Absinthe: Revealed

Local absinthe enthusiast Damian Hevia has an unequivocal assessment of the spirit's alleged power to cause hallucinations and dementia. "It's total crap. But people believe these things; they'll run away from a glass of absinthe," he says. As one of the hosts of Absinthe: Revealed, he has invited master distiller Ted Breaux and historian Jay Hendrickson to Avant Garden to dispel some of the myths surrounding the preferred drink of France's Belle Époque. The party will include tastings, presentations, vintage poster art, live music and period clothing — not a bad setting for what may be your introduction to authentic absinthe, which was banned as an import to the U.S. from 1912 to 2007. Just don't expect a glass of liquid licorice; the distillation and preparation of good absinthe yields complex, herbal flavors. Its bohemian backstory and laundry list of famous former aficionados don't hurt its appeal, either. "I love the history, the mysticism, the misinformation — all of that adds to every glass of absinthe I have," says Hevia, whose absinthe-themed photography will be on display. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. 411 Westheimer. For information, call 832-519-1429 or visit www.avantgardenhouston.com/absinthe.html. $15 to $20.
Sat., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., 2009
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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker