Interesting, if somewhat misleading, article in the San Diego Citybeat, an alternative entertainment weekly there. It describes the author's first meeting with the "Green Goddess". A little bit over the top and wrong in many ways. Hey, let's count them!
- It is actually not barred in many other countries. Right now, the US is about the only place around that makes it entirely illegal.
- A real absinthe is not, in fact, bitter. It has plenty of other tastes, but we here at InAbsinthia have never understood the desire to describe it as "bitter"
- The chemical name for "wormwood" isn't "thujone". Thujune is merely a chemical released when you use wormwood.
- He describes its "acrid" taste. Poor fellow. Given the link he produces at the bottom, he must have had the bad fortune of actually thinking that Czech swill is absinthe. No wonder he's complaining about the taste!
He does give a nice thumbnail sketch of absinthe's lurid history. We also had never heard the story of Roman chariot riders drinking absinthe to "remind them that every victory is mingled with bitterness". And he does drink it in the correct fashion; I thought sure I was going to read about flames and all. So, all in all, we've read much worse.San Diego CityBEAT - SORDID TALES by Edwin Decker
This is where you wish you had been - in Pontarlier at the 2006 Absinthiades. We wish we were there too. There still might be time to arrange a trip to the 2007 ones!
Note: Thanks to a note from Alan, we've been corrected and while the photos are from the 2006 Absinthiades, the link is for the June Fête de l'Absinthe à Boveresse, a completely different event. Okay, we'll sign up for both!Flickr: Louisa Chu's photos tagged with pontarlier
Thanks to Salsa's Absinthe Blargh for the Flickr link.
Someone recently asked us about buying absinthe from a European dealer and having it shipped to the US. We think the answer might interest more folks, so we'll post it here. Mind you, this is just for the United States and reflects our success here at getting absinthe. We have been successful all five times we have ordered so far, but as they say about the stock market, past success is no guarantee of future results. But it comes in a discreet box and shouldn't raise any interest in the post office. And the recommended vendors all guarantee delivery, so it's a no loss situation.
Basically, getting shipments through Customs works out as a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of policy. I believe that, in general, it is not legal to ship liquor by mail in the US anyway, but I could be wrong about that. There are no special taxes, thankfully. That is what trips up shipments to Canada, as they often investigate packages for tax purposes and end up confiscating the bottles (although, ironically enough, absinthe is actually completely legal there!). So order from a reputable dealer (see the links on the *right* of our site - the links on the left are from Google and are often shady at best). And check out the vendor list found on the Wormwood Society page here:Wormwood Society Absinthe Vendors List
Our tastings the other evening included a blanche and a verte, both from the Jade Liqueurs line. We have had the two (Blanchette and the Nouvelle-Orleans) before, and were anxious to try them again. In fact, the Blanchette is now nearly finished, which would make it the first bottle to be poured to the last drop.
First up was the Blanchette. A clear, Suisse-style, absinthe, it has a very strong nose, typical of the style. Some have seen a yellowish tinge to the liquor, but ours is a perfectly clear, lovely color. The anise fragrance becomes even stronger as you add water. As has become usual for us when drinking a blanche, we did not add sugar, rather just gently let the water drip into the glass, where it louched up very nicely. The swirling, oily mix gradually became cloudier, leaving us with a very nice milky white glassful. The taste proves to be equally large, almost too much really. We find the Ptite to be a more compelling blanche in the end, but the Blanchette is still a very nice absinthe.
We followed it up with a true king among absinthes, Nouvelle-Orleans. It was the first absinthe we had ever tried and it still remains a true favorite. The color is a wonderfully muted green, looking natural and inviting. The casual drip of water through the sugar cube makes for a glorious louche, as it slowly builds up and the aroma wafts about you. Tasting it reminds us of warm spring days in the French mountains, full of interesting herbs and spices, yet not overpowering or unfocused. Each sip brings another fresh taste of something new, with a nice sparkle on the tongue. A truly remarkable absinthe.
So our original impressions remain intact. The Blanchette is a bit crass, yet its unique formula bring a welcome change to the table. But the NO, as it is called, puts its own special imperial stamp on psyche, remaining a true favorite.
- The Duplais Series is terminated. There won't be any new products. We will continue producing all three sorts.
- The new series is going to be the consequent successor. I can tell you more in about 2 weeks.
- The label - oh, I can't tell you that at the moment, but it makes me smile each time I think about it. I can tell you more in about 2 weeks.
- The Prototype 31 Blanche (nearly gone), is ment to be a kind of educational thing. It shows what aging does and side by side with the (soon to come) Prototype 31 Verte, what colouring does. It's primarily not done for the colour, but to completely change the overall character of the Blanche. However the coloring has to fit to the herbal mixture of the Blanche.
- The nutty taste a few of you described may originate from the Marc de Dole we were using. We have to wait and see, how this developes and maybe lessen it a bit.
- The samples of the Verte I sent very few of you, are from our very first 'experiment' - we changed this and that already.
- The final product will be aged a bit. We're actually distilling it this week and going to offer it in about 6 weeks. It will be much more complex - or demanding as the Duplais Verte. Maybe not so much everybody's darling, more something for connoisseurs. Hope you like it!
And yes, I'm sure we'll like it!
Playing "Spot the Absinthe" while at the movies is a fun thing to do. You can find entire threads on the various absinthe forums doing just that. One of the most famous movies to feature absinthe is Moulin Rouge!. Admittedly, one of the first views is not a very good one, as they are doing the completely wrong thing by flaming the absinthe; completely unauthentic. But after that, you can find glasses full of the pale emerald liquid decorating nearly every set. Other videos flavored with strong absinthe touches include the HBO miniseries Carnivale and, in another depressing display of flaming absinthe, From Hell.
But here you can purchase some of the earliest pictures of absinthe in film. Oxygénée brings four films, dating from 1899-1913, on a single DVD. These look like fascinating viewing, and we hope to get a copy here at InAbsinthia soon.Absinthe Movies at The Virtual Absinthe Museum
The 5th Tales of the Cocktail conference in coming up in New Olreans. This year, it is from July 18-22 and promises to be another fun-filled, bar-hopping, cocktail-drinking, good time. See New Orleans and hear talks by legends in the drink-mixing game like David Wondrich, Ted Haigh ("Dr. Cocktail") and Jennifer English. Get your tickets early for Ted Breaux's absinthe talk, as it sold out quickly last year.
Tales of the Cocktail 2007
Our first tasting of the latest LdF shipment was a resounding success. Each of the three absinthes we tried exhibited remarkable character, as well as showing off what a wide range of taste sensations absinthe can bring you. From verte to blanche, these absinthes were winners!
First up was the Montmartre. Some of us had sampled this one before, while it was a first tasting for others. It is certainly a very spicy absinthe, with the most vigorous palate of all the absinthes we've tried here. The louche was very nice and finished up in a smooth, green color. Full of scents and tastes, including an almost cinnamon-like "sting" to the tongue, Montmartre should prove to be a long time favorite here at InAbsinthia. It's unique spicy character will be too much for some, though.
Next we went with the Eichelberger. Perhaps because it followed the Montmartre, the "Ike" seemed a little quiet, not really showing much to either the nose or the tongue. Louching was nice, although in keeping with its quiet nature, the color was a bit faded. Nice on the tongue, but a little weak tasting. Not a very special absinthe, but a very nice one nonetheless.
And we finished the evening with La Ptite, the first genuine Swiss La Bleu poured here. We have had the Blanchette, which is a Jade blanche. Both of these clear absinthes have a very strong anise (licorice) flavor to them, but the La Ptite tasted much more sophisticated than the Blanchette. A truly beautiful louche ended in a very pretty, opal, milky glassful. In the mouth, the "milky" comparison continued, with a creamy, almost oily (in a good way) feel. A very thick tasting absinthe, one with real body and character. A truly special absinthe, and one that will drive us to continue our Swiss La Bleu explorations!
All in all, a very successful tasting. Each of the three brought something special to the tongue, with the Montmartre standing out for its spiciness and the La Ptite bring us Swiss La Bleu excellence. The Eichelberger has its own niche, as a very good "value" absinthe with a pleasant taste.
Some pretty cool absinthe tchotchkes you can buy, courtesy of The Wormwood Society. From t-shirts to coffee mugs, from thongs to baby bibs, you can proclaim your love of all things absinthe, as well as publicize the wonderful folks of the Wormwood Society. We particularly like the "Friends don't let friends burn absinthe" designs.
The Wormwood Society : CafePress.com
Lion Absinthe Distribution announces Helfrich Verte, the first genuine absinthe to be manufactured in The Netherlands. Helfrich says:
The rich scent, full taste and spring green color can be carried back to the use of carefully selected herbs. These herbs have first been macerated in a high quality base alcohol such as has been applied in the Dutch liquor tradition for centuries. The macerate is being distilled, so that unpleasantly bitter and harsh compounds remain in the still while the desired aroma's find their way into the distillate of Helfrich absinthe.Absinthvertrieb Lion - Helfrich Verte