I had my first Absinthe experience in May at a local bar (a "fancy" bar,) …on a whim, I asked the waitress if they had any Absinthe, and, as it turned out, they did! They carried an American contribution to the spirit in St. George Absinthe. They presented the drink with sugar, and started it on fire (now i know better), and i was hooked.
For my 33rd birthday, a good friend of mine bought me a bottle of Kubler (one of the 3 brands that can be found in liquor stores in my place in the world. The others being Lucid, and Pernod, which i will not buy due to the fact that it derives its color from yellow dye number 5, and therefore, does not seem an accurate representation of true Absinthe.
Since that first bottle, my curiosity peaked, I subsequently bought a bottle of Lucid, which i did enjoy very much, though now I have come to understand that it is fairly stock, but a solid Absinthe nonetheless. I then found a website that offered an Absinthe sampler. With that, I have been able to sample; Clandestine, Libertine (which i found out later is not actually a true Absinthe as it has no Artemisia Absinthium), Doubs Mystique, Eichelberger, L'Originale, and Angelique Verte Suisse. I have since ordered a bottle of the American offering, Pacifique, which has received good reviews in the Buyers Guide.
I am a man of meager means and expensive tastes, so I have to limit myself to a bottle a month. Recommendations of reasonably priced Absinthes would be greatly appreciated.
I also had one quick question…how did dripping iced water slowly into the drink come about? I am aware that Absinthe was added to the water of French soldiers during WWI to prevent dissentary, but when was it discovered that the slow drip meathod really unleashed Absinthe's seductive qualities?
The slow drip probably derived from theories in French cooking, similar to not pouring a deluge of oil when trying to mix it with vinegar, or whipping eggs in copper.
Welcome to the forum!
No way around the cost of a good absinthe, it is a small batch hand crafted drink. I am not a rich guy, either, but I would rather go for quality no matter what kind of drink I enjoy.
As for the slow drip, I would add to what Kirk said, that part of the reason the method evolved was that sugar in the mid 1800's was sold in a hard loaf. You had to cut off a lump, then pouring the water slowly helped it dissolve.
Just a history correction, absinthe was banned near the start of WWI (1915). It became popular among soldiers much earlier in the colonial wars of the 1830-40's. In WWI a lot of good booze was turned into gunpowder! See http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe/prohibition3.html
and poke around a bit in the Virtual Museum.
AH! I was just about to correct my WWI error too!
I'm also a man of "meager means" who's found quite an expensive taste. This love of absinthe isn't cheap, but I'd definately agree with L'Assommoir earlier. To my knowledge the best absinthes all comes from small batch distilleries and the cost equals the quality pretty good. You'd better watch out for pure scams (crapsinths) though.
If you make an item by hand it may be possible to trade that item for absinthe.
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