Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Sugar
By tabreaux on Thursday, June 29, 2000 - 09:48 am: Edit

At the moment there isn't anything comparable to the best old stuff.

The La Bleue is not an accurate representation of the most famous commercial labels (like the Pernods), but it isn't intended to be. La Bleue is a concise, very clean absinthe. Better than the Spanish, but not much more like the old stuff. La Bleue is the best in its class, but both La Bleue and the Spanish are more like white wine when the old stuff is a red wine if this perspective makes sense to you. IMO, the La Bleues I've had are likewise most suitable without sugar.

By br0therben on Thursday, June 29, 2000 - 07:24 am: Edit

I know that Sebor (the "strong" version is better)is lacking in those herbal complexities you've mentioned so often (and I hope someone gets it right sometime), but it does have the residual bitterness. That's one of the reasons I like it, though I prefer Mari and Deva. I wish the Spanish brands had that notoceable bitterness, but even when drunk clean they lack any such character.

So what DO we drink if we want to approximate the original experience (yes, we've discussed this before)? I can't afford Betina's La Bleue, sir, and that is all there is to it...
ah well...

see you


By tabreaux on Thursday, June 29, 2000 - 05:41 am: Edit

First of all, we can debunk the sugar/thujone theory entirely, as that seems to be something M. Roux made up to further add to the confusion about his bogus product (Absente).

To put things in perspective, MM and Deva seem to be comparatively simple products. Neither of these have anywhere near the herbal complexity as the old stuff. As a result, you aren't tasting the same thing (as the old stuff), which is why it seems confusing.

The old absinthe has some dry, floral undertones and a residual bitterness in it which are lacking in the new products. The bitterness is not obtrusive by any means, but it is enough to influence the flavor. When one sugar cube is added, the bitterness is gone, and the dry floral flavors become 'three-dimensional' in a way. In other words, the sweetness enhances the way they taste. As far as the sugar not completely dissolving, this is to be expected. It isn't important however, as it doesn't take much to make the drink really nice.

By Dengar on Thursday, June 29, 2000 - 12:24 am: Edit

It seems like many add sugar to their absinthe. Why? Here are some possible reasons:

a) I find the absinthe so bitter that it needs sugar.
b) It really doesn’t need sugar but it tastes sweet with it, and that’s nice.
c) I believe that the sugar boosts the effects of the thujone.
d) Because I really enjoy the ritual.

I would guess that d) is the most common reason, followed by b). I hope it’s not c) anyway.

When I started drinking absinthe I tried it with sugar, “as it’s supposed to be”. This wasn’t a success though, mostly because of the fact that the cube wouldn’t melt… I did some re-thinking and went to the supermarket to get something that would best be translated into something like “instant sugar cubes” in English. These dissolved nicely and the absinthe got a little sweeter. However, most of the sugar just sank to the bottom with the result that the last drops of the drink got undrinkable. At this stage I started to wonder why I put sugar in my absinthe at all.

The reason that I’m raising this question is that I believe that the bitterness was the reason they put sugar in it a century ago. These days however everybody seams to be drinking Deva or MM, and these are so sweet they don’t need any sugar. Or have I got this wrong? Maybe absinthe never was so “bitter” as it often is described. Maybe absinthe in the past was a sweet as modern and the reason they put sugar in it was that they enjoyed the ritual?

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