Over now?

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Dec 2000:Over now?
By Don_walsh on Monday, December 11, 2000 - 11:32 pm: Edit

BR, if you start out with a faulty premise and then string a bunch of conditional statements along based on it, in the end what do you have?


Thujone is readily assayed for.

Wormwood, is not the same thing.

Thujone can come from many other herbal and non-herbal sources besides wormwood (A.absinthium).

Thujone can be added as a pure chemical, if someone wanted to. Not necessarily added as wormwood essential oil. As we have learned on this forum, at least one European chemical company manufactures stereochemically pure a-(+)thujone.

The US FDA may or may not require testing of a pastis on importation, witness the case of Versinthe, Absintheur said that thujone was not tested for in its case, while other things were tested for (and it passed.) Of course the FDA can retest any time it likes.

By Tabreaux on Monday, December 11, 2000 - 08:17 am: Edit

No, no, no. There is a reliable method for determining thujone concentration. You misread my comments. My comment was that to the best of my knowledge, there is no official method for determining absinthium content. There is more to absinthium than thujone. Furthermore, the U.S. laws are fairly clear. If you use such a miniscule concentration that it is reduced to background noise, it is effectively non-existent (e.g. its existent was too small to be proven or disproven). This is several orders of magnitude less than the concentrations of classic absinthe, which is a tremendous disparity. Besides, regarding the would-be 'potent flavor' of absinthium, it is completely absent from any pastis I have yet tasted in the U.S. or elsewhere. Besides, the most prolific pastis makers are far more businessmen than artists, and you can just take that to the 'bank'.

By Black_rabbit on Monday, December 11, 2000 - 08:07 am: Edit

Ted- you have said no good standard currently exists for testing for thujone.

How would the US govt know if Ricard or Pernod pastis had it without a good testing method? Or would they be using the old, bad ones?

Wormwood itself is not strictly illegal, is it? Vermouth and Chartreuse are sold here...

It may be a case of this all having become such a non-issue to the government here that they accept what Pernod etc have to say at face value. There is no point testing for a substance most people in the FDA have probably never heard of, that was contained in a banned liquer no one remembers anyhow.

I wonder with what the thujone-testing would cost, vs what they would gain, how many agencies would bother?

Perhaps the makers of Pastis simply laid low for awhile, and quietly re-introduced wormwood when the furor died down. They are artists, after all, and being told they couldn't use a potent flavor in their mix would have been esthetically offensive.

By Tabreaux on Sunday, December 10, 2000 - 09:28 am: Edit


The U.S. laws on absinthium content are very strict, and therefore, I suspect the concentration of absinthium to be merely a trace, as the brands of pastis which comprise the vast majority of pastis sold worldwide are available in the U.S. Furthermore, all products sold in the U.S. must prove themselves to be thujone-free before they can be licensed for import here.

Pour Votre Convenance:
Les lois des États-Unis sur le contenu d'absinthe sont très strictes, et donc, je suspecte la concentration de l'absinthe pour être simplement une trace, comme les marques des pastis qui comportent la grande majorité des pastis se sont vendues sont dans le monde entier disponibles aux États-Unis. En outre, tous les produits vendus aux États-Unis doivent s'avérer pour être thujone-libres avant qu'ils puissent être autorisés pour l'importation ici.

By Bardouin on Sunday, December 10, 2000 - 08:54 am: Edit

I have said that the thing that makes absinthe illegal is the name in france. Wormwood is common in many alcohols and the government does not care bacause it is not illegal, only the name absinthe is. The law says "absinthe is illegal" but it does not say "absinthe is a liquor with artemesia absinthium", because the people would not let it stand up. This is why many pastis distillers use artemesia absinthium or a wormwood extract in their alcohol. It is not much, also it depends on the season, but it is at least enough to taste when distilled, so 10 or more mg to each liter. This is much more than many absinthe recipes used by important distillers, and much more than many cheap "extract of absinthe" which you seem not to like. And some brands did not use artemesia absinthium at all using other herbs for flavor in their absinthe. I do not know why this bothers you so much.

By Don_walsh on Sunday, December 10, 2000 - 03:50 am: Edit

Bardouin says "The things that you think makes absinthe illegal are not what makes absinthe illegal."

If so, kindly elucidate what makes absinthe illegal. You have stated we are ignorant but you have not helped dispel such ignorance if it exists.

Also kindly elucidate how MUCH A.absinthium is used to make a liter of any of the pastis you say contain it (Prado, Ricaed, Henri Bardouin). You needn't give an exact number. Just relative to the 20-50 grams of liter per liter that goes into making most any absinthe.

I never said that A.absinthium makes a liquor absinthe. I said the absence of A.absinthium makes a putative 'absinthe' not an absinthe at all.

However that was before the number of examples of such un-Absinthes I could fine dwindled to a single Japanese one.

So now this is of little importance, unless and until problematic products arise commercially.

By Artemis on Sunday, December 10, 2000 - 02:44 am: Edit

Bardouin wrote:

"I agree that pastis is pastis and that absinthe is absinthe, but that does not seem to be your position here, because if you use artemesia absinthium to define what is absinthe then pastis is absinthe and absinthe is absinthe."

Bob Chong replied:

"I'm not sure I follow what you're saying."

I think I understand him perfectly. The rest of his post seems to reveal that the word is more illegal than the wood (wormwood that is). Wormwood has apparently been used discretely for years in liquors that are not called absinthe. It is of course used in absinthe. So if we say that wormwood makes liquor an absinthe, absinthe is absinthe, but so is many pastis.

For me, the question doesn't arise until a liquor is CALLED absinthe. Then, applying the Art. Abs. test would either keep it around for further consideration, or rule it out immediately. If there is a lot of absinthe out there masquerading as something else, whether it be pastis or a hood ornament, it's not going to come to my attention because I don't have the time or the inclination to seek it out. Making a word illegal is the grossest form of stupidity; it never did anybody any good.

By Tabreaux on Saturday, December 09, 2000 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Pastis emerged after absinthe was banned. Pastis uses spices that were not generally in bulk commerce at the time absinthe was popular. I agree in that the content of good pastis is very different than old absinthe. Pastis is a liqueur which deserves its own definition, and it has one. What I disagree with is the statement that if it doesn't have the spices, it is an absinthe. Pastis is made differently, and if a pastis does by some chance contain any A. absinthium (probably not more than a trace), and doesn't contain the 'spices', it is still pastis, although maybe not a good one. I don't find this to be confusing. Nevertheless, I will be testing some brands of pastis for A. absinthium. Even if it is present in trace concentrations (still difficult to believe), it is effectively absent.

Pour Votre Convenance:
Pastis a émergé après que l'absinthe ait été interdite. Pastis utilise les épices qui n'étaient pas généralement en vrac l'absinthe de commerce alors étaient populaires. Je conviens parce que la teneur de bons pastis est très différente que la vieille absinthe. Pastis est une liqueur qui mérite sa propre définition, et elle a un. Avec ce que je suis en désaccord est le rapport que s' il n'a pas les épices, c'est une absinthe. Pastis est fait différemment, et si les pastis fait par une certaine chance contient n'importe quelle absinthe de A. (probablement pas davantage qu'une trace), et ne contient pas les ' épices, il est des pastis immobiles, bien que peut-être pas bons. Je ne trouve pas ceci pour être embrouillant. Néanmoins, je testerai quelques marques des pastis pour l'absinthe de A.. Même si elle est présente dans des concentrations de trace, elle est pertinemment absente.

By Petermarc on Saturday, December 09, 2000 - 03:35 pm: Edit

it ain't over...

By Bardouin on Saturday, December 09, 2000 - 09:53 am: Edit

The point that I make is this, pastis and absinthe are not different in the way that you think that they are different. The things that you think makes absinthe illegal are not what makes absinthe illegal. Pastis has ingredients that make it different from absinthe, wormwood is not one ingredient that makes them different. It is better to say that the special spices that are added to pastis make it different from absinthe, and a pastis that doesn't have the spices IS an absinthe. This is a difference that I can understand.

By Pikkle on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:19 pm: Edit

I don't like Versinthe, in and of itself, not
comparing it other pastis or absinthe even.
Too heavy, too medicinal to me... I get a better
rush off Vicks formula 44 and the flavor is very

By Tabreaux on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 02:57 pm: Edit

If you like good pastis like Versinthe and such, you won't like Absente. It is as bad as the posters.

By Petermarc on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 02:44 pm: Edit

i never tried absente only because the publicity really sucked...i might have tried it had i never seen that poster...is that a good reason?

By Petermarc on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 02:33 pm: Edit

i completely agree...the more products are talked about, and criticized, or heaven forbid, actually tasted, the more we will know...but my reality is whatever i personally believe is true, whatever others may say, it is influenced by others but i choose to believe people at face value at first because it is too tiring and boring to mistrust all the time, especially for something that is supposed to be fun...will this really screw us over if our drink does not conform to a certain standard, even if we enjoy it? don't you want to try the other stuff just to see what it is like?...do lights and stars really have yellow rings around them...?

By Tabreaux on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 02:32 pm: Edit

I agree with you, and I am also loathe to consider Hill's to be absinthe and Oxygenee an absinthe-substitute (which it may or may not be). Hopefully, someone will provide some insight as to the content of Oxygenee soon. Meanwhile, FWIW, I haven't had a modern absinthe product yet which tastes as nice as some pastis and absinthe-subsitutes I've had.

By Eric on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 02:20 pm: Edit

I agree that it is a good thing when a producer is compelled to come forward and provide factual information about a product. but when hills is listed as absinthe, and oxygenee is listed as pastis, it starts to get confusing for the consumer. but if they were both listed as absinthe, the review can indicate that hills is garbage and oxygenee does not contain A absinthium. I think that may make things easier to understand. I take back the silly part of my remark.

By Tabreaux on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 01:42 pm: Edit

Due to the extent of false claims and garbage being purveyed by some distributors and manufacturers alike, many of us have learned not to always accept what we're being fed as absolute truth, especially when the exact opposite seems to be the more likely scenario. There is nothing silly about it. In this case, it was concern enough for the distributor to seek official statements from the producer, and if that is what it takes to get clarification and disclosure, I am all for it. I feel we all deserve to know what we're paying for.

By Eric on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 01:16 pm: Edit

this argument seems to keep surfacing over and over. I think it would be simple to say that if a product says absinthe on the label, and is marketed as absinthe. it should be listed in the BG as absinthe. if any of the experts on the board have an issue with the authenticity or quality of the product, that can be addressed in the review of the product in question. I doubt that any beer forum would classify keystone light as a beer substitute just because somebody doesn't consider it beer because they don't use whole hops.
It also seems to me that some of us have a tendincy to jump to conclusions before we have our facts straight. now it seems that some of the "absinthe substitutes" will be reclasified as absinthes again. this seems silly

By Petermarc on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 12:17 pm: Edit

i think it is quite simple...if a product uses
a.a. and calls itself on the label 'absinthe', it is absinthe...
if it uses a.a. and calls itself 'pastis' or 'other'
it is not absinthe...no, this is not simple...
maybe it may be more practical to define a method
of production (i.e. distillation...maceration...steeping...etc.) which would create an 'absinthe'...as wormwood stated...do you think that hills is really an absinthe? i have only seen it 'live' once in a distillery (in a gallery of horrors, i believe) in pontarlier and the color was frightening, and i don't think it should be considered more an absinthe than certain 'pastis'
which are at least made in the same tradition as absinthe, and have absinthe in them, whether stated or not...this does not help the buyer's guide but if you want to learn about food or drink
you gotta put it in your mouth and decide...words
is words but the proof is in the pudding...i have no doubt that JL has produced something extraordinary, and will try hard to have it here at all times, but this debate has been going on about wine and beer and whiskey(whisky)(the french make 'whisky' in britanny, also) for a long time and there is no reason to think it will be different here...sorry, gang, but i think this is what makes this subject interesting, and will keep things jumping for a while, i doubt it will ever be resolved...

By Grimbergen on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 10:44 am: Edit

We're trying to say that AA is a necessary but NOT sufficient condition for absinthe.


By Bob_chong on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 10:37 am: Edit


This is faulty logic: "if you use artemesia absinthium to define what is absinthe then pastis is absinthe and absinthe is absinthe."

I use ground beef to define what is a hamburger, but that does not mean that tacos are hamburgers.

I use dairy to define what is a milkshake, but that does not mean that cheese is a milkshake.

I use rubber to define what is an automobile tire, but that does not mean that condoms are tires.


I'm not sure I follow what you're saying.


By Tabreaux on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 09:07 am: Edit

If what Bardouin says is true, that is enlightening from an academic standpoint, and is interesting with respect to the what the current laws seem to say. Naturally, many modern products (even those marketed as "absinthe") do not seem to contain anywhere near the quantities of A. absinthium typically used in the old absinthes. I don't feel comfortable with designating concentrations of A. absinthium as a determining factor (like Tequila requires 51% blue agave). With regard to potential confusion with absinthe and pastis, I feel that anything which is marketed as pastis, or conforms to the definition of pastis should be considered as pastis, regardless of the additional content.

Pour aider Bardouin:
Si quel Bardouin indique est vrai, cela éclaire d'un point de vue scolaire, et est intéressant en ce qui concerne ce que les lois actuelles semblent indiquer. Naturellement, beaucoup de produits modernes (même ceux lancés sur le marché en tant que " absinthe ") ne semblent pas contenir n'importe où près des quantités d'absinthe de A. typiquement utilisées dans les vieilles absinthes. Je ne me sens pas confortable avec indiquer des concentrations d'absinthe de A. comme facteur de détermination (comme Tequila exige l'agave 51% bleu). En ce qui concerne la confusion potentielle avec l'absinthe et les pastis, j'estime que quelque chose qui est lancé sur le marché comme pastis, ou se conforme à la définition des pastis devrait être considéré comme pastis, indépendamment du contenu supplémentaire.

By Pikkle on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 08:47 am: Edit

In the case of pastis, I like Versinthe less than
I like l'Amesinthe... my two drunken cents!

By Bardouin on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 08:45 am: Edit

I see that we have a problem and that is that you think artemesia absinthium is not legal in france. This is a mistake. The name absinthe is not legal to use, but there are many alcohols in france with artemesia absithium. There is no law against this. That is the reason why french absinthe is called Brand Name "extract of the plants of absinthe" not Brand Name Absinthe. This is the law in france. I work for Henri Bardouin Pastis and we have used many artemesia, including artemesia absinthium for many years. I know that Prado and Ricard use artemesia absinthium from the same source that we use in ours. I agree that pastis is pastis and that absinthe is absinthe, but that does not seem to be your position here, because if you use artemesia absinthium to define what is absinthe then pastis is absinthe and absinthe is absinthe.

By Don_walsh on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 08:43 am: Edit

You can consruct a spectrum of anise liqueurs from undeniably pastis on one end to unquestionably absinthe at the other...we could spend the rest of our lives debating uselessly over what these mean.

In the middle we could rather arbitrarily describe real and imaginary products that are or would be a bit of both and that's where the problems would start.

Fortunately in reality such products, on a commercial basis, either don't exist or are so limited in distribution as to be virtually impossible to come by. Or of sufficiently minor importance that the difficulty in obtaining same makes it not worthwhile. Hermes for example. Krut's Karpur for another. The BG ought to be as comprehensive as practicable, but it needn't, IMHO, attempt to be 100% complete. Just my opinion.

Some of you seem to be arguing as if Ted and I were imposing some arbitrary standard on Kallisti, but, we are imposing NOTHING. Facts have overtaken us, and the facts are that no such standard is required. Except for Hermesd, all modern COMMERCIAL absinthes contain, or are claimed to contain, A.absinthium.

That being the case, what are we arguing about?

If there are exceptions other than Hermes, pony them up, and let's have a look.

No not wormwood vodka.
No not a hypothetical.
Not something that hasn't been made since 1915.
And no not something made privately.
Something commercial and available.

By Tabreaux on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 08:00 am: Edit

Like any other liquor, different labels of pastis range from nasty to very nice. I like the better brands of pastis, and I don't think pastis should be judged alongside absinthe, but should be judged in its own right. If it weren't for those who deliberately attempt to confuse the issue (i.e. insinuating that a pastis is equivalent to absinthe), there would be no need to include so much as one brand of pastis (or any other liqueur) in the BG.

Neither "pastis" or "absinthe-substitute" should be construed as a dirty word. It only seems that way when someone tries to confuse the issue by declaring an apple to be an orange.

By Pataphysician on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:36 am: Edit

Coincidently, I just bought a bottle of Henri Bardouin two days ago. I had one glass the first night and two glasses last night (about 1.5 ounces of licquer each). I know personal experience is not the guide for determining authenticity, but, FWIW, I sensed no secondary effect. (I usually sense the effect after just one glass of Segarra, and a few glasses of Deva or LaSala.) I'll try a larger dose of the Bardouin.

I'm not really prepared to give a review right now, but it tasted fine to me. More later.

By Joshua on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:34 am: Edit

thanks for clearing that up for me don.in the past id seen that some said no,and others said yes on this issue.again thanks for the answer

By Tabreaux on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:31 am: Edit

One thing Absintheur was quick to point out is that like whisky, brandy, gin, etc., pastis is a liqueur which has its own proper definition. One of the things we felt absinthe deserved was a distinction from pastis, as well as from everything else. After all, it would seem silly that pastis has a proper definition and absinthe doesn't? Well, you won't see much challenge to the definition of pastis because people aren't exactly falling over themselves trying to market products as "pastis". On the other hand, what you will and do see is people looking for ways to pass off products as absinthe, regardless of what definition they do or do not fit. Therefore, unlike the definitions of other liqueurs, you can expect to see persons attempt to obscure the lines of the definition.

IMO, pastis with A. absinthium would be exactly that, not absinthe. After all, contrary to what its distributors would like you to think, adding their absinthium extract to Absente doesn't give absinthe. It gives as pastis (and not a good one at that) with added absinthium extract. Any product which fits the definition of pastis is pastis.

By Don_walsh on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:23 am: Edit

I do not believe that any French pastis maker would produce absinthe and call it pastis, for sale in France.

There is Absente which is a pastis slyly pitched in a manner to lead the consumer to believe it's an absinthe, but it demonstrably isn't absinthe, because it's allowed legally into USA.

Absente is correctly placed in the BG as a pastis and always has been. No one but Michel Roux would dispute this.

The game of constructing imaginary products that defeat the guideline we proposed, is just a waste of time. If such products materialize in real life Kallisti can deal with them any way she wants to, she's her own person and not under anyone's thumb. Not Absintheur's, not Ted's, and certainly not mine.

By Don_walsh on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:16 am: Edit

Joshua, my friend James Gordon of New Millenium Products says there's A.sbsinthium in Mari Mayans, and therefore I am happy to take him at his word. He stands in relation to MM precisely as the UK importer of Trenet stands to that product.

James made that staement on this Forum back when Mr Wormwood's gc tests were posted.

By Bob_chong on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:12 am: Edit

Are there any brands of absinthe that do not call themselves absinthe? All of the brands in the BG call themselves absinthe (or absenta or absinto, etc.).

To me, the first step in determining if something is absinthe is if it claims to be such. Then it must be determined if it has AA.

I don't mean to open any wounds, but that is the operational definition that works for me.

If pastis has AA, is it not still pastis? I have heard many times that pastis in not simply absinthe without the AA but a completely different liqueur...so putting AA in pastis is still pastis, right?


By Don_walsh on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 07:12 am: Edit

I don't think Kallisti 'has' to do anything she doesn't want to do, and listing a hypothetical commercialized wormwood vodka in an Absinthe Buyers Guide probably falls into that category.

By Wormwood on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 06:06 am: Edit

If some producer of wormwood vodka decided to call
his product absinthe we would have to list it in
the buyers guide.

We list Hills there, if green food color and
alcohol qualify as absinthe surly wormwood and
alcohol should to

By Petermarc on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 05:45 am: Edit

don, don't you think it's possible that the term
"pastis" could be vague labeling used to confuse french authorities, also? french makers have alot
more to loose...and everything to gain if absinthe becomes legal again...if it could be proved that people had been drinking absinthe(obviously not all products available) all along, and there were no serious effects (pastisism)i think that it could set a legal footing...however, the french would probably freak out that they were being secretly poisoned... i really hate to linger on what some people consider a closed subject, but i really don't think we've come to the end of this...bardouin, you'll need to become much more specific about your position, and is it in your best interests right now to become a pioneer/martyr a la trenet or kermann?

By Joshua on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 05:01 am: Edit

you said all modern absinthes aside from heremes contain Artemisia Absinthium,even mari mayans?
i havent tasted any in it,but then again im not that knowlegable in the subject,

By Don_walsh on Friday, December 08, 2000 - 01:24 am: Edit

Dear Daed

I guess you did miss the denoument. Spokesmen for both Trenet and for Pere Kermann came forward with some help for Frenchman Phil, and stated loudly and clearly that Trenet and Pere Kermann are made with A.absinthium.

Therefore, Kallisti posted and said she is putting them back to the Absinthe category under France.

There being no examples of any commercial Absinthe which are NOT made with A.absinthium, save the Japanese Hermes, and even that one is uncertain, as again it depends on interpretation of the label, and not even the current label but the original version, and in Japanese -- what need of a litmus test?

The community of commercial absinthe distillers has spoken with their actions. There is no modern commercial Absinthe without A.absinthium.

At this time I honestly don't know about Oxygenee, but, as it is sold in France unlike La Fee, Trenet or Kermann, my guess -- and this is purely a guess -- is that is is an absinthe substitute.

Wormwood vodkas: best to ask someone who knows more than I do, Luger being a good candidate. If these are made by steeping herb in vodka, 40-50 degree, then no thujone will go in solution, the water content is too high. I'd guess only a small amount of absinthium is used, for flavor, e.g., the tannins. For people who like bitter vodka.

As I have yet to experience any secondary effects I am the wrong person to ask to comment. Would there be any point in my rehashing the literature of thujone to you? A mild tweak to the GABA network, possible minor and transitory risk to persons with diagnosed or undiagnosed brainwave abnormalities such as epileptics. Far more biochemical effect from the ethanol. Synergy from other essential oil components of all the various herbs that might be present: your guess is as good as mine.

However if I thought there was a problem I wouldn't be putting away about one bottle of my own product every 4-5 days, personally...does that answer your question? I wouldn't be giving it to my wife and friends to drink, nor would I be about to offer it commercially.

By Daedelus on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 10:24 pm: Edit


Somewhere along these past threads I must have missed some things. And I thought I was a lurker of some acclaim! So in the interest of edifying myself, and maybe any others who share my boat, would you be so kind as to reiterate the forum's stance on Trenet and Karmann?

I understand there was some head-scratching regarding whether they contained A.A. or not. Are you saying that they do indeed, and that the French Govn't is easy enough to fool just through aspecific labeling? Can it really be that easy?

Also, what is the wormwood vodka, is it the "petschervodka" (sp?) of the Czech custom, or is it something else, and besides that point would it be as good in a Vodka tonic as Monopolova (my favorite. mmm...mmm...mmmmmm)

And further would these other wormwood based products provide the same or similar "secondary effects" as absinthe, or are those effects derivative of "drug interaction" type occurences between the herbal constituents. I realize there is much contention regarding the bio-chemical trigger to the so-called "secondary effects", but what is your professional opinion?

Just curious, hope it doesn't kill my cat!

By Don_walsh on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 09:35 pm: Edit


Bardouin is right about one thing: the debate is over.

It's over because there are now no known examples, outside of Japan, of a commercial absinthe which does not contain A.absinthium.

We struggled over Trenet and Kermann but it was in vain because in the end they admitted that they both DO contain A.absinthium; the cause of the uncertainty was vague labelling designed to confuse the French authorities.

In the end, the opinion of commercial absinthe distillers/makers turns out to be remarkably uniform -- Suntory being the exception that proves the rule. And we are assuming even this, again based on the Hermes back label. We could be wrong and if so, then there are no known exceptions.

That being the case there isn't much need for any standard, as the makers are all in conformity. (I guess they are all 'ahistorical' like me. Sorry, Sir Winston and Absintheur.)

Some want to argue that this means that wormwood vodka, or Chartreuse, therefore qualify for the BG. That's specious. It's a logical inversion.

Kallisti would have no problem ignoring these as they are demonstrably not absinthe.

I would not recommend demanding that that absinthe proclaim itself as absinthe, as some may well be labelled as liqueur d'armoise, or some such. Some of the Spanish labels say 'anis'. So what?

By Don_walsh on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 09:20 pm: Edit

I have Ricard and Prado (yuck, in Prado's case) Pastis here. Neither label mentions absinthium. So any absinthium must be below whatever threshold EU requires for a substance being identified on label. These products are identified as Pastis, they are caramel colored, and they are distributed in France where Absinthe remains illegal.

They are Pastis.

Kallisti has no difficulty in assigning them to the Pastis section, I assume, because they are self avowedly Pastis.

You are using handle Bardouin, and you say you are a distiller. And you talk about ingredients in Henri Bardouin Pastis. So you are dancing around the issue, wanting us to assume that you are the distiller of Bardouin Pastis. *shrug* I could claim to be Henri Pernod, but that wouldn't make it so.

Our position remains: an Absinthe isn't an Absinthe without absinthium. If you bother to read the recent threads you will see that the argument is closed at least as regards modern absinthes, because EVERY modern absinthe we know of contains A.absinthium, save the lone Japanese exception, Suntory Hermes.

You seem to be arguing the obverse: that our rule is that anything with absinthium is absinthe. Sorry, that is not our position at all. You turned it inside-out.

I do not for one moment believe that these Pastis contain absinthium, although they may contain petite wormwood instead. Your unsubstantiated claim is simply not good enough evidence, and, even if it were, that would no more turn Pastis into Absinthe than it would change water into wine.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 05:05 pm: Edit

True Bob, some liquors may contain A. absinthium (like vodka maybe), but that doesn't really qualify being that they aren't marketed as such.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 04:59 pm: Edit

A. absinthium and "wormwood" are not necessarily the same thing. If a product contains 'wormwood', this means nothing. None of these products are marketed as absinthe, and I am highly doubtful that any of them contain A. absinthium. I can think of no reason why they would. What would they gain in comparison to what they could lose (legally)? This seems like a no brainer. Furthermore, none of these products is marketed as absinthe and as far as I am concerned, none are. Trying to convince otherwise is like trying to swim uphill.

As far as testing, unless you test them specifically for marker essences characteristic of distillate of A. absinthium (no official method....yet), testing cannot yield anything definitive. A test for thujone basically means nothing.

By Bob_chong on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 04:53 pm: Edit

I hate to get into this, since I stayed out of the last one. But as a bystander, it seems that an absinthe must (a) call itself absinthe and (b) contain Artemisia Absinthium.

If a drink has wormwood, it is not automatically absinthe. But "absinthe" without wormwood is not really absinthe, either.

So the pastis you mention is pastis. That is what they call themselves. Why doubt it? Wormwood does not make them into absinthe. They are pastis.

Bardouin--what do you distill? Do you work for a large company or distill your own stuff?


By Bardouin on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 04:43 pm: Edit

I have a friend now to help me with my posting so that we can understand. If the debate about what is absinthe is over now, and if don has won, I have a addition or two to the absinthe guide -- Herni Bardouin Pastis has wormwood, so do Prado Pastis, Ricard Pastis (only very little), and Swiss Bitters is also flavored mostly with wormwood. I am a distiller, and I can promise that each one has the real Artemesia absinthium in them. I think that these pastis belong in the absinthe section of the guide if we use wormwood as the difference. I will have reviews and samples to be tested if you want.

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