This is our first product, the often maligned and mis-represented spirit that traces it’s history back to late 1800s Europe and the Belle Époque (Beautiful Era). Elixir of artists, writers and thinkers of all kinds, Monsieur Jean Vert (Mr. Green Jeans) is a classic absinthe recipe with a big exception: instead of the traditional wine base spirit we use grain–always the beer brewers. We macerate with the holy trinity of absinthe herbs: grande wormwood, green anise & fennel in addition to six other traditional and non-traditional botanicals. After the plants have imparted their flavors the mix is distilled, after which a second maceration is done. We let it age a bit and VOILA! our green fairy is ready to do your bidding.
There are a lot of Absinthe misnomers out there and we collected some of the most prevalent here–we encourage you to check them out. Now that you know what it ISN’T let’s explore what it actually IS. Absinthe is yet another type of higher proof spirit like vodka, gin, whisky and rum. A big difference is while the usual suspects run around 80 proof/40% ABV Absinthe can weigh in at up to 150 proof/75% ABV–almost twice as much alcohol! As a result it’s just not enjoyable straight. All that alcohol will just scorch your palate and rob you of it’s wondrous taste. The traditional way to prepare it is to mix it with ice water, 3-5 parts to 1 part Absinthe. Not only does it mellow out the alcohol but that ice water pulls the plant oils out of solution. As water is added the Absinthe “louches,” that is it transforms from transparent to a milky white as those oils and their flavors are released.
To really observe and appreciate the louche the ice water should be slowly dripped into the Absinthe, don’t just dump the water in. If you have very cold tap water you could set the faucet to a drip and put your glass under it. On the other end of the spectrum there are spectacular (and expensive) fountains available to do the dripping. Inbetween your kitchen faucet and that of a fountain there is also the Brouilleur, Verse-Eau and Brouilleur Coup—much cheaper dripping gadgets.
The effects of Absinthe are also unique. Poets and artists of all sorts have waxed on it’s special qualities for decades. 2-3 drinks is plenty to get the idea of what all the hullabaloo was about. Instead of just the common alcohol buzz, the absinthe imbiber is graced by an additional effect, a sense of heightened awareness or alertness. Relaxed by alcohol while at the same time more awake and observant, you can see why any sort of creative might be interested. But as always, we encourage you to drink responsibly—especially with Absinthe.