Absinthe Any Tradition…
I happen to like traditions very much, whether ecclesiastical or cultural. I like how they mark and illuminate profound ideas. But for someone like myself, who isn't quite as taken with the full set of traditions and meaning associated with the Christian and Jewish holidays that mark this time of year, or even with their cultural and merchandising offshoots, I nevertheless look for tradition to pull me into the Season.
Generally, it has been enough to simply be a part of other's immersion into the Holidays. Generally it has been matter of watching the smiles on children's' faces, sitting around a table with family, and even gathering where others gather, in churches or in rooms.
This season of tradition is a little different for me than most past Holidays. And I found I needed something, anything really, to mark the time of year.
Having recently discovered I like the taste of Absinthe and enjoying its festive color and moody history, I've decided that Absinthe, its service and its moderate consumption, would make for a lovely Holiday Tradition.
The Tradition of Holiday Absinthe will work like this:
-There will be a gathering of close friends between Christmas and New Years.
-They will gather around the table, sitting, with their Absinthe glass.
-Upon the encouragement of the Host, they will build their drink in the manner of Prague
-Each will place their glass filled with 1.5 ounces of Absinthe in front of them
-They will proceed to soak a cube of sugar in their glass to the point before it melts
-They all will remove it and place it on their slotted spoon that sits on the glass
-A match will be struck and the Absinthe-saturated cube lit
-The room will glow from the light of the green/blue/yellow flames around the table
-After the sugar drips into the Absinthe and the fire is out, stirring begins
-Then each fills their glass with 3 parts water from a vessel each has beside them
-The Host will raise his glass and toast to friendship
-And consumption of Absinthe among friends will proceed.
Traditions need not be ancient to be special. They need only a form of ceremony and a meaning associated with them. Particularly at the end of a year when whatever moves us needs acknowledgment and cultivation, traditions, new and old, become important.