A song by Jimi Hendrix, (probably) named for a "legendary" type of marijuana that was only available in the '60s. According to those who've had it, Purple Haze was the original one-hit shit. The formula appears to be lost today, although you can still buy weed called by that name.

I think it's cool that there is a common mythology among pot-smokers about this. Joseph Campbell would have been glad.

It is the late spring of 199X. In a small room on the second floor of a college dormitory proximate to Hollywood and boasting of a picturesque ivy-covered exterior featured in the movie Real Genius and the opening credits of The Facts of Life, four students shall soon conduct an experiment in mixology. Each of them have returned from spring break with some sort of treasure: a bottle of cabernet sauvignon grape juice, a bottle of Stolichnaya Gold Vodka, a pair of shot glasses emblazoned Yellowstone National Park, and a Fender Stratocaster.

tchetcherine sits on his bed, tunelessly noodling on his guitar, until the others are full of anticipation. Is it time? he asks knowingly.

He rises, placing an argyle sock over the tuning pins of the guitar to protect his face from the ends of the strings while he sleeps, and walks to the little fridge. The shot glasses, the grape juice, the vodka are taken from the freezer, and set upon his desk. He turns the vodka bottle several times, explaining I've heard that it is important to make sure that the vodka hasn't separated from the cold. Into the frosted shot glass, he pours an ounce of vodka. Then he carefully pours a thin stream of grape juice down the side of the glass, maybe a half ounce. It pools in the bottom of the glass like some kind of gem.

Ladies first, he offers it to circe. She wrinkles her nose at the alcohol, but is game enough to sip at it. He turns back to the desk to pour another.

The second goes to KJOH. He tastes it, then drinks off the vodka, and finishes the rest. It's its own chaser, he observes.

tchitcherine and I share the second round. Both of us drink it "in two". It is amazing. The vodka on top is tinted with the flavor of the cabernet grape juice. The grape juice itself carries a hint of alcohol but chases the vodka with its sweet thick taste.

An Ouroboros Original
Everything Bartender
purple drinks
vodka drinks

substantially revised May 26, 2003

Not only is Purple Haze™ (for it is a trademark) the name of a particularly fine Jimi Hendrix song and an even-particularly-finer breed of Skunk weed, but the famous line "'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky" was so often misheard (or wilfully misunderstood) by the listening public (myself included), that it was the inspiration behind the rather fabulous website
- devoted to all those song lyrics you misheard on the radio as a youngster and blithely sung in the company of your friends, only for them to dissolve in fits of laughter at your stupidity.

Highly recommended. Thankfully, nobody ever heard me sing

"'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy!"

('cos I sang it in the shower)

Believe it or not, Jimi always claimed that Purple Haze really wasn't about drugs at all. Instead, he said it was his attempt to describe a dream he had had through music. In fact, people that knew him say that he originally wanted the title to be Purple Haze Jesus Saves. How disillusioning.

Purple Haze is a type of beer brewed by Abita, a small brewery in southeastern Louisiana. Purple Haze is an "American style" wheat beer that has raspberries added to it during secondary fermentation, hence the "purple."

It tastes a bit fruity, and somewhat tart (until after you've had more than two or three...), though it is unmistakably beer, in spite of its fruity taste.

Purple Haze, and all other Abita beers, are brewed in Abita Springs, Louisiana, and take their base waters from the natural spring there.

In my opinion, there's nothing special about this stuff. The infusion of raspberries gives it a queer, not quite fruity taste that doesn't exactly leave you wanting more. It has a very bitter aftertaste, more than most unflavoured beers have.

August 23, 1967, Reprise Records released an album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience called Are You Experienced?. The third track on this album (not to be confused with the 1997 reissue) was “Purple Haze”.

Back in the day, "Purple Haze" was LSD, not marijuana. Oh, sure, now we talk about strains of marijuana as "haze", but not in 1967.

Don’t believe me? What if I told you I was actually alive, and living in California then? (Well, I was in the second grade at the time. The closest I ever got to the Summer of Love was going to Fisherman's Wharf in the City with my parents, and tugging on my crew-cut father's sleeve, saying, "Look, Dad, hippies!" But that's probably closer than you, gentle reader.)

Would you believe the White House “Office of National Drug Control Policy”? 1 That's O.K. I wouldn’t believe them either. Would you believe the “What you need to know About ...” website? 2 Hmm. This is the same drug slang database, but with banner ads. How about the DEA? 3 Hey look, the guys at Justice actually cite their source:

Robert O’Brien, et al., The Encyclopedia of Drug Abuse, Second Edition, 1992, Facts on File and Greenspring, Inc., pp. 173, 358.

Betcha didn’t know there was an Encyclopedia, didja? No, I'm not impressed, either.

Would you believe an old High Times article from January 1977, by Bruce Eisner? 4 Eisner purports to have actually interviewed Tim Scully, one of the miscreants involved in creating the stuff. Here’s the scoop: Augustus Owsley Stanley III, began to manufacture LSD in Los Angeles in 1965. It was legal then. According to Eisner, Owsley’s LSD came in 270 microgram tablets of purple (Purple Haze) and white (White Lightning). LSD became illegal in 1966 and Owsley was arrested in 1967.

1“Drug Facts”: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/streetterms/ByType.asp?intTypeID=6.

2 http://parentingteens.about.com/library/fs/blsldiclsd.htm.

3 http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/lsd/lsd-9.htm.

4 http://www.island.org/docs/purity.shtml

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