Hostess Crystal Tabs in New Orleans

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Oct 2000:Hostess Crystal Tabs in New Orleans
By Bob_chong on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 03:30 pm: Edit

If you keep offering things at such prices, we might have to rename you Bettina.


By Petermarc on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 03:11 pm: Edit

i am now selling hydromiel at $100 a bottle...

By Artemis on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 01:47 am: Edit

PeterMarc skrev:

"i don't have a web site"

Please accept my apology. I got you confused with Absinthedrinker, who does have a website. The criticism to which I was referring was Bob Chong's of that website. In that context, hopefully my remark about not funny makes more sense. Sorry.

also: "i believe the method of fermenting mead/hydromiel is what will make it sweet or dry"

That is correct. Same for beer. The more of the total sugar you can get the yeast to consume, the drier the resulting product. Sugar left over after fermentation equals sweetness.

By Petermarc on Saturday, November 04, 2000 - 01:14 am: Edit

i believe the method of fermenting mead/hydromiel
is what will make it sweet or is typically (hydromiel)the same alcohol (15-18%)
as port and dessert wines, my guess is that to
make it sweet, the fermentation is stopped with the addition of alcohol; to make it dryer, it is allowed to ferment longer to let the yeast eat the sugar...i dont know if aging it would make it much dryer than the original style, some hydromiels can age well, but then anything over 15% alcohol stands a good chance of surviving time for a while and becoming something else (this is not always a good thing)...that said, and the fact that i thought mead was red wine with honey and spices, i could be entirely wrong...

By Jkk on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 10:56 pm: Edit

Is there a way to age mead so that it becomes
drier? I'd like to try it , but the mere idea of
drinking honey is repulsive to me. Then again, I
can drink a little soda pop without being too
bothered by the sweetness. I'm not sure why some
things seem too saccharine to me, but others I can
take a bit of.

By Perruche_verte on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 06:30 pm: Edit

The cool thing about mead is, for a long time it wasn't possible to buy any really good stuff in the U.S., at least where I live -- no joke. If you wanted a good-tasting mead, you had to brew it yourself. Unlike absinthe this is something that works fine at home for most people. It is strangely both easier and more challenging than brewing beer (winemaking I can't really speak of) -- easier in that honey kills bacteria and reduces your chance of a bad batch, plus all you really need is yeast, honey and water. It's harder in that there is plenty of chance for off-flavors, and the simpler the mead, the harder it can be to get a good flavor. Most people I know add a little cinnamon at least. I used hazelnuts, cinnamon or sometimes cloves, and other things... essentially you just make an infusion of the herbal ingredients before dissolving the honey. Haven't tried this for a while... Now I'm tempted to do it again.

By Petermarc on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 06:09 pm: Edit

thank you marc, can i sell you a spoon?

By Marc on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 06:04 pm: Edit


I took Peter's post as a joke. I think he was satirizing the greed culture surrounding absinthe.

By Petermarc on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 04:50 pm: Edit

the hydromiel i found is called "danse des abeilles" (dance of the bees) the sweet version is "cuvée gauloise" it is 15% alcohol and excellent...i will bring a bottle to you on my next trip across la manche, and would be pleased to try the english version with you...let me know if you're in paris and you can drink it here and/or i will show yow where to find a couple of versions...i will collect a few in the mean-time...

By Petermarc on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 04:40 pm: Edit

i have not sold one sugar cube, one absinthe spoon,
one glass, nothing...i don't have a web site...i can't even figure out how to post pictures on this forum without it taking up a stupid amount of space...that is not to say i don't plan to sell things...but, yikes, let's get our facts straight...
i'm just a dumb-fuck diamond buyer in paris that hates my job and wants to do something fun...i have offered things in trade and am willing to give free samples of what i have found, because i am sitting on a treasure that few locals know or care that they have...the french are so busy adopting the american culture that they have forgotten how cool and excellent the stuff is that they have around them...if you want to play in my sand-box there is room and i like to share,
i also love a good joke and if it is a little vague, then i'll explain it...

By Artemis on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 12:17 pm: Edit

"$100 a box for french sugar...that's a joke, i say, a joke, son...but if you really gotta have it..."

Well, I wasn't laughing! Has it not recently been revealed here by you and others that you're involved in a commercial enterprise? I think it therefore behooves you to be more careful about jokes in that vein. I took it completely seriously, although I took it to be a misprint rather than a ripoff. If Marc or somebody had made that post, I would have taken it to be a joke, because he's not involved in selling things.

For what it's worth, I share Bob Chong's concern about the setup of the website. You don't see any prices unless you click for a certain item, and then you see all the prices. I wish every website would feature the price immediately and prominently right with the item. The price is the first thing I want to know about any item for sale - if I don't like or can't afford the price, everything else about the item is irrelevant.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 07:20 am: Edit


Hydromiel is indeed good stuff, I'm very fond of Brittany and always buy some when I'm there on holiday (usually every other year). It's not as thick as the English meads I've tried but it's damn fine stuff, I think it's also a bit stronger. I've only ever tasted dry Hydromiel, (but then again I've only ever tasted sweet English Mead). The Hydromiel I've seen tends to have something written on the label about it being the drink of the druids, (although my understanding of French is very basic so I could have mis-translated). But I reckon Hydromiel is French Mead and Mead is English Hydromiel. Certainly a drink fit for any Druid.

I guess you live in France? If you're ever in London let me know and I'll crack open a bottle or 2 of Mead.


By Petermarc on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 07:01 am: Edit

arghh...boy, i guess i screwed that up...mixed
mead up with "vin chaud" but it is amusing watching people defend their juice...i have a bottle of hydromiel which is fermented honey, so
i guess it is a form of mead...hobgob, you are
invited to try it, or find it came
in dry-like(not really) or sweeter versions and really was excellent...most of the french honey makers produce hydromiel, but some are much better than others...i'll stick to making comments about things i know...

$100 a box for french sugar...that's a joke, i say, a joke, son...but if you really gotta have it...

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 06:28 am: Edit


Have you seen the latest translation / interpretation of Beowulf by Seamus Heaney. It makes the whole thing accessible, well worth getting hold of if you're interested.


By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 06:11 am: Edit

Mead is indeed a wonderful drink in it's own right, a lovely golden coloured, honey flavoured nectar, usually about 15% alcohol, (some people do add it to wine but this does in my view ruin it, but who am I to judge, each to his own). I believe mead pre-dates wine in origin, (if anyone on the forum has more info on this I'd gratefuly recieve it).

Anyway it is my favourite drink, (true nectar from the Gods), I discovered it through my interest in dark age historical re-enactment. You can get it in the UK but its very very nichey with only a couple of commercial suppliers, (and unlike absinthe no supermarkets stocking it) is the best supplier and they do mail order (in the UK anyway, not sure about overseas). They supply a few varieties but the plain English Mead (with no added spices) is my favourite.

Best drunk slightly chilled and it definitely tastes much better if drank from a Drinking Horn, (for some reason the Drinking Horn seems to enhance the sweetness of it although I can't for the life of me think why a cow's horn should do this except that it does. If anyone has any theories then I'd be grateful as this has puzzled myself and my fellow mead drinkers for a long time).

Anyway enough of my rambling, I now can't wait to get home this evening and get stuck into another bottle of nectar.

So Joshua, if you have a sweet taste in drink, then you should get hold of some.


By Artemis on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 05:55 am: Edit

Don't mean to be picking on Petermarc three posts in a row, but, he wrote further down:

"i am now selling french sugar tablets for
$100 a box, plus international shipping..."

You've got to be kidding. That's a misprint, right? A hundred bucks for a box of sugar?

And something else I caught further down, about mead being sweet. Mead is not necessarily sweet anymore than wine is. Many meads are extremely dry.

By Artemis on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 05:46 am: Edit

I also take issue with "probably how it was created". It's speculated by people who speculate about such things (there's no way to know for sure) that mead is the earliest alcoholic beverage known to man (way earlier than the cultivation of grapes) because honey was available to him when he was still a hunter-gatherer, before he cultivated any crops at all.

By Artemis on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 05:42 am: Edit

"mead is red wine mixed with honey and some spices."

Sorry, that's wrong. Mead is not red wine mixed with anything. Mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermentation of honey (sugar) using yeast. Yeast metabolizes sugar and produces alcohol, carbon dioxide (fizz) and flavor products. There are indeed countless recipes for mead. It may or may not include spices or fruit. It always includes honey, water, and yeast. I can think of nothing nastier to do with mead than to mix it with red wine. Makes me shudder even thinking about it.

By Petermarc on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 05:22 am: Edit

mead is red wine mixed with honey and some spices. there are many different recipes for it, it is a great ending for crappy wine and probably was how it was created...sometimes drunk
hot...i'm sure hobgob has his own version...

By Joshua on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 05:05 am: Edit

i have heard of mead.but only in old stories like beowulf.even then very vage idea of what it you i add two lumps to deva,maybe 2 would make mari mayans taste better,i took one glass and didnt like it too much.but it is beautiful to look at in the bottle though

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, November 03, 2000 - 12:53 am: Edit

Like Joshua I'm a sugar junkie. I add 2 lumps to Deva and Mari Mayans and 3 to every other absinthe I've tasted. Another delicious thing to try is to add a big spoonful of honey to absinthe and leave it for 30 minutes, stirring ocassionaly until a lot of the honey melts. Tastes absolutely wonderful, especially as you get towards the bottom of the glass. Joshua, if you like sweet drinks, ever tried Mead, nectar of the Gods, I even prefer it to absinthe.


By Grimbergen on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 04:26 pm: Edit

"That nasty pastis Absente tastes like licorice."
Thanks! I was wondering about Absente. I kind of figured that it would be bad, gimmicky name gave it away.

I'm actually trying an absinthe/riccard mix right now, 2 parts absinthe to one part riccard. It isn't bad, but the absinthe certainly doesn't need it.

By Pataphysician on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 04:24 pm: Edit

The ritual is where it's at for me. I've found that with water and sugar, each glass of abs is unique. No matter how consistantly you measure, the ritual seems to unlock the herbs differently each time. It's like some crazy mystical kinda thing, man! By contrast, when I have my favorite bourbon, it always tastes essentially the same: more water makes it taste more watery, less water makes it taste less watery.

For that reason, I choose the absinthes that require the ritual. Otherwise it's like drinking mere alcohol.

I do appreciate Jarry's theory on drinking abs neat, though: Water is poison, you can tell because when it comes in contact with the clear, pure absinthe it fouls it.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 04:10 pm: Edit

I don't taste licorice root in any of the modern products I have tried thus far. Licorice gives what I consider to be a sickeningly sweet taste. That nasty pastis Absente tastes like licorice.

By Grimbergen on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 03:22 pm: Edit

In response to peoples speculation on which brands are sweetened, does anyone know whether licorice is used to sweeten any of the comercial brands? It contains something called glycyrrhizin, which is said to be 50 times sweeter than sucrose.


By Tabreaux on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 01:24 pm: Edit

Well, it depends on your individual tastes and the product you drink. As explained on the back label of antique Pernod bottles, sugar was optional. Even with something 'original' in character (e.g. not very sweet), I prefer it without sugar. If the product is really good, I can drink it neat...although I usually only reserve this for tasting (which is very revealing).

I believe the presence of sugar causes more of a sensory distraction to flavors the drinker would find not to his liking. In some recent taste tests I conducted, some still preferred sugar, others didn't. None of the liqueur samples were very sweet to begin with however.

By Jkk on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 12:52 pm: Edit

I think sugar does bring out the flavor of some
absinthes, which puts me in a bind. With sugar
they are too sweet, but without it the taste
doesn't seem rounded. Is this my imagination or
can it be explained chemically?

By Joshua on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 07:35 am: Edit

call me strange but i even add sugar to pernod pastis,and people drinking deva without sugar?ack i tried it the other day and made many awful faces,my opinon is sugar makes it have more flavor.or im just a sugar junky

By Petermarc on Thursday, November 02, 2000 - 12:55 am: Edit

i am now selling french sugar tablets for
$100 a box, plus international shipping...
by the way, i have never seen anyone add sugar
to pastis in france, much too sweet, except for
versinthe (which is too expensive for most pastis
drinkers) and pontarlier-anis, which comes in
two distilled models--"pontsec"(which is not sec-dry-but has sugar in it) and "a l'ancienne" which
has no sugar and is good with or without. this
is an excellent distilled anis drink but is almost
impossible to find even in france except in the
region where it is called "un pont" ...shades of
"un pernod"...i imagine...saw a dry absinthe bunch at the distillery...interesting...

By Malhomme on Wednesday, November 01, 2000 - 04:00 pm: Edit

Same message, slightly different (more final) phrasing:

"Unfortunately, due to a labor relation strike, the Hostess Crystal Tablets
have been discontinued. There are none left in stock and we do not know
when or if this item will resume production. We apologize for any
inconvenience and thank you for your interest and support of Domino Sugar

By Don_walsh on Saturday, October 28, 2000 - 10:55 am: Edit

There's an easy way to test Ted's interpretation of Absintheur's observations. Absintheur, taste the white crystalline residue. Sugar will taste like sugar. Anethole won't. Experiment and direct observation is superior to even well informed and logical second-guessing. But Ted's probably spot on.

By Tabreaux on Saturday, October 28, 2000 - 10:05 am: Edit

Well, the volume of the sample was very small, but nevertheless, this is what my guesses are:

If there is any added sugar, it will certainly remain upon evaporation. If the crystals remaining upon the evaporation of Deva are indeed sugar, then the product contains added sugar. The same can be said for MM 45%. The green color is what remains if the coloring agent.

As far as MM 70%, this product probably does not contain added sugar. The white residue is probably crystalized anethole due to the high concentration of star anise in this product.

The La Bleues leave less residue (probably also crystalized anethole), because they do not contain the same quantity of star anise.

The Segarra and Hermes leave some brown residue, which is the remnants of what is probably caramel (and a little crystalized anethole).

Sebor, Serpis, and Montana probably contain a bit less in the way of star anise content, and therefore leave less residue. The remnants of Serpis' red dye are what remains there.

And as for the Neto Costa, it is obviously a concentrated macerated product, leaving the non-volatile oily funk behind.

By Absintheur on Saturday, October 28, 2000 - 08:08 am: Edit

One half dose, .75 ounces, left in indirect sunlight for approximately two weeks, until the alcohol and water has all evaporated away. What are your thoughts?

By Tabreaux on Saturday, October 28, 2000 - 12:13 am: Edit

This information is interesting, and perhaps may reveal some things about the content and method of manufacture. Already I can make some generalizations. In each case, what volume was the sample you evaporated?

By Absintheur on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 04:21 pm: Edit

I've tried this with both slow evaporation, and direct heat. Slow evaporation yields much better results.

Evaporating off Deva results in a (very) few green sugar cystals, the Mari Mayans 45% evaporates down to more sizeable clear sugar crystals, the 70% results in virtually nothing but a very small chalky residue with an anise scent.

Every La Bleue I've tried evaporates almost cleanly, a few leaving a white anise scented powder. Segarra leaves a very slight brown precipitate, as does Hermes. Sebor, Serpis, and Montana leave virtually nothing (Serpis leaves some rust color behind). Neto Costa doesn't want to give up the ghost, instead leaving a substantial green oil-slick.

By Tabreaux on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 03:53 pm: Edit

Quite honestly, my guess at this point is that as sweet as they taste, none of the current products contain much added sugar, if any at all. Evaporating off the alcohol in any of these products may be an interesting idea. If there is residue remaining, it may be sugar. Or, if the product is macerated with oils, it should leave a filmy residue.

By Chrysippvs on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 03:33 pm: Edit

I am too awaiting the results. It just seems that both of these absinthes are much too sweet...if not from sugar perhaps from the badaine?

I know that some of the lesser brands had added sugar (Royer Hutin, Dornier-Tuller and numerous others) although I didn't think that A. Junod, Pernod Fils, Pernod E, Duval did, although of course I could be mistaken.

By Absintheur on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 03:24 pm: Edit

"Deva and Mari and most la bleues (untraditionally) add sugar"

Ted can correct or concur when his results are published, but I take issue with this presumption. Deva has a very small quantity of sugar in it (you can get a feel for how much by evaporating off the alcohol), Mari Mayans 45% does as well, but it's 70% does not, La Bleue only very rarely contains sugar.

And, when you say "untraditionally," I, once again, disagree. Much of the turn of the century absinthe was sold "Sec" in bottle, and that which wasn't was often sweetened by the bartender -- which is still how pastis is served in the south of France, and absenta is served in Spain (even those brands with sugar in the blend).

By Chrysippvs on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 02:55 pm: Edit

I agree with that..Deva and Mari and most la bleues (untraditionally) add sugar, which makes the product simply too sweet. Vintage absinthe has a dry bitterness (although not overpowering in the slightest) with sugar that is very nice and missing in most products. That was one of the reasons I choose the la bleue I did, no added sugar and a similiar dry bitterness.

By Jkk on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 02:51 pm: Edit

You definitely have a sweet tooth. Chacun a son gout. I tried Deva with one cube and almost couldn't finish it. Tasted like an anise lollipop!

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 08:53 am: Edit

Montana definitely benefits from honey.


By Artemis on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 01:45 am: Edit

Well, I use cheap Absente glasses, and they're fairly rounded on the bottom interior, so the pointy spoon does a good job. I do exactly what Perruche does - pre-soften the sugar with absinthe, chase the sugar dregs with cold water when the absinthe drinking is done, etc. I've never tried honey, but I think Lasala might especially benefit from that.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 12:50 am: Edit

Last night I tried adding a big spoonful of honey to my absinthe instead of sugar. I've always loved Mead for it's honey flavour so I thought, Honey flavoured absinthe, why not?

If you have the patience to leave it sitting for ages, stirring it ocassionaly so that some of the honey disolves, you get a nice result, especially as you drink the contents nearer to the bottom of the glass. Some purists will probably be horrified at the thought of this, but if you've got a sweet tooth then it sure tastes good.


By Chrysippvs on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 10:30 pm: Edit

I have learned that I can only drink Spanish absinthe with a dispencer. The sugar ritual makes them taste much worse than they do already. Segarra is okay with sugar, but the rest are just too sweet.

By Perruche_verte on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 12:14 pm: Edit

What an entertaining thread.

I learned to drip some water very slowly onto the sugar and patiently allow the sugar to soak it up before pouring any more. The sugar cube begins to sag when it's well soaked. Then I start dripping the water a little faster. This reduces the number of little chunks of undissolved sugar in my glass.

If there was a lot of sugar left afterward and it was my very last glass of absinthe for a while, I might pour a little more water into the glass, swirl it around and drink it while cursing softly and looking at the calendar.

By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 11:50 am: Edit


Either my glass is too narrow at the bottom, (goes down into the stem), or my absinthe spoons are too blunt and can't reach. Hence the need for a straw. Anyway I like the idea of using a plastic straw :-)


By Treeman5 on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 10:41 am: Edit

Big Y

By Artemis on Thursday, October 26, 2000 - 01:48 am: Edit

"Its bloody hard to scoop up the sugar at the bottom of an absinthe glass."

Huh? It's pretty easy to break it up with an absinthe spoon - that's why they're shaped like a trowel (or is it?).

By Malhomme on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 11:19 am: Edit

Where at in CT? I have relatives (to be) in Stamford, CT. Do you know the name of a supermarket.

By Midas on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 10:22 am: Edit

As unnecessary as it is with modern brands, the french 'ritual' is still a beautiful way to indulge in the absinthe experience. As Malhomme stated, I generally only drink it this way if I have guests who haven't tried absinthe before, but I do love the sound of the water hitting the absinthe, and the louche that slowly appears at the same time. It's the multisensory aspect that I find attractive, I guess.

By Treeman5 on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 09:13 am: Edit

Now where would we all be without "the ritual"??It's to me like a marriage, where the droplets of water falling over the sugar are the vows and the louche is the eternal union of our souls...That Green Fairie, ain't she a hottey!! Anyway back to the topic, the Crystal Tabs, I see them all over the place at supermarkets up here in CT. Seek and yee shall find..Happy hunting


By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 01:47 am: Edit


Its bloody hard to scoop up the sugar at the bottom of an absinthe glass. I've tried all sorts of ways as a spoon is too broad and fingers aren't long enough. The best way is to try and suck it up with a straw.


By Malhomme on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 05:34 pm: Edit

I like to scoop-up the sugar at the bottom of the glass... it's kind of like a dessert. Also, I'm entertaining some newbies soon and they will no doubt ask about "the ritual".

I'm just looking for some sugar.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 02:24 am: Edit

Sugar just a ritual thing? Drinking Serpis, (or Segarra) without sugar, YUCK.

Also a little bit of honey goes down well in Absinthe, as does a spoonful of treacle syrup.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 12:55 am: Edit

I don't feel that even the vintage brands "required" as they are naturally very plesant to being with, however, I do feel that with sugar some la bleues and vintage absinthe has a more round taste. Notice with the use of absinthe dispencers, the sugar ritual was not used. I even think that Terminus absinthe discouraged the spoon ritual, attempting instead to make use of metal absinthe dispencers.


By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 12:44 am: Edit


You're right. If it were about taste, folks could bust out the superfine and be done with it.

I am with you on the "no sugar needed" deal. Can't imagine sweetening this stuff any further.


By Marc on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 12:15 am: Edit


None of the commercial brands of absinthe that I drink require sugar. I think this whole sugar thing is more about ritual than taste.

By Malhomme on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 11:18 pm: Edit

I'm trying to make my own tabs as we speak. Though I have access to 50 ton presses, I'm resorting to simpler methods. Wetting it to the consistancy of moist sand, then baking it dry. I don't know that it will work, but I thought I'd give it a try.

By Bluedog1 on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 07:02 pm: Edit

Another alternative:

Go to any Persian market in your village. Look for a clear cellophane bag containing Sadaf brand "Broken Sugar". These malformed white semi-cubes are usually broken from a sugar cone, but are quite porous and dissolve well in cold water.

Personally I have Domino Dots for everyday use.

By Thegreenimp on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 12:36 am: Edit

The Domino Hostess Crystal Tablets are like the old style French cubes, larger and rectangular shaped. The last I heard there was a strike at the Domino plant that makes the Hostess tablets, which would account for the supply drying up.
They have vanished here in Houston, and the place I get them at has been unable to restock.
Hopefully this will settle soon and we can get a new supply.

By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Unless you have some special attachment to Hostess, C&H brand dissolve beautifully in cold water.


By Malhomme on Sunday, October 22, 2000 - 10:22 pm: Edit

Where can I find Hostess Crystal Tabs in New Orleans. Dorignac's is currently out, and said they had been for a while. I'm having my aunt send me a care-package of them and would like to simplify her search.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page |Delete Conversation |Close Conversation |Move Conversation