s recent note on the exhibition in Japan, and now this – Neo Goth: Back in Black, an exhibition at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia Art Gallery.

While many think of dear old Queensland as the state of sunburn, surf and politicians with ‘interesting’ political views, I have always felt assured in that sunshine state in years past, by the sight of the young & beautiful darklings who assemble late afternoons in Queen Street Mall in Brisvegas.  I suppose it’s all Emo now….why, when I was a monochromatic lad, frock coats were all the rage, Big Electric Cat were the local heroes and…yawn….young whipper snappers……zzzzzzz.

Kirra Jamison May all your wishes come true 2007


Curator Alison Kubler (as in the Absinthe!) has assembled 170 works from 60 artists over two levels of the museum, covering the mediums of music, fashion, film and literature.

From the exhibition flyer:

“From its subcultural origins in eighteenth century literature, through to the movement’s dedicated tribes of black-clad youths in the 1980s, Goth culture is no longer underground or fringe, but mainstream. Is this ‘new’ interpretation of the Gothic aesthetic just that – an aesthetic – or is the neo-Goth impulse a considered response to a darker, more pessimistic world? The major exhibition neo goth dips beneath the surface and takes a peek at the noir underbelly of Australian culture as it is manifested across art, fashion, film and literature.”

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Posted by Jonathan on Aug 10th 2008 | Filed in Art,Culture,Events,News,Style | Comments (0)

There are no Kangaroos in Austria.

For the confused, a number of tourist retailers in Austria carry T-shirts with the above slogan. It would be funnier if it wasn’t for the fact that many an importing absintheur in Australia has in fact had their packages turn up in Austria instead.

However, I digress from the intention of this post.

Recent browsing through the Australian Trademarks Registry has alerted us to the fact that those mighty fine Fischer folk at the Vienna Schnapps Museum are in the process of finalising the legal leg work to bring two absinthe products to our antipodean shores from Austria.

The first is Absinth Grüne Fee – I must admit initial nervousness that this might be a ‘Czech’ style ‘absinth’, however referral to the company website indicates that it does louche, so I will hold any judgement until a proper review can be conducted.

The second is Mata Hari – Mark 2. I for one am pleased to see this product now coloured naturally instead for the vibrant radioactive green of past formulations. It still retains its ‘niche’ of being low on the anise to make it an accessible entry point for those otherwise adverse to this particular flavour.

Details are indeed sketchy at this time. However dear reader, as soon as we know more we shall ensure you know as well. Formal trademark approval was only granted late July 2008, so I well expect that we may see these on our markets before the years end.

Posted by Jonathan on Aug 6th 2008 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Distilleries,Food,News | Comments (0)