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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe History
dreamweaver80
this morning I found an old book in the market of old things here in Mantova.
it was dated 1904 and edit by Hoepli.
I found a quite unusual recipe of "suisse absinthe".

it was:

150 (I don't know what) of artemisia absinthm
300 of star anise
300 of green anise
150 of calamus
300 of fennel
65 of lemon balm
65 of hyssop
9 of alcool at 65°


macerate everything for several days then add

1L of rum from jamaica
alcool at 95°
sugar
water

distilling and make the liqueur having 80°, then color it with blue indigo and saffron yellow.


now, I think everyone can notice how strange is this recipe and probably we all would say it is a false recipe or the guy who wrote that book didn't know anything about absinthe...but there is no doubt about its date: from 1904.
can we say this could be a typical example of a "not-absinthe" sold as absinthe in the old days?
pierreverte
it's from the swiss canton of kingston, mon!
justabob
Ja mon, thats 150 grams of Ganja.
eric
That is quite a bit of calamus. Lots of badiane too.
Oxygenee
That's a HUGE amount of calamus - as much as the wormwood!

It's really a very interesting find. Any chance you could post a scan of the page with the recipe, and also the title page?
KingofNothing
This could be used as evidence in alot of the arguments around here.
Ari
I don't know much about recipes (so feel free to correct me) but it seems like a recipe for a lower quality but probably cheaper to make absinthe. High amounts of star anise (louche powerup?), rum (fake a good alcohol base?), sugar (to hide errors or low quality herbs?) and artificial coloring. What would be the use of so much calamus?
SoulShade
Interesting. Scans would be great. -s
Brett
Its some sort of quasi-abisnthe, I think. I can't see rum, especially rum from Jamaica being a very good base alcohol, as it tends to have a strong flavour of its own. Rum at that time would likely have been too dark. That would be a louche to see. Some sort of rum anise drink? Rum absinthe? Its just wierd.
traineraz
Before someone jumps on ya, I'm going to politely point out that the rum is added here before distillation.

Distillates (Old Yeller notwithstanding) are clear. Colors are usually imbued either by cask-aging (think whisky, rum, etc.) or the familiar herbal coloration step we see in vertes.
le Gimp
Depending on the rum, it could have given some nice flavor enhancements. Particularly Heavy Rum.

As with all distilled spirits which are aged in wood to extract vanilin and other components form the wood, a lot of the characteristics of finished RUM are wood induced.

Distillation would filter some of these components out.

Adding sugar prior to distillation makes no sense as the sugar would promote foaming during distillation. It would not come across in the distillate.

How much alcohol at 95%?
How much water?

Lots of questions. But, an interesting historical note none the less.

Thanks.



KingofNothing
So it doesn't matter what the measurements are on everything in that recipe as long as they're equal parts. Could be an ounce, could be a kilo. But the alcohol is only...9 parts to hundreds of parts of other ingredients. Obviously the alcohol unit of measurement is different than the other unit.

I only bring it up because i was thinking about the ratio of rum to the rest of the alcohol base. Depending on the liquid measurement of the alcohol base, the one liter of rum could be alot, or very little in comparison. Therefore it could impart a bunch, or almost no flavor to the final product.

Because the recipe says an actual amount of rum (one liter) you could approximate the amount of alcohol used in the recipe based on the amount of alcohol you could use and still experience a flavor change from the rum. Not very accurate though. Using that calculation, you could also approximate the unit measurement of the dry ingredients in relation to the amount of alcohol in the recipe. It would all be very rough estimates though. I'm done trying to be smart. Of course I won't actually take the time to actually do these things myself and come up with results. That would be work.
dreamweaver80
QUOTE(Oxygenee @ May 21 2006, 02:38 PM) *

That's a HUGE amount of calamus - as much as the wormwood!

It's really a very interesting find. Any chance you could post a scan of the page with the recipe, and also the title page?



I have not bought the book. it was quite expansive and, to tell the truth, I was interested only in that half page about absinthe...
anyway, probably next month that man who try to sold it will be again in Mantova: I can try to ask him if I can borrow the book for some minutes so I can print the page and scan it .
traineraz
Poop, you could also review the historical recipes section of this site, and determine an appropriate unit of measurement by extrapolation.

DW, you may have to offer to pay the seller a few Euros for photocopies/scans of the pages. If it's an expensive book, he's not likely to let a stranger borrow it (he's not running a lending library), and would probably prefer to make photocopies of pages himself to prevent damage to his merchandise.

If he's willing to make copies for you, be sure to check for relevant data in the surrounding pages (context and such). A bit of text on the next or previous page, or a chapter introduction, might provide some valuable insights into the author's situation (including the scale of distillation at which he was working, and perhaps if he was associated with any particular distillery).

Good luck!
Jack Batemaster
Actually, adding sugar b4 distillation may help to add some of that burnt™ character. This may have been an early Jade recipe!
Molly
Just use a digital camera....
Brett
QUOTE(traineraz @ May 21 2006, 09:54 PM) *

Before someone jumps on ya, I'm going to politely point out that the rum is added here before distillation.

Distillates (Old Yeller notwithstanding) are clear. Colors are usually imbued either by cask-aging (think whisky, rum, etc.) or the familiar herbal coloration step we see in vertes.


Ehhh...missed that part. I just read the list of ingredients, not the process.
Jaded Prole
It doesn't sound like a very good recipe but it demonstrates that, even at the height of absinthe popularity, there was crap.
brucer
dreamweaver80,

Did you get a photocopy ?

If not, can you remember what the book was like ?

Was this meant to be a commercial recipe (probably not), or was this a home-brew recipe ?

If the latter, it is hardly surprising. Mrs Beeton etc. had recipes for everything.

Bruce
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