Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: Pastis
By wolfgang on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 12:10 pm: Edit

That was not realy a recommendation... ;-)

By Morriganlefey on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 01:57 pm: Edit

Blechhh, Wolfgang!!

I absolutely LOVE Campari (even more than *gasp* absinthe or pastis) so I naturally thought to make a mixed drink of the two together, you know, just fer' kicks. COMPLETELY YUCKY - in color and in flavour. The anise and bitter orange fought with each other like Big Don & Lord H, and the dark orange of the Campari muddied the lovely opalescent green louche to a "dried ketchup" coloring.

2 thumbs DOWN,

- Morrigan

By wolfgang on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 01:33 pm: Edit

Another EVIL Pastis is the "Faux-Serpis" !

Same previous mix of Versinthe and Bardouin but you add some Campari to the mix.. Whouahahahaha!

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 06:34 pm: Edit

A great pastis mix is 2/3 Versinthe (EU version, wathever it is) and 1/3 Henri Bardouin. It make a very smooth and flavorful drink.

By Etienne on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 03:13 pm: Edit

I've tried Ricard with Peychaud's, not half bad. Seems to cut the anise flavor a little. Also helps with that color.

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 11:38 am: Edit

Try Ricard with a healthy dash of Angostura bitters (main flavor component: gentian).

Wakes things up a bit!


By Maxpower on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 11:36 am: Edit

i like ricard as well,i just wish it was a different color,even clear would be better.that carmel color louches to look like dirty bathwater,yuk

By Chevalier on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 11:31 am: Edit

Christ, this forum is getting to me. Last night, I dreamt I was in a liquor store with sky-high shelves, filled with varieties of Pastis -- including brands that don't exist. Help!

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 07:42 am: Edit

You`r lucky to like it so much. Here in Montréal that`s the only drinkable pastis that is available in bars. I drink it sometimes but I don`t like it that much.

By Heiko on Tuesday, October 09, 2001 - 10:45 am: Edit

I just fell in love with Ricard again - and it has such a smashing effect on me, it's amazing. Two glasses and I feel really drunk. Good stuff for a fair price!

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, October 09, 2001 - 10:40 am: Edit

I finaly had the chance to taste Pastis Henri Bardouin. It's definitly a nice, clean and refreshing pastis. It now completes my favorite pastis trio wich now include Bardouin, Combier and...well... Versinthe (whatever it is).

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 11:43 pm: Edit

Prado is really crap, don't waste your money. All pastis is not created equal.

Compared to Ricard or Herbsaint it is harsh and industrial tasting. Its sole virtue is that is is cheap cheap but, I had a long time to wait before the liter went away, and that is not normal around here.

(Pernod, Ricard and Prado are the most readily available pastis in Bangkok. If there are others they are well hidden. Chances are Laos has a better selection -- Vientiene has a far better selection of French wine and cheese products so it is a good guess they have a wider choice of pastis.)

By Bob_Chong on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 11:39 pm: Edit

I stand corrected (sort of).

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 11:37 pm: Edit

Bill, the testing that reported Herbsaint to contain thujone was apparently flawed. GC assay for thujone is not a trivial task, and is easily mucked up.

As pastis go I like Herbsaint, but, I'm from NOLA so that's predictible.

By Bob_Chong on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 11:37 pm: Edit


There are two lines of questions that will yield no answers. You've hit on one of them.


By Guillermo on Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 11:18 pm: Edit

Hi there:

I bought a bottle of Herbsaint at the BevMo on San Pablo in Albany tonight -- it cost $13.

It's a more full-bodied drink than my Tunel, and probably more complex, although I haven't yet compared them side by side. The H still has a high alcohol content (45%) although not as high as the Tunel (70%).

I just got done reading some archived postings on Herbsaint, many of which involved a debate over apparent thujone content. Interesting, and I wonder if anyone has tested Herbsaint lately?

I really like bitter drinks, yet I find the Herbsaint still to have some sweetness. And I also find the Herbsaint to lack what I would call the "depth" of my Tunel, although all that could be in my mind!

Hoping you all are well --

Bill in Berkeley.

By Heiko on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:26 am: Edit

Well, yes, they do. But it would be half the price if I found it in a nearby store. It's the same with Ricard - I can buy it in the store for 12 Euro a bottle.
51 is not that interesting, I think, so I won't pay too much money for it.

By Simonsuisse on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 10:22 am: Edit

Heiko, SC sell 51 dont they?

By Heiko on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 12:12 am: Edit

Weird, I never heard of Prado and Granier pastis.
I've had Grand Marnier, but didn't know they make pastis, also...

Pernod, Ricard, Prado - that's not too bad. I know one store where I can get Ricard, I haven't found 51 yet. I have to mailorder HB, Janot or Garagai. Most stores only have Pernod. Germans don't seem to be pastis drinkers. Don't seem to? They are not!

By Etienne on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 09:03 pm: Edit

Michigan is kind of a bother with its liquor laws. There is a list of what will be allowed into the state. Maybe we're not the only state with such a list. As far as pastis go, Pernod, Ricard and Prado and that's about it. No Herbsaint, no Muse Verte. It's illegal to mail anything alchoholic at all into Mich. Again, I don't know if that's usual in other states.

By Absinthespoon on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 07:47 pm: Edit

Actually you can browse the inventory specific to each store at

The online ordering was kind of lame, though. When I went to pick up my order, it took way longer than if I had just picked it out myself. They gave me $10 off though!

By Emmy on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 02:40 pm: Edit

you forgot the exclamation point, Leela =) as a friend said to me, you gotta work at at least one place in your life with an exclamation point in the name:

Beverages & More!


Etienne, sorry to say they're only in California right now, but expansion has been pretty good the past few years. used to be just the bay area, now there are stores in LA, San Diego, Sacramento...

By Leela on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 08:01 am: Edit

Beverages & More

Imagine a supermarket-sized store full of ... you guessed it ... beverages and more.


By Etienne on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 05:30 am: Edit

Hey everybody, what the hell is a BevMo? Sounds like the grandfather of liquor stores. Not something I've run into around here. Pardon my ignorance, just sounds interesting. However, I do have Bells Brewery about four blocks down the street. That does help to make up for being stranded in the midwest. :-)

By Emmy on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 11:21 pm: Edit

yeah i think it's Solano. it's right at the freeway exit.

By Absinthespoon on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 09:30 pm: Edit

I go to the BevMo on Bayshore. It's conveniently located right off the 101 fwy at Cesar Chavez, very tempting when you're driving home at night, and the traffic backs up right there, you think, "Oh, I'll just pop into BevMo till the traffic clears!" $100 later, you're driving home with goodies in the trunk, Chartreuse and Averna and Barenjager...

By Guillermo on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 09:20 pm: Edit


I'm looking forward to visiting BevMo, and thanks Emmy -- Albany IS much closer (I'm guessing Solano Ave?).

More on liqueurs: my friend upstairs has been stocking up on these delicious Italian aperitifs with names I can't remember, but they're all pretty cheap and tasty, so I have high hopes for Herbsaint! How do you all drink it?

Cheers -- Bill.

By Heiko on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 08:07 pm: Edit

Pontarlier Anise isn't available anywhere outside France, I think.
I don't know where to get it, even Pontarlier isn't that far from the south of Germany.

By Emmy on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:19 pm: Edit

guillermo, there's also a BevMo in Albany that might be closer to you in Berkeley. otherwise just hit the JLS store when you're down there next. we've also got a store on Geary & Stanyan in SF and several others in the bay area. if you've never been to one, if you're a liquor lover, you're first response should be "oh my god i'm in heaven!" hehe. don't think i'll be working there again though since i've moved back to the city. maybe i'll pay the geary store a visit and see about staying on payroll. i know some folks there.

By Absinthespoon on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:07 pm: Edit

Personally I think herbsaint has a strong fennel component. It is great to cook with, in any recipe that calls for Pernod. Even though I actually love fennel as a vegetable, I find herbsaint quite undrinkable. If you like it, you are lucky because it's only like $12 at BevMo.

By Tlautrec on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 03:19 pm: Edit


I get my Herbsaint at Beverages and More at Jack London Square. Unfortunately, you've got to go to Paris to find the Pontarlier.

By Guillermo on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 02:00 pm: Edit


Thank you for your fine reviews of Pontarlier and Herbsaint. I get much more out of the drinking experience when I have some images in mind -- I learned this first with wine.

Anyway, I know that H is available in US stores -- how about P? I don't have the time to research an answer myself right now.

Tks -- Bill fm Berkeley.

By Heiko on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 06:24 am: Edit

Unfortunately I have never tried Pontarlier Anis even they had it at the bar in Boveresse. I had another local anise that was called Neuchatel Blanche of which I had some drinks. It tasted very much like a La Bleue (I can't be sure now because I had the Blanche before I ever had La Bleue, then I never had the Blanche again...).

Seems like the people in the Val de Travers like their anise distilled (this seems to be the case with Pontarlier Anise, too). More of an "absinthe without wormwood" than "pastis".

By Perruche_Verte on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 01:32 am: Edit

Mini-review of Anis del Mono:

The aroma in the glass is exactly like Deva, intensifying with water. The louche is similar to Deva's, but perhaps not as thick. Strong smell of anise and fennel. I believe star anise is the main flavor, followed by fennel, but there may also be green anise present. The taste is very much like a smoother Deva without any burnt or woody flavors.

The variety I have is dry (seco). This anis also comes in a sweet variety (dulce). I think the dry anis is quite sweet enough, though there is probably no added sugar.

A very simple beverage, elegant, enjoyable, affordable. Not bad in the wee hours of the AM while thinking about nuclear war.

By Aion on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 11:24 pm: Edit

The Pontarlier Anis (and Segarra as well, but I like the former better, though not absinthe) are the only commercial product available that show,
that there was quite a lot of artisanal work involved to make it. These are both products made by people not only interested in making money, but loving their own work and products.
Funny that both share the similarity, that they are rather simply designed, not an overwhelming herbal (or oil) hodge-podge. Less sometimes is more.

By Tlautrec on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:55 pm: Edit

I will also strongly vouch for Pontarlier Anis and Herbsaint - they are both among the very best commercial products of their type.

Just for kicks, I have poured myself a small dose of each over an ice cube and added some water. Both louche beautifully, but the Pontarlier is cloudy grey-white, much like a Swiss la Bleue, whereas the Herbsaint is greenish-yellow, more like the color of modern Pernod.

The Pontarlier is crisp and clean. Upon sipping, a wave of anise flavor rolls over the middle of my tongue and resides there strongly for at least ten seconds after the liquid has slid down my throat. The flavor comes on with a crescendo and then a delightful, slow decrescendo. Indeed, a half a minute later, the spicy and only slightly sweet but quite delectable anise flavor continues to delicately permeate my mouth. And yet, the flavor is much rounder and more complex than just anise. I detect other herbs in there - fennel, maybe hyssop, maybe a touch of something minty or almost citrusy - could it be melissa? There might even be a touch of tansy in it to give it structure and depth. This is a very multi-dimensional drink - all it lacks is that wonderful, magical, slightly numbing and slightly bitter depth that AA provides. If this drink did have it, we'd all be singing its praises. It would beat out just about every commercial absinthe product currently on the market. Great stuff, though, even without AA.

Now for the Herbsaint. Quite different. Less anise flavor, but slightly more bitter, more herbal and less sweet than Pontarlier. Upon sipping, the flavor manifests most strongly on the side of the tongue and around the interior of the mouth, less so on the top of the tongue. The overall taste is not quite as strong as the Pontarlier, and the residual aftertaste doesn't last as long as the Pontarlier. However, there seem to be additional herbs or spices in it that are not in the Portarlier. Could be gentian; could be coriander; could be angelica. This stuff actually tastes a little more like absinthe, even though to my palate, it is overall somewhat less intense than Portarlier. It is, however, also very, very fine, and a most worthy drink. IMHO, it is definitely tastier and more sophisticated than any of the Spanish products I've tried (including Segarra and NS).

One final point on terminology. I don't think either one of these beverages is quite a "pastis", a term which I associate with licorice-flavored drinks of a somewhat different style from Provence. Pontarlier, from Franche-Comté, calls itself an "Anis," which is also what modern Pernod (a much, much less satisfying drink) really is. I would also categorize Herbsaint as an anis, even though its anise flavor is less pronounced, because it is completely lacking that distinctive licorice quality one finds even in very good pastis like Henri Bardouin.

Any other flavor observations on these two fine beverages out there?

By Zack on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 12:40 am: Edit

"I drink some pastis over many absinthes"

I do this as well. I prefer Herbsaint to ALL of the Spanish absentas I have tried (currently 11 of them). Actually, I guess I prefer Herbsaint to all of the Commercial absinthes I have tried (inc. La Fee).

By Absinthespoon on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 09:42 pm: Edit

Pastis 51 is lovely, a drink to be savored while imagining one is in Provence. Personally I prefer 51 to HB, though HB is available locally and 51 is not.

I don't think Absente is really so awful. To me it tasted similar to Muse Verte and Manguin (though it's been awhile since I tasted it, and I'm not likely to taste it again).

By Chevalier on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:16 pm: Edit

Anis del Mono is all over the place in Santiago. I've never tried it, though; judging from the bottle and the low price, it doesn't seem promising. Hope you prove me wrong!

By Perruche_Verte on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 03:12 pm: Edit

I second Heiko's enthusiasm for HB, but I think their website states that the herbal essences are in fact "distilled" separately. I'm no expert on this, but I believe that refers to steam distillation. It is a very tasty drink, and I prefer it to Deva or Lasala. A good pastis does beat a bad absinthe.

La Muse Verte is a good deal more expensive here, so I'd just as soon order absinthe. I like Ricard but HB is better, and costs about the same.

Pastis 51 is available through SC, for us deprived North American types. Haven't tried it yet, though I did order a bottle of Anis del Mono.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 02:54 pm: Edit

I drink some pastis over many absinthes...I would much rather drink Pontarlier Anis over Deva, Segarra, etc...

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 01:12 pm: Edit

So we have a few Pastis drinkers on the forum then. Henri Bardouin certainly can't be desctibed as 'one-dimensional' or tasting just of anise, many different herbal flavours are present and it's a very subtle drink.

I've never tasted Duval or La Muse Verte, I should look them up. Perhaps I'll even try some Absente as well.


By Heiko on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 06:17 pm: Edit

I thought had I posted here before... strange.

I also agree - especially when you take HB Pastis as an example: According to the maker it is distilled - a technique that would suit most absinthes fine.

I think the only bad absinthe that is described as pastis is Absente. Absente, sold as pastis, wouldn't be that bad - better than Pernod pastis, in my opinion. The fact that it is sold under the wrong label "absinthe" and the fact that it is overpriced for pastis make it a fraud.
Then, of course, most pastis are oil mixes, just like most of the modern, not perfect absinthes. That doesn't mean absinthe or pastis mixed from oils is necessarily bad, but it is made after "méthode pastisienne", so to say (or something like that, je ne parle pas francais).

By Simonsuisse on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 04:04 pm: Edit

I would have to agree completly with LordhobG about pastis. I recently recieved a bottle of pastis Duval and i must say, this is a really flavourful drink with a wonderful louche. It has a really pleasant after taste.

By Chevalier on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 03:56 pm: Edit

I have never had homemade absinthe. I have never tasted any JL. Commercial absinthes are where my experience starts and stops.

Between the flavors of these commercial absinthes and those of fine pastis, I prefer the pastis.

Heck, I also prefer wine over beer, but sample both with gusto.

By Pataphysician on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 02:38 pm: Edit

>Pastis is pastis and absinthe is absinthe and both can be very good. We do good pastis a dishonour by describing bad absinthe as "pastis".

I agree completely. I drink as much pastis as I do absinthe, and I don't think of pastis as always having a "lesser" taste than absinthe. There's a range of tastes in both.

If you can find La Muse Verte, try that. It's expensive in the U.S., more than Spanish absinthe, but I still buy it occasionally because it's so damn good. Bardouin is my regular, and I've recently begun to appreciate Ricard more. Alternating those with Segarra, NS and Deva and it's a dang Rainbow Coalition of flavor, baby.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 11:58 am: Edit


I haven't. In fact I've tasted very few types of pastis, only Pernod, Ricard and Henri Bardouin (and another one that was called 51 or something like that I think). But nothing beats sitting outside a cafe in Provence sipping a cool glass of Pastis and watching the world go by.


By Chevalier on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 11:36 am: Edit

Ever had Duval, Hob? Chile has a surprising variety of pastis. Let me know; if not, I'll try some next week and we'll see if it's worth the price.

By Bob_Chong on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 11:33 am: Edit

What a pastis-y thing for you to say.



By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, September 10, 2001 - 11:08 am: Edit

Last night I was getting a bottle of absinthe out of the cupboard to fix myself a drink when I spotted a of Henri Bardouin pastis I had bought about 3 years ago and never finished. This forum has made me 'snobbish' about pastis especially when we describe absinthes we don't rate as 'pastis' etc. So I then thought "I'll fix myself a glass of pastis instead". And you know what it was lovely, it tasted nothing like absinthe but in my mind it was just as good.

Pastis is pastis and absinthe is absinthe and both can be very good. We do good pastis a dishonour by describing bad absinthe as "pastis".


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