Does anybody know why Serpis is red?

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Oct 2000:Does anybody know why Serpis is red?
By Tabreaux on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Your observation seems to be right on.

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 02:02 pm: Edit

SpanisH Absinthe is breaking EU regulations.

As they don't declare artificial colourings on there labels, or much else for that matter, Spanish Absinth producers are breaking European Union law.

Who gives a shit anyway?

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 11:36 am: Edit

In just about any case where a product has added amino acids, they will be semi-synthetic in origin. I say this because genetically engineered bacteria are used to produce the amino acids. I don't know where vegetarians draw the lines with 'animal products' (i.e. is a microoorganism considered to be an animal?). IMO, the entire strict vegetarian thing is silly anyway.

By Admin on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 10:15 am: Edit

the taurine used in food is synthesized. whether or not vegetarians and vegans consider synthesized bovine amino acid an animal product, that's up for debate. personally, it freaks me out, and I'm only a sometime vegetarian.

from the site faq:


Yes. Red Bull contains no substances of animal origin. The taurin is produced synthetically.

By Midas on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 09:40 am: Edit

Perruche verte, thanks for mentioning taurine. I'm a vegetarian, and I've seen it in the list of ingredients on a few things. Glad I didn't buy any. It's amazing what goes into some products. I once bought some 'vegetarian sausages' that had gelatine and rennet in them, both dead animal by-products. But enough of my animal lib politics for this thread.
Lord hobgoblin, I've only drank Serpis with one sugar cube. Otherwise I think it'd be too sweet for me. However, I can see why you'd take more. Distinctive, non?
Anyway, I just got back from the pub, and I'm tightly slipsy, so off to bed I go.

By Perruche_verte on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 11:35 am: Edit

Yes, cochineal presents a problem to vegetarians/vegans, and (I think) to people who keep kosher.

Unwanted animal products turn up where you least expect them. I bought a cola containing ginseng and taurine a little while ago, without doing my homework on where taurine comes from. Later I found out it's only produced by living animal tissues. Anyone care for a glass of Meat Soda?

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 08:14 am: Edit


How much sugar do you add to your Serpis? I like it but only with loads of sugar.


By Midas on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 08:09 am: Edit

Ijust recieved my first bottle of Serpis, and strange as it is, I don't mind the taste. LaSala, however, I'm still not sure about. I had no idea that Campari had cochineal in it. I always assumed it was synthetically coloured. I think I'd better tell a vegan friend of mine who loves the stuff.. actually, maybe I shoudn't.
Hang on, does that mean Campari is actually Beetlejuice?

By Bluedog1 on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 07:09 pm: Edit

The best safron is Persian (Iranian) and is not generally available in the US. We get ours from Turkey, which also produces a lower grade safron that is more yellow. Good Iranian safron produces a dark reddish yellow liquid when steeped in boiling water. The color turns dark or "safron colored" yellow when poured over/in rice. I don't think it is red enough to color Serapis the right shade. It is also, as some have mentioned, quite expensive and would drive up the cost of the product significantly, and I believe, make it more bitter.

By Tabreaux on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Saffron is quite expensive, and I believe real saffron gives a dark yellow tint. The inexpensive 'saffron' common in modern commerce I believe is actually safflower, which is indigenous to China, is red.

By Michele on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 01:51 pm: Edit

maybe serpis uses the same dye found in campari, cochineal, a crimson dye made from scale insects. for over 200 years, spain prohibited export of live cochineal insects and prevented foreigners from visiting production areas in the americas, in order to maintain their cochineal monopoly. recent findings that some synthetic red dyes may induce cancer has renewed interest, and it's again becoming popular, especially in processed foods.


btw, don, thanks for the kind word.

By Black_rabbit on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 01:26 pm: Edit

the only red plant matter I can think of would impart a definite taste... I guess the trick would be to find one that didn't clash.

New Heinz Absithe! 58th variety. The subtle flavours of wormwood, anise and other herbs blended with vine-ripened tomato. Perfect for french fries, burgers, and impressionists.

By Don_walsh on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 12:39 pm: Edit

I dunno why saffron is red, but I know why Willie Nelson's beard is brown...

Genuine Saffron IS really expensive, and has been since the time of Marco Polo (the Polo trading house had a near monopoly on the stuff).

It was used to color and flavor laudanum. Took the edge off the hideous opium taste, I hear.

By Chrysippvs on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 12:22 pm: Edit

hmmmmm...Beats and Anise..just like Unkie Radomil used to make

By Bob_chong on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 12:03 pm: Edit

Also, saffron is freakishly expensive--$36/oz and up.

How about beets? They're red. ;-)

By Perruche_verte on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 11:53 am: Edit

If one wanted a 100% natural "red" color, for some perverse reason, what would work?

I imagine saffron, native to Spain, would produce a nice, um, saffron color. But I have no idea how rapidly it breaks down.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 10:10 am: Edit

Thanks for the info,

Unlike my impressions after my first glass of Serpis I quite like it now, although it does need a LOT of sugar added, (3 lumps per glass!).


By Tabreaux on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 09:05 am: Edit

Red color from herbs? Not quite. The color of just about every commercial absinthe product I've yet seen is artificial. Of course, Serpis follows suit, but uses a different color (red instead of green). Furthermore, I believe this product is macerated with oils.

By Chrysippvs on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 07:16 am: Edit

From what I am told it was just a gimmick to help sales as absinthe isn't terribly popular in Spain, as for how it got that way I am sure the color is artifical...

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 05:39 am: Edit

Does anybody know why Sepris is red in colour?

Do they use artificial colourings or is it due to some herbs, (can't see how this could be) they use?


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