Is pernod pastis just absinthe without wormwood?

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru February 2002:Is pernod pastis just absinthe without wormwood?
By Heiko on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 08:18 pm: Edit

Is the Pontarlier a l'ancienne exactly the same as the ponsec, only without sugar?

I don't know why I ordered the ponsec, maybe because I thought this was the "standard".

By Don_Walsh on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 07:43 pm: Edit

I only play at the 19th hole.

By Pikkle on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 09:38 am: Edit

I just may fly to Bangkok... git the golf clubs warmed up!

By Wolfgang on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 08:01 am: Edit

If someone have a bottle of this Pontarlier Pastis and is going to the NYC GT, please bring some, I`m curious. (Yes I would drink a glass of fine pastis at an absinthe GT !)

By Petermarc on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 07:50 am: Edit

yup...my vote...pontarlier-anis a l'ancienne
(no sugar)

By Timk on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 07:34 am: Edit

Ok then, what is everyones opinion on the best avaliable anis / pastis, one of the Armand Guy distillery products?

By Wolfgang on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 06:28 am: Edit

Some pastis are way higher quality products than most of the commercial absinthes available today.

If I was in a bar and had the choice between pastis like H. Bardouin or La Muse Verte and absinthe like Montana or even Deva, I'm not sure what would be my choice but for sure I would buy bottles of those pastis again but not of those absenta.

In fact I would probably be so happy to see some absinthe on the menu that I would buy at least a glass but then I would switch to the good pastis...

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:21 pm: Edit

Pikkle, best sweet talk Ted. Or fly to Bangkok.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:19 pm: Edit

Pernod didn't invent Pastis; Pernod didn't make pastis till '46, about 20-25 years after pastis emerged.

Pastis was popularized in the '20s by (race car driver) Paul Ricard, but he didn't invent it. I'm a little vague about its exact origins, but it seems like it was a widespread semi commercial or non commercial liquor in Marseilles after, and maybe before the 1915 ban. But it was Ricard who vaulted it into more than provincial prominence. (I am prepared to be corrected.)

If pastis has a 'defining ingredient' it is star anise.

Wormwood is by definition the 'defining ingredient' in absinthe, but it is not the main ingredient, nor the dominant flavor. When done right there is no dominant flavor to absinthe, but a harmonious and exquisite balance.

Pssst don't tell anyone. Some pastis contain wormwood (not southernwood, not petite/Roman wormwood or mugwort. Grande womrwood. Not much of it, but there it is, and pastis makers seem to do it out of defiance as much as anything else. How do I know. Pastis makers tell me so. Can I prove it? Well, probably if I tried. The herbal signature would be there, maybe in a rather cluttered chart, maybe down in the baseline noise, but still.

But I see little or no attempt at balance in most pastis (or most modern absinthe for that matter.)

C'est domage.

By Louched_Liver on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:05 pm: Edit

Donster,

wink, wink.
Pikkle wants a sample.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:02 pm: Edit

Hey yourself, Pikkle, I'm not the obstacle to the flow of Jade. We are performing the Labors of Hercules. And succeeding, I might add.

By Lmarchegrisiste on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:01 pm: Edit

Answer to topic: No, with a different defining ingredient Pernod tried to create a set of secondary ingredients to compliment it.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 06:52 pm: Edit

Perhaps what Alpha was saying is that the difference in price and effort required to obtain modern absinthes is generally greater than the difference in character of those modern absinthes as compared to some modern liqueurs d'anise. It is a valid point when one considers that the finest modern absinthes are currently about on par with some decent liqueurs d'anise in several aspects, and the other modern 'absinths' range from inferior to undrinkable.

Sorry fellas, but home-made bootlegs don't figure into commercial economics for obvious reasons.

As far as Jade, all we can say about pricing is that we won't be the cheapest, and we won't be the most expensive.


"Have another Chateau Zagreb '97. Can I have a dixie cup, pls?"

I recently ate in a small dive of a Russian cafe that was located in the midst of a city not especially known for its cultural diversity. The waiter barely spoke English, and upon seeing my disappointment that the Moldavian champagne I ordered was unavailable, suggested a Georgian red. While the wine was not bad, I noticed that it was 12 years old, and had quite a bit of sediment in the bottle. Very strange. Places like this make the world go round.

By Pikkle on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 06:42 pm: Edit

Hey Don... I haven't tasted Jade either... hint... hint... fuckin hint!

By Sicboy13 on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 06:36 pm: Edit

It's better than just that, buy all you can, it is illegal in 43 states now

By Louched_Liver on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 05:45 pm: Edit

Wolvie delivered: 2 bottles/pkg, $40 shipping/pkg (his cost), $60/bottle w/8 bottle order (my cost)=$40/bottle cost (they ain't comin' all at once). Since nobody is knocking on my door w/it, right in the Donster's ballpark.

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 05:32 pm: Edit

As far as I am concerned the current cost of La Bleue is 50 swiss francs, because that is what I pay for it. $30 US. Anyone who pays more for it like the fellow singing the praises of the Absinthe MD for $160, is paying for his own convenience and lack of resources, and no I do not live in the Val de Trevers.

As to segarra you will have to take up the issue with SC, their shippers and the Spanish tax authorities.

As to Jade, I cannot comment on the price. Ask Ted. I am pushing the envelope to tell you that you will be very pleasantly surprised by the price. Very.

You know why we won't comment further? Because we don't want our competitors to know any sooner than they have to, that's why. So don't ask.

If you think absinthe ought to cost what pastis costs, you don't understand how reral absinthe is made. Pastis is NOT distilled. (With rare exceptions.) Pastis is mass produced. La Bleue is distilled and BOOTLEG. Segarra is distilled and a niche market product by a tiny distillery that mostly makes brandy and gin and other things. Just how many bottles of Segarra Absenta do you reckon they make a year?

If you are arguing "What the world really needs is a good $5 liter of absinthe" you are just engaging in wishful thinking.

La Fee? Costs me about $60 in UK. It's OK. Do I bother to replace it when the bottle is empty? No. Do I think it is worth $60? Yes. Because it really isn't too shabby, if you overlook the artificial color. Probably not distilled. But not overloaded with star anise. And certainly better than any Cz.

I assume you have not tasted Jade?

Then you really shouldn't be asking about the price because you have no idea of the value, and none of your three yerdsticks apply.

It's like saying, "This Chateau Latour '35 is really overpriced. Now, I've had Cold Duck, and Mateus, and some Bulgarian chianti -- '97 from the east side of the hog wallow -- and I just don't see what all the money will go for."

Fine. Have another Chateau Zagreb '97. Can I have a dixie cup, pls? (My hamster needs a Roman enema.)

By Petermarc on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 04:29 pm: Edit

after the ban and WWI (1920),in france, any sort of anis based liquor was limited to 30°(my guess is that added sugar managed to give this stuff at least some flavor)...this was raised to 40° in 1922, then 45° in 1938, then it was banned totally from 1940 to 1945, then allowed to be 40° until 1951, when it was allowed to be 45°...do you think you could keep any sort of consistent quality (let alone, make it taste like original absinthe), after going through this kind of legal shit?

By Pikkle on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Just try stoking up some of that green fairy in a glass dick and tell me how it feels...

By Chevalier on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 03:06 pm: Edit

Yes, it's true. It really is. (And an alarm has just starting ringing in Ted's underground absinthe lair.)

By Alphasoixante on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 02:59 pm: Edit

Thanks for the short answer Don.

"When you migrate to better absinthes the question becomes ridiculous."

I'm not so sure. The best I've tried are La Fee and Segarra. Both good, but neither one's worth its current cost. As for the bleues, wolvies, etc, are they really worth it, when Jade will eventually be available and in a comparable price range?

for the record: my question is not about the merits of deva compared to other absinthes, but merely about its merits compared to readily available pastis.

Here's another question, though. Why did absinthe makers (like Pernod and Berger) change their products so radically when absinthe was banned? Why didn't they make something more interesting--more along the lines of H.Bardouin? Maybe because it's cheaper and easier, but then, why did they only become cheap and lazy after the ban?

one last question: I've also heard that absinthe's secondary effects are like really good crack cocaine. is that true?

By Chevalier on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 01:20 pm: Edit

Ted, Alphasoixante knew that. But for the sake of anyone that didn't, I was being facetious (or self-admittedly stupid). Having tasted good and bad pastis -- a horrible Chilean concoction named PERNAUT 45 comes to mind -- I've never encountered any that seemed a cousin to Swiss absinthe.

By Heiko on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 01:02 pm: Edit

If anything is "absinthe without wormwood", then it is Pontarlier Anis.

By Tabreaux on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 12:59 pm: Edit

Modern pastis is not absinthe without the wormwood, and no modern pastis bears much resemblence to the absinthes of yesteryear.

My guess is that the Spanish brands, which appear to be recent fabrications, modeled themselves from modern liqueurs d'anise with respect to both materials and methods, hence the resemblence. In any case, I find the better Spanish brands to be more palatable than the likes of modern Pernod and most others.

By Chevalier on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 12:50 pm: Edit

Yes, Pernod pastis is just absinthe without wormwood. (I'm in a very stupid mood today.)

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 12:50 pm: Edit

The short answer is Yes.

I don't bother to keep either around, though. That is, neither Deva nor any pastis.

When you migrate to better absinthes the question becomes ridiculous.

As SC's prices have soiralled, the question as posed is more legitimate that it was last year, I'll give you that.

By Alphasoixante on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 12:43 pm: Edit

now that i've got your attention, i'll ask a sincere question:

is the taste of deva interesting enough compared to mediocre pastis to justify the extra expense? most people mention the overpowering star anise and excessive sweetness, which makes it sound as though there's no significant difference from pernod or ricard. is there more to it than that?

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