Friday, October 28, 2005
Absinthe - Cracking The Mystery of the Green Menace
On the outside, EASI is classic New Orleans: red brick, white pillars. But inside it's more like a set from War Games: dot matrix printers, ancient PCs, and nine Hewlett-Packard gas chromatography-mass spectrometer machines attached to large blue tanks of helium and hydrogen. This is where Breaux does his lab work, testing water samples for pollution and pesticides. In his downtime, he studies absinthe here.
Using the GCMS apparatus, he's able to break the liqueur down into its component molecules. "It's like forensics," Breaux says, gesturing toward the machines. "Give me one microliter of absinthe and I know exactly what it's going to taste like."