Sunday, December 31, 2006

MacGyver's Homemade Dripper?

Ever find yourself with the good stuff but no appropriate watering rig? I got dripping in a few minutes using this setup...

Here it is set up and dripping. The drip is hidden in the inverted, chopped cup with the yellow stripe.

The key is the intersecting conical sections-- the yogurt containers act as dripping reservoir (purple stripe), a stand (yellow stripe), and a spoon for the sugar (lid). Most glass-top drippers do not have a place for the sugar.
Parts in top-to-bottom order-- reservoir/dripper, stand, sugar, lid, wire, glass.
Yes, this is "ghetto."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Burning absinthe in Paris

It doesn't appear to be a crime, sadly. Scott Joseph, restaurant critic for the Orlando Sentinel, compares the Absinthe Bistro in Orlando to L'Absinthe Cafe in Paris:

He brought to the table a glass, a carafe containing the liquor, a special silver-plated spoon, a sugar cube and a device called an absinthe fountain. He rested the spoon, which is flat and slotted and resembles a cake cutter, over the lip of the glass and put the sugar cube on the spoon. Then he poured the absinthe from the carafe over the sugar cube and into the glass. Then he set the sugar cube on fire, the blue flames licking into the glass.

The fire part of the ceremony, it should be noted, is more theatrics than necessary. In fact, aficionados say setting the sugar cube on fire ruins the flavor. But I was in no position to argue with the man.

Interesting to see how the "ritual" has been bastardized by Czechsinth.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nepenthes Press absinthe series

Two beautiful short volumes lovingly produced by hand by book artist Michael Waltz offered for sale at The Virtual Absinthe Museum:

Ernest Tisserand's 1922 "Éloge de la très précieuse liqueur d’Absinthe", or "Eulogy of the very precious liqueur absinthe", a slim, 8-page volume produced in a series of 100 numbered and signed copies:
a wonderfully elegiac memoir of the absinthe era that contains one of the very few contemporary references to the use of an absinthe fountain, and the first reference to home-distilled absinthe in the post-ban period. This is the first published English translation.
Also produced in a signed, numbered series of 100 copies "La Fée Verte - Poetry of Madness":
La Fée Verte - Poetry of Madness is the first of a series from the Nepenthes Press showcasing unpublished or hard-to-find literature from the absinthe era. This first volume features absinthe-related poetry by Verlaine, Rimbaud, Charles Cross, Raoul Ponchon, Gustave Kahn, Victor Hugo and August Strindberg (all in English translation), together with poetry by Marie Corelli, Ernest Dowson and Glen MacDonough.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Absinthe blogging for 1 year... that went fast! Goals for the blog for the coming year:

* Visit local distilleries and interview stillmasters: Distillery 209 (San Francisco Pier 50), Anchor (San Francisco), St. George Spirits (Alameda), Domaine Charbay (St. Helena), Essential Spirits (Mountain View), Sweetwater Distillers (Petaluma), Sarticious Spirits (Santa Cruz)...

* Visit other foreign and domestic distilleries: Pontarlier, Saumur, quelles autres? Liqueurs de France has assembled a great list of distilleries.

* Interview local herb cultivators (not of the Mendocino variety)

* Build an interactive "history of..." timeline.

* Get this thing off Blogger.

* MUST attend 2007 Absinthiades.
* AND/OR attend the 2007 Fete d'Absinthe in Boveresse.

Artemis reviews 1914 Pernod Fils

Fantastic review by Artemis of a taste of "the cache" of 76 bottles of 1914 Pernod Fils absinthe recovered "from the cellar of a descendant of a once substantial liquor distributor."

The cache appears to be depleted at this point [sniffle], but the glowing review leads one to wonder about so many points of technique... the coloring is pale-- are modern "correct" absinthes too colored/seasoned? So many questions, and a thrill to read.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ted Breaux ~ Restaurant Guys interview (Aug. 2)

This interview with Ted Breaux is posted at The Restaurant Guys, via the Fee Verte Forums.

Interesting mention of Tuthilltown Spirits distillery producing a cider vodka. Is that a Bavarian-Holstein still?

Update: Nope, the still is by Christian Carl.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

a fountain...

...can be a slippery slope on a sunny afternoon with not much to do... a lovely, inviting, soft green slope...

Monday, November 27, 2006

The newest Jade: "PF 1901"

The target was matching pre-ban, pre-fire Pernod Fils absinthe, and I'm predisposed to believe Ted Breaux's superlative claims:

Those who have been fortunate enough to have been able to taste these and have also tasted the pre-release Jade PF 1901, are unanimous in their remarks as to the striking similarities between the vintage bottles and the Jade clone.

Please: don't order any (before I do)...

2006 Absinthiades results

Just found these posted at

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Sazerac Cocktail History at the What's Cooking America makes little notice of the absinthe, discussing the history involving Peychaud. As I read it, "patent medicine" usually involved some drug (opioid, coca extract) we can't accurately replicate:

The Sazerac cocktail is to New Orleans what the margarita is to the southwest. It is reported to be the first cocktail every invented (at least in the United States). Antoine Amadie Peychaud, a Creole apothecary, is given the credit for first inventing the Sazerac cocktail in the 1830s. In 1795, he immigrated to New Orleans from the West Indies and opened a drugstore called Pharmacie Peychaud. Like many "chemists" of his day, he sold his own patent medicine; Peychaud's Bitters, a proprietary mix of aromatic bitters said to relive his clients' ailments. His medical toddy soon became very popular and friends gathered regularly to sample his late-night drinks.
Also see Liqueurs de France's note on the Sazerac, specifically the "Cognac Sazerac-de-Forge."


I still can't find my old spoon from Lucullus (many, many thanks to Mr. Moody), but this one from is lovely-- the photo doesn't do it justice...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Picasso's "Absinthe Drinker" (1903)

A.k.a. “Portrait of Angel Fernández de Soto”-- sounds like Christie's can sell it. From The New York Times:

A federal judge refused yesterday to bar Christie’s in New York from auctioning a painting by Picasso that a German banker’s heir says was sold under duress in Nazi Germany.
Hmmm... would nullifying that pre-war sale be a precedent for judging other dubious sales throughout history? What about treaties?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pontarlier Absinthiades 2006

Edouard Pernod
Coverage of the "Absinthiades" in Pontarlier
-- absinthe paraphernalia meet up in Pontarlier, Switzerland and the absinthe blog where it was posted-- "The Wheat of Virgin Spaces," the Oxygenee blog.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Little city garden

Repotted, everything seems happy and healthy, waiting for a nice corner planter. With a windbreak on the balcony, I wonder what I could put out there that would do well in the cold.

2x wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Hyssop "Tutti Frutti" (???, Agasache cana?)
English Wedgewood thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) (not doing well),
Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Absinthism" debunked

From an Italian addiction blog comes news of a study finding no detremental health effects from absinthe drinking other than those encountered in common alcoholism. The study will be published in Bio Med Central and was led by Stephan A Padosch (Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg), Dirk W Lachenmeier (Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt CVUA Karlsruhe) and Lars U Kroener (Institut für Rechtsmedizin der Universität zu Köln). Say that ten times fast.

From the blog (not the report):

Based on the current available evidence, thujone concentrations of both pre-ban and modern absinthes may not have been able to cause detrimental health effects other than those encountered in common alcoholism.

Today, a questionable tendency of absinthe manufacturers can be ascertained that use the ancient theories of absinthism as a targeted marketing strategy to bring absinthe into the spheres of a legal drug-of-abuse. Misleading advertisements of aphrodisiac or psychotropic effects of absinthe try to re-establish absinthes former reputation.

Friday, October 06, 2006


In New Orleans recently, I wandered into a bar next to the cathedral, attracted by the large "WE HAVE ABSINTHE!" sign. When I asked what they had, I was poured a glass of Absente (ouch) in which a spoon was dipped and lit (double ouch) as I wheezed "wait". No point making a stink, and it was a delicious enough pastis, but I couldn't leave without explaing to the (very uninterested) bartender that it wasn't, in fact, absinthe.

Seems like folks get suckered a lot by "people in the know" who stand to gain from either deception or ignorance. It was interesting to read an article this morning about a bar in Orlando which appears as well to serve Absente as "absinthe," sans qualifiers or shame.

Appropriate (and timely) to see the new Absinthe Suckers tribe started by Alan.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Things called "absinthe"...

L'absinthe restaurant in New York,

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco,

Absinthe Bar in Amsterdam,

Absinthe Cafe Resto Bar in Ottowa, Canada,

Absinthe Films "Full Spectrum Snowboarding"

Absinthe show at the Spiegeltent

Absinthe Motor Yacht

Monday, October 02, 2006

Marilyn Manson Absinthe

It was only a matter of time-- Manson revealed in a Rolling Stone interview (covered here) that "We hope to have it out in time for parents to give it to their children for Christmas."

(RS 9/22/04 interview)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Louched Lounge

Louched Lounge contain some interesting info... new to me, but pretty very trashy.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cocktail recipes at Liqueurs de France

Absinthe cocktail recipes at Liqueurs de France includes absinthe drip (traditional), panachée, sazerac (first cocktail ever?), and of course the absinthe frappé.

Friday, August 25, 2006

IWSC 2006 winners for absinthe

Winners were announced July 20 for the 2006 International Wine and Spirit (IWS) Competition:

Tasting Category Country Award Winning Spirit Producer
Absinthe 55% France Silver (best in class) Doubs Premium Absinthe TNB (Pty) Ltd
Absinthe 60% France Silver (best in class) Amer aux plantes d'Absinthe Combier Combier
Absinthe 68% France Silver (best in class) Absinthe Nouvelle-Orleans 68% Jade Liqueurs
Absinthe 72% Switzerland Gold (best in class) Absinthe Duplais Matter-Luginbühl
France Silver Absinthe Edouard 72% Jade Liqueurs

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

About Absinthe in New Orleans

Old Absinthe House, New Orleans, LA

Gumbopages article about the history of absinthe in New Orleans, linking to the "Good to the Last Drip" cover story article (12/17/02) in the Gambit Weekly.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Gotta get me one/some...

Oxygenee's "The Absinthe Spoon" (or is it "Absinthe Frenchman Spoon"?!) has "Classic" and "Fée Verte" models, €150 (~$192) each: has a slightly different "classic" model for £99.95 (~$188):

La Maison d'Absinthe in New Orleans has the "Lady" and "#2" models for $160 (2-spigot) and $225 (4-spigot).

Everything Absinthe (eBay store) has a few "lady" and "classic" fountains for $145-$175.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

French sites

L'Heure Verte
is a good starting point... need to brush up on le Francais...

Vert d'Absinthe

Lovely shop
in Paris has a (2nd edition) copy of Marie-Claude Delahaye's "L'Absinthe : Histoire de la Fée verte".

Friday, August 11, 2006

Absinthe: The Circus?

What next-- a breakfast cereal?!

"Absinthe" at Spiegeltent (NYC)
: "Imagine Cirque du Soleil as channeled through “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and painted by George Gros."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A case of Edouard

Sweet party last night at Brickyard in Boston-- all of Ted Breaux' varieties, and a few others. To get enough, employees ordered max qty for weeks... and there's lots left. They're going to win awards for work they do on the 'sinthe; not sure if they understand that... First class party with glasses, spoons, and even two fountains. The Edouard clearly contains Artemisia pontica in the seasoning herbs-- damn that Ted Breaux!

MANY thanks to the hosts for their warm hospitality!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Times-Picayune Article

New Orleans Times-Picayune: "ABSINTHE MINDED" (July 21, 2006): some background before Ted Breaux' discussion and tasting in the Tales of the Cocktail festival.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bavarian-Holstein Partners

Bavarian Breweries & Distilleries
fabricates lovely units from this 25l alembic tester to large, industrial plants.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006