I hate black licorice. I don't drink pastis or ouzo or sambuca, so why the hell was I standing outside Hangar One-St. George Spirits on a December morning in a thin jacket waiting for them to throw open the doors to Absinthe Verte, the nation's first absinthe? If you had asked me at 10:30, my wind-numbed lips wouldn't have issued anything more intelligent beyond, "...'cuz?" At 12:30, my absinthe-numbed lips told a very different story, "Frabjous! Refulgent! EUDEMONIA!" Quite frankly, if the Jabberwocky had a signature drink, Absinthe Verte would be it.
With the doors set to open at 11:00 on a Friday morning on December 21st, we thought we were playing it safe by arriving in Alameda at 10:30. However, as there were about 160 people in line ahead of us, clearly others were playing it safer. We were in line not even 20 minutes when the line behind us snaked and bulged exponentially. When the doors did finally open at 11:00, the news came out that they were allowing in groups of 10.
St. George Spirits made 3600 bottles and after they distributed to their choice stores and bar and other accounts, they had 1600-ish bottles left to sell to those of us who showed up on this chill December morn. Given that they weren't restricting the amount each customer could carry off, it was going to be tight for some.