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Full Version: Stupid French limit for fenchone could be removed soon!
The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Dr Magnan's Lab
Marc
Thank you EP and Duvallon for bringing the great news to my attention!

Duvallon blog:
http://www.duvallon.over-blog.com/article-…--41374451.html

Heure Verte:
http://www.heureverte.com/content/view/369/270/

Complete AFSSA PDF file:
http://www.afssa.fr/Documents/AAAT2009sa0262.pdf

Sorry it's all in French but it basically says that the DGS (health organization) has asked the AFSSA (sanitary organization) to remove the fenchone limit in France.
We don't know when it would happen but that's a big step forward!

Next step: label absinthe as "absinthe".
Absomphe
Radical!
G&C
QUOTE
Next step: label absinthe as "absinthe".


Like this?


Click to view attachment
Marc
Yup.
absinthist
But label only real deal absinthes, not everything that might be reminiscent of absinthe. You have absinthe in France? blink.gif

What G&C shows is a good example of a real deal labelled the right way, one of the few, sadly.
Steve
Isn't it still not allowed in the U.S. to call something simply "absinthe" without a modifier? "absinthe superieure" "absinthe verte" "absinthe française" etc…
Marc
QUOTE(absinthist @ Dec 18 2009, 06:05 PM) *

You have absinthe in France?

More than brownish bitterish amateurish vintageish craps.
Alan
QUOTE(Steve @ Dec 18 2009, 10:39 AM) *

Isn't it still not allowed in the U.S. to call something simply "absinthe" without a modifier? "absinthe superieure" "absinthe verte" "absinthe française" etc…

Correct. Hence the imminent arrival of Bairnsfather Extra Anise Absinth, Tabu Absinth Classic Strong etc.
Steve
From Aggelos on twitter: The limits for fenchone and pinocamphone in absinthe have been repealed by decree.

Happy day for French absintheurs (and those who consume absinthe from France)!
Aggelos
I'm currently on a little quest… I must find some legal definitions and the previous decrees.

I can already prove that absinthe may have been consumed for many years after 1915 in France (since the law does not prohibit its consumption, only its production and distribution, as far as I could understand the text !), there may be a loophole in the decrees that may have allowed to produce absinthe until 1922.

More on it when I have substance :)
pierreverte
In 1922, an attempt was made to re-legalize absinthe in France at the Cogrès National du Commerce des Boissons.
It was argued that in one instance, an absinthe drinking 'circle' located in center France, which had 35 - 40 members before the War, had grown to around 500 members and a local distillery had provided 1200 liters of pure alcohol to said circle, which was assumed to be the base for their own illegal fabrication of absinthe, most likely not by distillation. The thought and reasoning for lifting the ban was that more people were drinking clandestine absinthe (of questionable repute) after the ban, than those who had drunk legal absinthe before.
Apparently, nothing came of the effort…
Alan
I have always been intrigued about the 1930 Savoy Hotel Cocktail book with its 104 absinthe cocktails. Where did they get their absinthe from, or did someone organise a big shipment to the Savoy (and other London hotels) in 1915?
Shabba53
Spain?
Alan
Czechoslovakia?
Absinthia
My bet would be on Spain as well. Considering that the country's distillers have been known to create absenta for several decades…
absinthist
I tend to agree with Alan. Cocktail book requirements, so better something that is really cocktail-friendly-does not louche that much and does not have the overpronounced anise profile. Absentas as such were consumed rather the traditional way and being on the heavier badiane side might make very heavy cocktails, too.
Shabba53
I doubt that. I took Alan's comment as jest. Absinthe IS cocktail friendly. And used in the amounts called for in the Savoy, would lend very little anise flavor. Instead, it would act more as a flavor enhancer to the other ingredients. Just like a good Sazerac (not in the Savoy, but still). Try making a Sazerac with a very bitter Czech absinthe. It doesn't work very well. Same with a Corpse Reviver or Chrysanthemum (both in the Savoy) or practically any other cocktail in that book.

Absinthe in many cocktails acts like sea salt in many dishes.
Donnie Darko
It seems to be a modus operandi among cocktail recipe books (except for the shitty vodka-schlocktail books from the 70s-90s) to feature many recipes containing elusive ingredients. In the Ted Haig book I have some cocktails include ingredients that at this moment don't even exist anymore. I don't know the Savoy book well, but it wouldn't surprise me if most of the absinthe cocktails were in there to inspire nostalgia for a bygone era/beverage and to provide a trail for the obsessive drinkers and bartenders to follow. I think that would be more likely than the alternative of the authors intending to make a manual for the masses in which anyone could just whip up a "popular" absinthe recipe. So for the people who would go to great lengths to get ingredients, I imagine Spain would have been a reasonable choice for absinthe. Most cocktails do not call for very much absinthe, so I doubt the Spanish absinthes would have been a problem (and let's not forget at least two Spanish absinthes of the 1930s were of outstanding quality, PF Tarragonna and Pernod SA, hardly the badiane bombs of modern Absentas).

Of course that's pretty cool if the Savoy authors did use Spanish absinthes, as it would not have been easy to acquire Spanish absinthe unless the authors were avid travelers (which I have a hunch they were). There's something exciting about recipe (food or beverage) that requires legwork.

Or maybe they just telegraphed an order to Fine Spirits Corner in Spain and some flying monkeys in a bi-plane dropped them over London.
absinthist
So, as a flavour enhancer and in that minute quantity, they would not need that vast amount of booze, would they? The could get ahold of several 1 litre botsies or demijohns and voila, the bar is saved for centuries.
Shabba53
For most recipes, you could get 50-75 cocktails out of one bottle.

In any case, Spain would have been a very easy source of good absinthe in steady supply.
Alan
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Mar 16 2010, 12:03 PM) *

I doubt that. I took Alan's comment as jest.

You were right to do so. I think it also possible that it was French (or Swiss) absinthe that had been exported around the time of the ban, and that only a few outlets such as the Savoy were serving absinthe cocktails. Hence the stock lasted a long time. I had not considered the Spanish option, although it could have been from Pernod's Spanish distillery. Or an enterprising British HG'er …
hartsmar
QUOTE(absinthist @ Mar 16 2010, 11:48 AM) *

I tend to agree with Alan. Cocktail book requirements, so better something that is really cocktail-friendly-does not louche that much and does not have the overpronounced anise profile. Absentas as such were consumed rather the traditional way and being on the heavier badiane side might make very heavy cocktails, too.


If you can't make a good cocktail with a true absinthe, you should not try to make absinthe cocktails.
absinthist
I do not waste true absinthe.
Absomphe
…™.
Shabba53
QUOTE(absinthist @ Mar 17 2010, 03:48 AM) *

I do not waste true absinthe.

Making a wonderfully crafted cocktail with good absinthe is the furthest thing from a waste. A well made cocktail is an eye opening experience.
Tibro
Maybe the problem is that he's just not so handy in the kitchen. Might be having some problems with the measuring and mixing. You know, getting proportions right, and all. Makes all the difference.
Shabba53
Indeed.
absinthist
I usually measure everything in a room, kitchen's for cooking. And what Assstomp said.
Artemis
I'm with Absinthist. Putting good absinthe into a "cocktail" is like putting legs on a snake.
Tibro
???

IPB Image
Provenance
QUOTE(Artemis @ Mar 17 2010, 06:08 AM) *

Putting good absinthe into a "cocktail" is like putting legs on a snake.

Minus the novelty value.
speedle
That makes no sense. Anything you make, whether it's a cocktail, a chocolate cake, or a house, is only as good as the ingredients you put into it. If you make good food with good spices, it tastes better.

Yes, top quality absinthe is excellent on its own, but if the rest of your cocktail ingredients are top notch then why not the spice, i.e. the absinthe?
Artemis
It makes perfect sense to one who has little use for cocktails in general, no use for them at all if good absinthe is at hand, and no use for bad absinthe, ever.
absinthist
After so many years I have heard a reasonable voice of Bitter truth™.
Absomphe
QUOTE(absinthist @ Mar 17 2010, 07:05 AM) *

I usually measure everything


Thujone-Bottle.jpg dead-horse.gif harhar.gif
absinthist
The finest recipe guideline?

Throw in…
Absomphe
Smokin Monkey.gif
Shabba53
QUOTE(Artemis @ Mar 17 2010, 05:50 PM) *

It makes perfect sense to one who has little use for cocktails in general,

I felt the same way until I actually started making quality cocktails with quality ingredients. It's kind of blossomed from there.
Artemis
I can see that. I do like a Ramos Gin Fizz, but I'm lazy, so ....
Donnie Darko
Over the last year I've had some cocktails that really impressed me, mainly because they were made by highly skilled bartenders rather than by myself. Following most recipes from most cocktail sources will only get you disappointment, but surprisingly a nearly identical recipe in the hands of a skilled bartender can come out great.

That being said I have yet to have a cocktail with absinthe that I would prefer over just a properly prepared good glass of absinthe. It's fun to play around and try different things, but I'll always come back to the simplest, which is just absinthe and water without sugar. And I've never found a bartender who can make a plain glass of absinthe better than me, or better than most of you probably can.

And while distillers probably don't mind the financial benefit of making cocktail-friendly products, if they made their product with the primary intention of being mixed with somebody else's liquor, then their own liquor probably isn't very good. Sure, quality ingredients are going to make a better cocktail than shitty ingredients, but quality ingredients are "quality" because they are great on their own, and I prefer to experience art the way the creator intended.

That Sazerac is a hell of a drink though. That's one of the rare instances where the flavor components come together to make a "new" drink that doesn't taste like a cocktail.
Shabba53
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 18 2010, 08:41 AM) *
That being said I have yet to have a cocktail with absinthe that I would prefer over just a properly prepared good glass of absinthe.

Well, if you're in the mood for an absinthe, a cocktail won't satiate you, since most absinthe cocktails aren't technically 'absinthe cocktails', they are cocktails that are made with other dominant spirits with absinthe used to enhance the other flavors.

QUOTE
That's one of the rare instances where the flavor components come together to make a "new" drink that doesn't taste like a cocktail.

Keep in mind the original definition of a cocktail. Jerry Thomas, who quite possibly write the very first cocktail manual, defined a cocktail as: spirits with sugar, water (ice) and bitters. Many drinks that are now colloquially known as cocktails are technically not. Instead they are 'slings' or 'crustas' or 'punches', etc etc.

A well made cocktail will celebrate the flavors of the spirits, not mask them.
Tibro
I used to enjoy cocktails more back when I was less particular about the booze I was buying and consuming. As I've become more discriminating about what I'll lay my money out for I find savoring the unadulterated flavors of quality spirits to be sufficiently satisfying in most circumstances.
Aggelos
Same thing when it comes to tea for me. I'd rather have a nice garden (hope the translation of "jardin" for the tea in French stands in english) and have my tongue play with it than a very good composition.

Call me a fscking purist, but I also tend to prefer a solo to a choir :)
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Mar 18 2010, 09:02 AM) *

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 18 2010, 08:41 AM) *
That being said I have yet to have a cocktail with absinthe that I would prefer over just a properly prepared good glass of absinthe.

Well, if you're in the mood for an absinthe, a cocktail won't satiate you, since most absinthe cocktails aren't technically 'absinthe cocktails', they are cocktails that are made with other dominant spirits with absinthe used to enhance the other flavors.

QUOTE
That's one of the rare instances where the flavor components come together to make a "new" drink that doesn't taste like a cocktail.

Keep in mind the original definition of a cocktail. Jerry Thomas, who quite possibly write the very first cocktail manual, defined a cocktail as: spirits with sugar, water (ice) and bitters. Many drinks that are now colloquially known as cocktails are technically not. Instead they are 'slings' or 'crustas' or 'punches', etc etc.

A well made cocktail will celebrate the flavors of the spirits, not mask them.


I hear ya, but I wouldn't be caught dead putting steak sauce on a Peter Lugar's steak, if you catch my drift. Maybe why I like the Sazerac is because it's an example of an old school cocktail, where it's just slightly enhanced and transformed by a few subtle additions.
Patlow
Peter Lugar's…

Click to view attachment
Donnie Darko
Exactly.

Of course other people can mix together whatever they wish, and there is an art to cocktail making. My preferences just lie towards unmixed beverages personally.
Tibro
Wasn't the original intention of sauces to mask the unsavory qualities of poorly preserved and prepared meat? Times have changed, simple elegance needn't be such a luxury.
speedle
I've read someplace that the original reason for the cocktail was something similar.
Oxygenee
QUOTE(Alan @ Mar 16 2010, 08:57 PM) *

I have always been intrigued about the 1930 Savoy Hotel Cocktail book with its 104 absinthe cocktails. Where did they get their absinthe from, or did someone organise a big shipment to the Savoy (and other London hotels) in 1915?



The UK, where absinthe was never banned, was a significant market for Pernod Tarragona in the late 1920's and '30's. In fact the well known Wilquin poster made for the sale of the Pernod pre-ban stocks in 1938, was specifically targeted at the UK market (and indeed exists in an English-language version).
Alan
Thanks, Oxy.

So when did they stop shipping absinthe to the UK? I'm guessing it was when World War Two started …
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