Experiments In Drinking: Havel’s Absinth

A pleasant and flavoursome Czech absinthe, ideal for first-timers and connoisseurs alike.

On a recent jaunt to Prague, I was determined to bring back some decent absinthe rather than the radioactive gut rot that seems to be foisted on most unsuspecting tourists. More to the point, I wanted to grab a few bottles of Sebor Absinth, my favourite Czech brand, and one which I suspected would be rather cheaper over there than over here.

Sebor turned out to be somewhat elusive, but instead, I snapped up Havel’s, which – looking exactly like Sebor in colour and bottle shape – seemed a safe bet. And indeed, upon examination of the bottle, I discovered that it was, in fact, manufactured by the same people. So what’s the difference? Well, an extra 5% in strength, if that really matters, and possibly a slightly more aniseedy taste – though not having any of the good stuff left at home makes comparison difficult.

Otherwise, you can safely assume that everything I’ve said about Sebor applies here too. It certainly seems to do the job: a planned night out was effectively scuppered by two shots which immediately put myself and young chum Lucy in the mood to watch rubbish music videos and talk endlessly, and certainly resulted in that unique ‘out-of-body’ sensation that only top rate absinthe has. What’s more, a full night of consumption didn’t result in a hangover of any sort.

Seemingly unavailable outside the Czech Republic, Havel’s is worth (excuse the pun) checking out if you have the chance.


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