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Archive through April 17, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru April 2002 » Archive Thru April 2002 » TV documentary » Archive through April 17, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Artemis
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 3:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Lighten up, Artemis. We were not all born knowing everything like you."

When I treat you lightly, you insult me; when I treat you badly, you insult me; when I ignore you, you insult me. Not only where you not born knowing everything; you refuse to learn anything.

I'll quote you again:

"What I would love to see is for an experienced distiller (not an amateur like me) to take that Swiss Absinthe of Pontarlier recipe, do it with the best available herbs and wine alcohol, and see what results."

It's been done. By Ted Breaux. It's not bitter. It tastes like bottled springtime.

I wondered if your potion could be as nasty as people have reported; even informed amateurs don't get it THAT wrong. I never tasted your stuff myself, so I was puzzled at those reviews. But using A.A. anywhere but in distillation, and using that clusterfuck of a coloration process you described, cannot fail to result in EXACTLY the nasty product they described, so now I know their descriptions were dead on.
Gettingsane
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 9:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

SO IBIZA

http://www.marimayans.com/company_i.htm
Aion
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 9:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Production facility of "Mata Hari":

http://www.schnapsmuseum.com/about.html

Seems to be MUCH more interesting than
the rotgut absinthe.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 7:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lighten up, Artemis. We were not all born knowing everything like you.

The rest of us make mistakes, learn, go forward.
Artemis
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 5:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you had a recipe that called for A.A. in coloring, it was a bogus, bullshit recipe. I'm sorry, but NO French recipe I've ever seen, from Pontarlier or otherwise, ever used A.A. in coloration. It's a beginner's mistake; the kind of shite you see on, well, dare I say it, the Internet. The wrong places on the Internet.
Marccampbell
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 4:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

ordinaire,

I wouldn't go there if I were you.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 4:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Dr. O, those are fighting words ...!"

What good are fighting words without Don to fight with...?
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 4:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"A.A. is NOT an acceptable substitute for A.P. in coloration. Period. No wonder people find your product bitter. "

Artemis, the reason I used A.A. for coloring was because that was what the recipe I used called for.

I myself found it to be very bitter. So in the beginning I tried sweetening it. One time I used maple syrup. The result was..."interesting".

It had a beautiful "feuille morte" color, though...

The original recipe called for 3g of A.A. and 3 days. After a while, I reduced that to 1.5g and one day. Far less bitter, but the color was blahh. Then I added 1.5g of damiana. The taste was not affected much, but the color was beautiful. Pretty much like La Fee.

Now that I'm over the "authenticity" fetish, I'm going to use just the damiana and get rid of the A.A.

One variable that we have never talked about here in the Forum is how the French's palate was in 1890.

We have been brought up on sodas that are just loaded with sugar. A can of Coke has 40g of sugar. Measure 40g of sugar in a scale and you'll be amazed. It's like 10 lumps. Did things taste the same to them as they did to us?

No way of knowing.
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 4:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So Petermarc has established that those who didn't like the taste of absinthe were clowns. Dr. O, those are fighting words ...!
Petermarc
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 4:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

actually, the rest of the postcard goes something like:
'and to think there are clowns(pierrots-the kind with the pointed hats-white makeup/costume) that find them (absinthe) unbearable and that old friends (run away from? avoid?) me when they see me from afar, saying that i reek(j'empeste) absinthe. if one could say such a thing.'

the old(100-year old) french is tough, like trying to translate english slang from the same era (or any other era for that matter)
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 3:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Translating that thing was very dire-ing.
Artemis
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 3:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"What I would love to see is for an experienced distiller (not an amateur like me) to take that Swiss Absinthe of Pontarlier recipe, do it with the best available herbs and wine alcohol, and see what results."

I've seen that happen, and better yet, tasted the result. It was not bitter. No Pontarlier recipe ever used Artemisia A. for coloration. That is a DISASTER, a guaranteed way to wipe out whatever care was taken with the product up to that point. A.A. is NOT an acceptable substitute for A.P. in coloration. Period. No wonder people find your product bitter.
Artemis
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 3:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

written before I saw Chevalier's most excellent translation:

And dire are the parrots I sent to trouble my deadbeat old friends, but they responded with violence in the loins, more dissonant than stormy absinthe. A little more direness, please!
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 3:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, Petermarc, I imagine that the facilities are very byzantine, filled with shadowy corners, cloaks and daggers. The tour guide makes much mention of the Western Front. And at the tour's end, visitors are lined in front of a firing squad.
Petermarc
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 2:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

>They showed the production facitity of
the "Mata Hari" absinthe, the owner
told it has become a "must see" especially for
American an Australian tourists.

what was that like?
Aion
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 9:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK, watched the documentary last evening,
and as I expected the moderator started with
words like .... the devlish potion ....
but then I was surprised, absinthe was not
damned, there was only the warning not to
consume wormwood oil and not too much
strong alcohol.

They showed the production facitity of
the "Mata Hari" absinthe, the owner
told it has become a "must see" especially for
American an Australian tourists.
An yes, there is at least one absinthe bar in Vienna,
with shelves full of the known commercial brands.
And people drinking and enjoying absinthe,
and not talking about thuyone.

I´m quite sure a lot of people here will start
looking for absinthe today.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 7:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alas, BJ, thou are right.

A general does not fight the war with the soldiers he wants, but with those he HAS.
_Blackjack
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 7:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

I use 1.5 g of wormwood in the colouring stage. If I remove that, color would not be affected and taste would be far less bitter. But...would it still be absinthe?



Funny, every old recipe I've seen calls for petite (Roman) wormwood in the coloration step, which is not nearly so bitter. Could that be where the confusion lies?
Chevalier
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 4:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, but there's something about a cordon glass's bowl that brings to mind a condom cap ...
Etienne
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 3:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There he goes, showing off those darned glasses of his again. ;-)
Petermarc
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 3:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

1
2
3
Admin
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 3:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

and, for the record, Blackjack did NOT say that they "didn't taste bitter", he said that were made from an historical recipe and that it "tasted good" or "quite tasty"
Admin
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 3:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nice revelation. However, intense, or even markedly pronounced, bitterness does not make an absinthe. There can be varying degrees. But it depends on your preference, & your objective. THAT will determine your recipe.

There's a meeting ground between Mari Mayan's and Absinth King. But just because one is *preferable* it does not exclude the others from the club.
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 3:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ, you have there what looks like a devastating argument: what about modern absinthes made according to authentic recipes who don't taste bitter?.

Let me share with you a Hausgemachting secret.

One of the joys of being a kitchen alchemist is the "digital testing". That is, putting your finger under the alembic, catching a drop and tasting them at different stages in the distillation process.

You'd be amazed at how much the taste changes. From a very sharp, "alcoholy" taste in the beginning to a bitter, smoky taste in the end. BTW, there is a stage (in a one liter distillation) between 200 and 300 cc or so when the distillate is actually SWEET. It is also smooth, it rolls off your tongue. (Sipping absinthe?) I had wondered, if had unlimited time and alcohol, if I could save just that part and go for the Absinthe World Title.

But even considering the entire distillate (750 cc or so) the taste is not bitter at all.

The bitterness is added at the coloring stage. Does not have to be.

You found my absinthe (yeah, I don't have to "blame" my absinthe on Dr. O, I don't live in the U.S. anymore) bitter. Another Forumite found it "too mediciney" (she was almost apologetic in her criticism, not realizing that "mediciney" is, as far as absinthe is concerned, a compliment).

That can easily be fixed. I use 1.5 g of wormwood in the colouring stage. If I remove that, color would not be affected and taste would be far less bitter. But...would it still be absinthe?

I remember an absinthe tasting with Dale Pendell, whose book "Pharmako\Poeia" inspired me to hausgemacht. I asked him why add wormwood at the colouring stage, after going through all the trouble of removing the bitterness (absinthin) through distillation.

He responded: "Well, absinthe SHOULD be bitter".

Unless all those millions of Frenchies were wrong.

Statistically, my absinthe is batting .600 or so. Perfect for a baseball player, not so good for a commercial enterprise. If I were a commercial distiller, I would be faced with two choices: a) stick to what I believe is true absinthe (that 40% of people won't like) , or b) tweak the recipe a little bit so that people used to commercial absinthes (La Fee, Oxygenee) would like it.

If I were a commercial distiller, the choice would be obvious. Luckily I'm not, and I don't intend to be.

What I would love to see is for an experienced distiller (not an amateur like me) to take that Swiss Absinthe of Pontarlier recipe, do it with the best available herbs and wine alcohol, and see what results.
Chevalier
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2002 - 3:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

LOL! Spoken like a true wag. Don't listen to Petermarc, everybody ... the rest of the photo, roughly translated, says:

"And to think that there are parrots which find them [absinthes] unbearable, and that old friends run away when they see me coming, saying that I disease the wormwood. If one can even say such a thing!"

So parrots didn't like absinthe, that much we know -- but not because of any bitter flavor. I think they resented the fact that a euphemism for absinthe-drinking was "strangling the parrot".

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