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> Original recipe for Absinthe Ordinaire 65° Abel Bresson
Marc
post Nov 3 2010, 11:28 AM
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With the prices for each herbs.

A big thank you to Libellule70 from the French forum who discovered this in the Vesoul city archives.

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bobt
post Nov 3 2010, 01:17 PM
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Thanks Marc, that is a wonderful bit of absinthe history.
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Kirk
post Nov 3 2010, 01:45 PM
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Could anyone take a stab at what those prices would be in today's money?


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Shabba53
post Nov 3 2010, 01:56 PM
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With just a very quick search, I found that in 1913 (the earliest I found), $1 = F 5.184

So, if we take a look at the last set of numbers, regarding a hectoliter of absinthe at 65 degrees in 1911, we would get $218.20 in inflation adjusted dollars.

Give me a bit more time, and I can probably find exchange rates from 1911, and could convert all of the numbers.
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Kirk
post Nov 3 2010, 02:42 PM
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Thanks Shabba. It would be great to know what all those herbs used to cost.


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Provenance
post Nov 3 2010, 04:31 PM
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The exchange rate at the end of 1911 was also about 5.2 about the same earlier in the year. What inflation measure are you using?


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Grim
post Nov 3 2010, 05:50 PM
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Very interesting stuff… thanks, Marc.

I'm wishing he had other images, especially of the preceding pages.


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Shabba53
post Nov 3 2010, 05:56 PM
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QUOTE(Provenance @ Nov 3 2010, 12:31 PM) *

What inflation measure are you using?

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Provenance
post Nov 3 2010, 06:47 PM
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You may want to try normalizing the numbers as a share of GNP per capita. It can give a better sense of what spending that amount of money meant.


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Shabba53
post Nov 3 2010, 07:00 PM
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If you have the GNP data, feel free. This can be collaborative. I don't want to monopolize the data sharing.

I just wanted to answer Kirk's question relating to how much it would cost in today's dollars, not necessarily what spending that amount meant to people back then.

That would certainly be very interesting to find out though.
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Kirk
post Nov 3 2010, 07:42 PM
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It would be, and certainly what the money meant is related to what it is in today's dollars.
It would be nice to see the price of things like a cup of coffee, loaf of bread, pound of hyssop and how much sweat it took to buy one.


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Grim
post Nov 3 2010, 08:09 PM
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Of course, being me, finding out the cost of things doesn't seem all that exciting… but it is good to gather a sense of these sort of things for posterity, historical perspective, etc.

I think the fact that the recipe speaks of blanquette, in a "quantite habituelle" is a wonderful find. The suggestion appears in so normative a way, in pages filled with such very careful detail, it's something understood… typical.

The "à f" sometimes "a f"… is that "à faire", "à fois"… what is that understood to stand in for when you see it, Marc?

The coloration description is interesting.


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Donnie Darko
post Nov 3 2010, 08:15 PM
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Is 3/6 meant to be Trois-Six at 95 degrees diluted down to 90?

This is a pretty awesome find, as it's not a second (or third) hand account, like Duplais, Fritsch, etc, but seems to either be direct from the maker or the maker's book-keeper. Judging by the neatness of the handwriting I'd wager the maker's wife/mistress/gay lover was the book-keeper. Of course for all we know this could be a recipe for a shitty absinthe, but it's still one hell of a cool discovery. Thanks for sharing it. Some who have an interest in making absinthe might have kept it to themselves, so it's nice to have it out in the open.
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Artemis
post Nov 3 2010, 08:47 PM
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They use the "usual amount of blanquette". PTFA, Grim. It's not a "wonderful find"; we already knew this - well, some of us did, as I recently tried to tell you and you tried to convince me it was not so. You almost had me there, too - harhar.gif

If I have this right:

They made two runs using 632 liters of proof spirit (3/6 = trois six = proof spirit = pure alcohol = 95%) each time and the same herbs each time - doesn't sound like a best practice, but it does seem to say that the second run uses the previous charge of herbs - not the same amounts of herbs, but that same charge. The fact that the price for the herbs only appears once confirms this.

Then they repeated the first operation - two runs plus two runs now makes four runs total.

Then they mixed the product of the four runs with 1200 liters of proof spirit.

This yields 4700 liters of blanche at 74%.

They then took 2100 liters of this blanche and colored it, to yield 2000 liters of verte at 73%.

Finally they placed into a barrel: 2000 liters of verte at 73%, 1230 liters of blanche at 74%, and 400 liters of distilled water to yield 3630 liters of verte at 65%.

It's not so much a protocol as a cost analysis. Apparently water didn't cost them anything, since it's not mentioned.


This post has been edited by Artemis: Nov 3 2010, 10:46 PM


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Artemis
post Nov 3 2010, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE
Judging by the neatness of the handwriting I'd wager the maker's wife/mistress/gay lover was the book-keeper


Ever seen the Declaration of Independence? Penmanship was once an ability possessed by many educated men and women alike, drilled by long hours of practice.


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