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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Vintage Absinthe
justabob
Was wondering when star anise was introduced to Absinthe. Cant seem to pin down a date or manufacturer.

Obviously this spice could not have been grown locally and was in all likelihood expensive to import from the orient in the 19th century.

I realize it is not an ingredient favored by some. I myself find it delightful in small amounts.

Oxy? Someone?
le Gimp
The Bedel (1899) has it listed. It would be interesting if Artemis or someone else with a 1866(?) copy could check to see if it is listed there as well.

(edit) It is in Fritsch 1891 as well.
justabob
Yes Gimpy, I am aware of the 1899 reference. I will have to re read the Fritsch. Yes Artemis has been conspicuous by his absence.
le Gimp
I looked for old books on distilling at my local used bookstore during lunch today. I could find no Bedel or Fritsch for some strange reason.

Even more surprising was the fact that I could find no books by Hemingway.

So much for used book stores in this thriving metropolis.
Perruche_verte
It would be interesting to know where and when this herb came into regular use.

Am I correct that Pernod shunned it until fairly late in the game?

I have tasted both a Pernod Fils c.1913 and a Tarragona c. 1950 (courtesy of Oxygenee) and the latter definitely had star anise in it. It was good, but reminiscent in some ways of modern Abisinthe 72.
Jack Batemaster
QUOTE (le Gimp @ Jul 13 2004, 09:45 AM)
The Bedel (1899) has it listed. It would be interesting if Artemis or someone else with a 1866(?) copy could check to see if it is listed there as well.

(edit) It is in Fritsch 1891 as well.

Duplais mentions it.
justabob
QUOTE (Perruche_verte @ Jul 13 2004, 11:09 AM)
Am I correct that Pernod shunned it until fairly late in the game?


I have never tasted pre ban, but I believe that is correct.

I will bet Ted knows.
morgueann
A tiny bit of star isn't a bad thing. It wouldn't surprise me if it was in some of the "better" brands of vintage, at all. And quote me. TINY. It gives it a slightly increased louche with verte absinthes.
I_B_Puffin
QUOTE (justabob @ Jul 13 2004, 09:42 AM)
Obviously this spice could not have been grown locally and was in all likelihood expensive to import from the orient in the 19th century.

France had a large Asian empire at the time, and Europe was basically in control of China so they could probably buy it cheap. I think that during that time shipping was becoming much less expensive.
Artemis
Star anise (badiane) is mentioned in every old French text on absinthe I've seen, including the 1866 book.

Spices from Asia were no big deal at that point in the history of Europe; they were a major factor in commerce for hundreds of years before that.

I had to resort to Amazon.com to buy Hemingway books; even the local megachain store didn't have many of them. It was probably easier to buy badiane in a small town in 1866 France than to buy a Hemingway book in a small American town in 2004.

There's nothing wrong with star anise in moderation, but it isn't needed in absinthe, either.
le Gimp
abs-cheers.gif Artemis on reading Hemingway.

I finally found a copy of "A Farewell to Arms" at a local used bookstore.

$4.50 wasn't too bad. I found a lot of used Hemingway books on the internet, and may end up ordering them there instead of waiting for a copy to show up at the used book store.

Alpha Soixante
One of the best places for finding used books online is "www.bookfinder.com" A search on that site will mine tons of sources, including independent booksellers like Powell's bookstore, and the giants like Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

You can also do advanced searches if you're looking for hardcover, first edition, a specific publisher, etc.
morgueann
I don't know if any of you have ever been to Hemingway's residence in Key West or not, but it is a truly unique experience. On both of my trips to the Keys the "museum" was closed, but standing on the front porch of the place was all an experience of it's own. Neat neatness. :)
I_B_Puffin
For books older than Hemingway http://www.gutenberg.net/ A good source for books whose copyrights have expired.
simon
I'm pretty certain that i've read somewhere (Can't remember where) that Pernod Fils (Pre-ban) also contained star anise, albeit in such small amounts that it would be hard to detect and that this was a measure purely used to aid the louche.
Jack Batemaster
A little bit of Star Anise isn't bad.
Absomphe
QUOTE (simon @ Aug 27 2004, 03:29 AM)
I'm pretty certain that i've read somewhere (Can't remember where) that Pernod Fils (Pre-ban) also contained star anise, albeit in such small amounts that it would be hard to detect and that this was a measure purely used to aid the louche.

And it was so much more healthful than the additives that one or two of the more unscrupulous absinthe producers used toward the same end, such as antimony chloride. shock.gif
le Gimp
Japanese (Illicium religiosum,11? point) or Chinese (Illicium verum, 6 point) stars?

FDA Warning

Most likely, someone substituted Japanese star anise for Chinese star anise in the tea. They look similar, but the Japanese star anise contains anisatin which is much more toxic.

This makes me wonder if the same may have happened in the distant past. Some of the toxic effects sound like the description of absinthism.
Artemis
QUOTE
This makes me wonder if the same may have happened in the distant past. Some of the toxic effects sound like the description of absinthism.


Don Walsh made some informative posts on this issue some years back. It was discussed here in detail. I don't know if it's captured in the archives.
Absomphe
Who's in this lovely avatar composite, Artemis?
Grim
Uuuhmm...Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon?
Artemis
I don't know their names. Hollywood meat puppets, I suppose:
Absomphe
You're right about the guy, Grim, but the wench is Heather Graham.
morgueann
This is just getting too disturbing for ol' Morgueann.

*runs along to find another, less harsh on the eyes threa?*
G&C
Nuthin' is too distubin' for a Noztrilla!

gun thug.gif
Absomphe
My Bruddah speaks truly, Sistah...

You don't want to visit Smutty's Place, in the Lounge, that's fo' sho'!
grey boy
Smuttty's place is much more enjoyable than that crap.

P.S.
Get yer fuckin' Ts right.
AndrewT
QUOTE (Absomphe @ Aug 27 2004, 11:52 PM)
You're right about the guy, Grim, but the wench is Heather Graham.

Wow, I remember her being much more attractive than that. It's amazing what computers can do, both with the voice and the face.
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