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-- By Travis M in Victoria, BC, Canada on Sat, 28 Jul 2012 at 00:28.
Absinthe is wonderful. We have Ted Breaux to thank for having it deregulated in France and in the USA. (The source/market and the market). As of 2007, we have absinthe back on Earth! YAY!
The Louche is the very best way to drink absinthe. I definitely prefer mine with sugar. The best ratio of water to absinthe is usually around 4:1 water:absinthe. The right way to know just how much to use is very hard to type. It is easier shown. Come, drink with me, I will show you!
If your absinthe does not turn cloudy with the addition of water, you ARE NOT DRINKING ABSINTHE. Absinthe must contain Grande Wormwood, Green Anise, and Florence Fennel. There are other herbs that are commonly used also, including Hyssop and Melissa. It is the first three that are considered "The Holy Trinity" and absinthe is not absinthe without them. It is the essential oils from Anise that turn cloudy, or LOUCHE. Thereby, if your absinthe does not louche, it likely does not contain The Holy Trinity, and is thereby, not actually absinthe. If your absinthe contains food colouring, it is not absinthe. If it contains sugar already, it is not absinthe.
The way the herbs act, and the medicinal properties of each are the reason that absinthe is so popular. The herbs, when consumed in their pure form, as they appear in absinthe (extracts), will create a feeling of "clear-mindedness" in their consumer. It is the combination of clear-mindedness and the looseness of intoxication from alchol that makes drinking absinthe so desirable. Artists like the lucidity of lowered inhibitions from alcohol, yet a clear-mindedness that allows them to capture the moment, for use in their art.
The very best and only real label I will trust in North America is LUCID and TABOO. Lucid is made in France by Ted Breaux's company. Taboo is made in Kelowna, BC (sort of near to where I live). Both are made with no additives, no colours, only Grand Wormwood, Green Anise, Florence Fennel, Hyssop, Melissa, and 68% or so alcohol.
Why is absinthe such high alcohol? It is a very simple and practical reason: The herbs are used as extracts. This leaves them very vulnerable to decay. The very high alcohol content preserves the herbal ingredients.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading what I can share with you about absinthe. It is my favourite topic to study/share. It is the world's most mis-understood spirit. I am thankful to Ted Breaux for doing what he had to do to de-regulate the stuff!
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About the absinthe ritual
Absinthe.se is one reliable website that has a short how-to guide to the classic French ritual. They resolutely condemn (and refuse to provide instructions for) the modern-day "fire method".
Instructions for both rituals -- the traditional French one and the recent fire one -- are available at DrinkNation.com.
What is absinthe?
What is the history of absinthe?
What is wormwood?
How about thujone?
What are the effects of absinthe?
How do I drink absinthe?
What is "La Louche" ritual?
What is an absinthe fountain?
The freedom-loving Green Fairy...
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