Absinthe Anyone?

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CookieMonster84
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/06 14:44:46 (permalink)
I read the NYTimes article about Absinthe making a comeback in the US, but I think it is going to be without wormwood - which was the stuff that made people loopy...so not as fun, but another drink option at the bar...
#31
JakerDog
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/07 09:01:29 (permalink)
I've chased the Gree Fairly, and while waiting for the weirdness to start, I noticed I was really drunk on the alcohol content. The US stuff now available does not have the WormWood but the % of alcohol is through the roof. It still fun for the paraphnallia(sp?), the spoon, sugar, fire...adds to the mystry of it all.
#32
BelleReve
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/07 12:54:38 (permalink)
Supposedly Van Gogh had been drinking large quantities of absinthe when he cut off his ear - just a little absinthe trivia.

The new, legal absinthe is called Lucid, developed by a guy named Ted Breaux originally from NOLA. At $60 a bottle it's a little steep, but figure it won't be long before some of the restaurants and bars start serving absinthe frappes, then I'll try it.
#33
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/07 13:09:02 (permalink)
Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

Of course, that should be, Absinthe makes the heart grow more fond.
#34
rebeltruce
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/07 13:22:01 (permalink)
I've had Absinthe the traditional way quite a bit, sugar cube, water.

The best way I've had Absinthe (or at least I was told it was Absinthe) was in a mixed drink served in the bars of BC Street, Okinawa called Purple Haze.

The Marine Corp told the young Marines such as myself not to drink the stuff.....of course none of us listened.

To the best of my knowledge/memory there were three versions. Purple Haze #1 (no Absinthe in this one, just Gin, 7up, and something to make it purple). Purple Haze #2 (Gin, 7up, purple stuff and one shot of Absinthe)....and the strongest Purple Haze #3 (Gin, 7up, purple stuff and a double shot of Absinthe) All three were served over ice in a tall glass, I believe the glass was called a Collin's glass.

Drink 3 or 4 Purple Haze #3, and you were on your way to an extended visit with the Green Fairy!
#35
BT
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 03:09:57 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by rebeltruce
the bars of BC Street, Okinawa


BC Street still exists???? OMG!
#36
BT
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 03:13:55 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by CookieMonster84

I read the NYTimes article about Absinthe making a comeback in the US, but I think it is going to be without wormwood - which was the stuff that made people loopy...so not as fun, but another drink option at the bar...


Since you evidently didn't bother to read the article I posted above, I'll make it clearer: The only legally approved brand of Absinthe in the US is St. George's (picture posted above) and it DOES have wormwood. To quote: "The brewer-turned-distiller liked the challenge of blending his grape-based brandy with locally grown herbs like wormwood, absinthe's most important - and controversial - ingredient, plus tarragon, basil and mint. "
#37
JakerDog
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 17:51:37 (permalink)
According to the NY Times, Absinthe is legal once again, but it is still not allowed to have the wormwood. Now perhaps they are talking about imports v. nationally distilled, or perhaps there is a % per some volume but the article was clear. In fact it did mention a few names but all were imported.
#38
JakerDog
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 18:03:33 (permalink)
Here the info, basically, yeah, a brand can say wormwood but the psycho. effecting drug has been removed. Read below:

There is a chemical in traditional absinthe called Thujone, this chemical is banned in food products by the FDA. This one chemical is what makes absinthe illegal to sell. Generally Thujone comes from an herb called wormwood that is used in the production process of absinthe.

Companies and the liquor industry have found that by filtering out this chemical they can legally sell their brand of absinthe in the USA.

Seeing dollar signs many distillers and companies are now on a public relations campaign to downplay the role of Thujone and gain acceptance of this form absinthe by the American public. Many are writing articles or launching sites that promote this new view of absinthe in an effort to gain acceptance. Some make statements such as that of Lucid one of the leading brands to enter the us market states "Prohibition is finally over" giving consumers the perception that laws have changed. They are eager to promote the fact they use Grand Wormwood but downplay the removal of Thujone. It all makes for good marketing and others like Kubler and Absinte seem to be following.

Others are even trying to state that their absinthe may contain Thujone or subvertly imply this. The truth is that any absinthe sold in the USA will be determined by the FDA to be "Thujone Free" but some distillers are noting that the test used by the FDA for detecting Thujone has some level of error, or tolerance, some have put it at 10ppm Thujone but my understanding of this is there is no defined level and the test by the FDA is subject to subjective influences such as the use of the sense of sight and smell to detect Thujone.

In the end whatever absinthe you find on the shelf will be "Thujone Free" according to the FDA

#39
JakerDog
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 18:07:00 (permalink)
Here is verification from Time magazine online.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1689232,00.html

#40
CajunKing
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 18:55:03 (permalink)
In 2004 I was treated to a night out while visiting some friends in Paris. Marcelle took us to a little place on Rue La Fontaine.

The bar was in the basement, and had that old world feel as you walked into it. Dark, a little dank, but AWESOME ambiance.

The speciality of the house a true verte style absinthe, aged over 130 years.
(You had to be in the know to order it, and the bar owner had to know you)

The verte louche (green milkiness/cloudiness) was mesmerizing, the thrill of sampling something that old and that rare got my heart beating evening before drinking it.

Marcelle was the first to be served, then myself, then my wife.

Watching Marcelle go through the rituals of placing the sterling silver spoon atop the glass, lighting the sugar cube on fire, letting it melt into the glass below, then slowly adding a few drops of ice cold spring water.

I was like a child at Christmas, I could not wait for my turn.

Finally, I was walked through the rituals watched my glass of absinthe change into this wonderfully strong, deeply scented elixor....

Ahhhhhhhh Heavenly.

I do not remember the rest of the night, the next morning I was still a haze, my wife slept until 4 pm.
Marcelle our gracious host made sure we made it back to our hotel room.

NOW THE REST OF THE STORY...

Marcelle explained that the absinthe we experienced the night before, was technically illegal, and the cost for the 3 drinks totaled $330 Euro ($495 US at the time)

I think I am glad I don't remember paying that bill.
#41
Greyghost
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 19:20:12 (permalink)
CK,

What an awesome experience! I am green with envy. I am sure you trusted your source, but I am confused as all reports I have seen talk about very old Absinthe turning amber in color over time. Did your hosts have any explanation about this?
#42
JakerDog
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 19:39:29 (permalink)
Hey CK -

Great post, I was laughing for awile, reminds me of a story.........
#43
BT
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/08 20:59:28 (permalink)
Dear Jakerdog:

You and Time Magazine got it close but not exactly. One more time--another exerpt from the article I posted way back toward the beginning of the thread that no one seems to want to read:
quote:
Earlier this year, a lone Washington, D.C., lawyer took on the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in an attempt to lift the ban. After some legal wrangling, the agency agreed - with some limits.
Last week, St. George Spirits of Alameda received the news that, after seven applications, the federal agency had approved its label, the final obstacle before going to market. On Monday, the small artisan distillery sold its token first bottle, becoming the only American company since 1912 to sell absinthe in the United States . . . . St. George will compete with three other absinthe distillers - the Swiss Kubler, French Lucid and the Brazilian Absinto Camargo. All have begun importing the licorice-flavored spirit into the United States in recent months. It was the Kubler distillery that hired attorney Robert Lehrman to end the prohibition, while Lucid was the brainchild of Ted Breaux, a New Orleans chemist who reverse-engineered an old bottle of absinthe to devise his formula. He worked with a French distillery to reproduce it. All have paved the way for U.S. distillers to sell their own perfected versions of the drink, which are likely to hit the shelves soon.
Lehrman said Yves Kubler, who produces a few hundred thousand bottles of absinthe a year, saw a real market for the spirit here and was eager to tap into it. So in 2000, Lehrman started making inquiries of federal regulators only to determine that the fight would be a tough one.
"When something has been banned since 1912, it's hard to get it undone," he said.
But Lehrman persevered. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau officials said they were willing to accept absinthe formulas that fall under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations that the drink contain no more than 10 parts per million of the chemical thujone, but the word absinthe on the bottle's label had to be small and used with a qualifier like St. George's Verte or Kubler's Swiss Absinthe Superieure.
Lehrman said thujone in mass quantities "is bad stuff," but small amounts are found in a number of herbs, ingredients and materials, including sage and cedar, and are considered fairly harmless. More notable is absinthe's high alcohol content, typically 120 proof or more, about 50 percent higher than vodka and whiskey.


So, Time is wrong that there are only 2 imported brands--there are 3. They are also wrong that there is no domestic brand. There is one. And finally, everyone who says it has no wormwood or thujone is wrong--it can have all the wormwood the distiller wants and up to 10 PPM thujone.
#44
JakerDog
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/09 14:01:55 (permalink)
BT,

In your arrogance you have been blinded to the point, which is clearly written in the portion of the article you posted. Today's Absinthe is allowed up to 10 ppm of Thujone, whereas the old versions of the drink had double, triple, or more that amount. So OK it has some, but it in no way compares to what Absinthe used to be therefore it can not be advertised as such. It's more of a flavored drink now, still cool for the experiance but far from the stuff I brought from Prague.

So before you represent yourself as more informed then NY Times and Time magazine I'd suggest doing a bit more research and looking at various sources for information. There are some great Web Sites, of couse not all are up to date, but lots of information about the history of Absinthe and the current state of its acceptance, enjoy the reading. It seems to me BT is looking for more of an argument then a discussion, but open forums have to entertain the fools along with those interested in topics and open to learning a few new things.

Beside why such an attitude, do you own the distillery or have stock in St. George....holiday's getting to you, whats up...chill have some nog. Happy Holidays!
#45
Robearjr
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/09 18:37:19 (permalink)
Well, I'm hoping there is a presidential candidate out there who will legalize Thujone.
#46
JakerDog
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/09 20:34:15 (permalink)
That is a platform I would certainly support. It would be one hell of a weird convention, but I'm in.
#47
CajunKing
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/10 16:59:58 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Greyghost

CK,

What an awesome experience! I am green with envy. I am sure you trusted your source, but I am confused as all reports I have seen talk about very old Absinthe turning amber in color over time. Did your hosts have any explanation about this?


Greyghost

It was not the NEON green that the new stuff looks like

It was a pale greenish/yellowish

I guess my description could have been more defining the greenish color

Sorry for the cornfusion

#48
EliseT
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/14 07:14:06 (permalink)
The full story - Leduc has been quoted!

http://laist.com/2007/12/13/absinthe.php

Make sure to read the comments from Hiram, an authentic absinthe distiller - Brazilian Absinto Camargo and Green Moon do not use Grand Wormwood (absinthium wormwood). There is more than one kind of wormwood, some of which do not contain thujone at all.

Re: Sazerac, when the manager at BevMo finally found the case of the real stuff in back, the guy next to me bought some for making sazerac "the way napoleon drank them"

Jakerdog: According to The Wormwood society, old vintages of absinthe were tested and fell within the legal limits set by The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau - 10 parts per million of the chemical thujone. In the US, unless you are drinking Kübler, Lucid or St.George it is definitely not the real thing, and still perhaps not the same quality as you can find in Prague.




#49
rebeltruce
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/14 08:28:26 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

quote:
Originally posted by rebeltruce
the bars of BC Street, Okinawa


BC Street still exists???? OMG!


It was still there 24 years ago when I did my time on the Rock.
#50
Neesie
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2007/12/14 15:56:02 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by EliseT

I have a bottle in my cpboard - come on over!

Absinthe with wormwood is commonly banned in most places. Czechoslovakia is the cheapest, most common exporter. You have to check for wormwood or it will not get the slightly hallucinogenic/opiate effect.

You are supposed to dilute it with water. There is an elaborate ritual where you put a sugar cube on a small slotted spoon over the glass, and slowly pour the water over the sugar cube. As this sweet liquid hits the absinthe, it creates a wispy, lighter color in the center, the famous "green fairy".

I would say Good n Plenty mixed with grain alcohol is a better description than most. At my New Years party we got slightly more drunk and fuzzy, but one person did go naked in the Moonbouncer around 4am.




Elise, you got it right. Even the spoon is special. The stuff they pour in New Orleans is a knock-off. I have never tried it myself (haven't travelled internationally) but was curious about it and found a webiste where there are people that are absolutely devoted to it. They described the sugar, the spoon, etc. What a freaky drink!
#51
magcentric
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/02/16 08:03:18 (permalink)
Here's a link to a website that sells absinthe: www.absinthe.de
I ordered from them and they were very helpful - great customer service!
#52
Sandy Thruthegarden
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/02/16 10:21:09 (permalink)
gee, I don't think I could stand this much joy:

http://jssgallery.org/other_artists/Degas/Absinthe_Drinker.htm


Pastis (Pernod) over ice with water on a warm evening, however, is delightful. Sipped slowly, it has a Xanax-like effect...great muscle relaxer.
#53
Kenny da Fat Man
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/02/17 21:42:19 (permalink)
I think it's more mistique than anything. I drank it overseas years ago and have drunk the newly legalized stuff here. To me it taste like cough medicine (especially after being diluted with ice water over a sugar cube). Also, it gave me the same buzz as any booze. I didn't see Satan.

I'll stick with Maker's Mark.
#54
Lwilliams
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/05/15 13:17:03 (permalink)
..... interesting that we're talking about absinthe because i was wondering around google the other day and came across this website about it .... you should check it out .... Les ......[url='http://greendevil.com/']absinthe[/url]
#55
Jennie
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/07/30 21:03:28 (permalink)
About a dozen years ago, I was at a medieval camping convention in western PA, at a party hosted and attended by brewers. These folks (my hubby included) made beer, mead, wine, cordial, and some sneaky distillates. We had a general tasting, passing various things around. Because it was nighttime, and there was no daylight to observe through a clear glass, the vessel passed was a white bowl. It was a very odd-seeming ritual, but these folks were master brewers, so we didn't question. One of the things that came by in the bowl was 100-year-old scotch. Another time, homemade absinthe. Now, I didn't have very much absinthe, and couldn't tell you what it tasted like. But the next morning . . . Well, let's just say I was more than a little delicate.

I probably won't sample any of the new stuff. Besides, I can't stand anisets. Never liked the black jellybeans, either.
#56
Optimus
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/07/31 17:59:40 (permalink)
My friend brought back a bottle from his trip to Europe. I tried some of it but it came back out almost as fast as it went in. Later i found out how it needs to be prepared a certain way before drinking. So im still searching for a way to try it the correct way.
#57
Capybara91
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/09/01 23:21:06 (permalink)
I had Absinthe at Coppola's restaurant in San Francisco a year ago. It was $10.50 for a snifter. I was expecting a heavy anise taste, which I don't like, but it was mellow, perhaps because of the sugar. I caught a pleasant but not overpowering buzz. It's curious that not more restaurants are selling it.
#58
brittneal
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RE: Absinthe Anyone? 2008/09/12 00:08:28 (permalink)
I had it a few times while over seas. The first we were taking a 2 week vaction in Majorca. the sold it one of the swank euro type disco(all kinds of petty and nobility and playboys were there, but it was damb expensive for a drink. We got a decent bottle of champange for about a 125 bux and nursed it all nite! We bumped into these rich folks that had aa thing for us yank soldiers and they boought drinks the rst of the nite including real absynthe.
I had it again in munich during a xmas visit to relatives ove xmas of 76(it was great-we even went to Innsbroc for the olympics!) my uncle was a snooty coniuser and broke out a 100+ year old bottle of absynthe and went thru the the preperation ritual like a japanese geisha doing a tea ceromony! I had 2 glasses and along w/ the champange(boy did je love that stuff-he had his special stcok of liquor given to the bigwigs at BMW-he was the head designer of racing engines) Anyway the buzz was just a meelow booze high. No psycho/head trip. I knew my way around the business end of a refer in those days. I also drank Ouzo and pernoid a few times ant it seemed no different down to the tast!
I just cany see the fuss except for bragging rites!
britt
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