Last weekend My Rare One and I donned our spookiest black rags, our biggest witch's hats, hopped on our brooms and flew down to southern Alberta for a couple of fabulous Halloween events! A Grave Affair was held on Friday night and Lost in Transylvania took place on Saturday night.
Our favourite vampiress of graveyard pallor, Lynne of Insomniac's Attic, created the perfect macabre, gothic ambiance for both events. The two hosting restaurants each provided an array of delicious food and special drinks to fatten up our skeletal frames. A fun psychic/fortune teller graced both evenings and we met some great new people too!
Lynne created an absinthe bar for the first event, A Grave Affair. At one time, absinthe was the infamously evil alcohol of fin-de-siècle Paris, beloved of poets, artists and bohemians. Distilled from anise, fennel, wormwood and other botanicals, its unique colour resulted in its nickname, "the green fairy." By World War I, absinthe was banned throughout Europe and the USA as a "dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen" (Wikipedia) although its effects appear to have been greatly exaggerated by the fearful bourgeoisie. However, it does have a high alcohol content, so it should only be taken in moderation.
Serving absinthe requires a fascinating ritual of preparation, which Lynne expertly performed. First, the green absinthe is poured into the bottom of a "reservoir" glass. A special, flat absinthe spoon is then placed to rest horizontally on top of the glass.
A long, rectangular sugar cube is put on top of the spoon. Here's the bowlful of special absinthe sugar cubes that Lynne used --
Then the glass, spoon and sugar cube are placed under one of two long silver spouts on an "absinthe fountain," seen in this next photo. The fountain slowly, oh so slowly, drips ice-cold water onto the sugar cube, dissolving it through the perforations of the spoon into the absinthe below. Adding sugar water in this way to the absinthe both sweetens it a little, taking the edge off its natural bitterness, and dilutes the absinthe, so it's not as potent when the alcohol hits your system.
Here's a photo that My Rare One took of one of the two absinthe fountains at the event. Oh, that eerie glow! I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to drink absinthe prepared in the traditional manner! It's a rare experience and a special treat indeed.
And speaking of treats, the Rockyview Hotel served up a staggering assortment of delicious appetizers, prepared by their charming young Chilean chef who popped out of the kitchen to greet everyone later in the evening. His artistry culminated in this chocolate coffin brownie in blood-red cherry sauce. Mmmmm! It was, of course, to die for!
Thursday's post -- Lost in Transylvania! And here's a little teaser . . . ALL WILL BE REVEALED! So don't miss it!
[Photos #1 and #4 by Insomniac's Attic Facebook, photo #2 from Wikipedia, photos #3, #5 and #6 © My Rare One, October 2017]