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  1. I take the view that the Obsello is actually fairly traditional in terms of its flavor profile. It may not be the finest absinthe on the market, but it's pretty good and a real bargain at $50 a bottle or so. I found it to be much less "minty" than expected, based on what I'd heard about it prior to tasting it. I appreciate your comment. Like I said, I haven't tasted the Obsello, but was basing my suggestion on what I've read here on the forums. I actually like a bit of mintiness in my absinthe - Monty is one of my favorites for times when I feel like a change. I saw some Obsello the other day at Bevmo, but rather than buy a whole bottle just to try it, I may go down to Lounge ON20 in Sacramento where they serve it by the glass. (They also have Leopold Bros. which I am eager to try!)
  2. I hate to backtrack just to address this, but I wanted it to be perfectly clear. I'm fairly certain that everyone here who has voiced their opinion regarding not buying Mansinthe on principal has already tasted it, and I think they all gave the absinthe itself a good rating. But that's not the point. What if KOSG tasted good? Should we back down and not care about the way it's presented to the public? Let me admit that I hadn't read this whole thread before I contributed my tuppence. (The OP asked about Mansinthe, Obsello, or St. George.) I wasn't aware of how much of the thread was spent discussing MM's music, personality, comments about absinthe, etc. vs. the quality of the product. I wasn't trying to resurrect a dead horse or anything. Or get anyone to change their politics.
  3. Hmmmmm. Okay, I see DrinkupNY gives 68% for the US version and LdF gives 72% for the "psychedelic fish" one. (Good one, GB!) Is that due to some US regulation? I know some states (like California) can't sell the higher content Everclear, for instance. But even so, 72% is below the Everclear 151 (=75.5%) we can buy here.
  4. I hope you're right, GB. I'm a big fan of Duplais Balance. (I'm on my - what? - fourth? - bottle now.) I haven't tried the Duplais yet, but I understand they are quite similar. Sure would like to buy something like that at the local Bevmo!
  5. Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere - I couldn't find it in several searches and my wife is starting to give me that "How much longer are you going to be on the Internet?" eye. What is this Duplais Swiss Absinthe Verte that I am suddenly seeing? Is it a special product for the US? Or is it this, with a different label: Or something else?
  6. Another vote for the Mansinthe. I haven't tasted the Obsello, but I'm on my second bottle of Mansinthe and also have the St. George. (I should probably try that again, now that it has aged a bit, but it wasn't really my cup of tea.) The OP sounds like a newcomer, and Mansinthe is the most traditional of the three he asked about, closest to what a "real absinthe" is supposed to be. IMHO, it's best to start tasting the more traditional absinthes, to "calibrate" the palette, before venturing into more off-center types. Besides, it's an excellent absinthe, plain and simple as that. Get past the Marilyn Manson connection and just taste it. I like it very much. One of my favorites. I can't tell you how happy I was to see it on the shelf at Bevmo. Finally, one of my favorites available here in the States! (Now if we could just get Balance!)
  7. "Absinthe: Spirit and Mystique" Sacramento Bee, Dec. 31, 2008, by Bee food and wine writer, Chris Macias. A little bit of history, thujone debunking, the mandatory Hemingway and Van Gogh tie-ins, etc., some cocktail recipes at the end. The article features Lounge ON20, the only place I'm aware of in Sacramento that serves absinthe. (I've added it to the "Absinthe in Cities" forum.) There's also a nice little video in the web page with the bartender at Lounge ON20 demonstrating the French Method and also mixing up an Absinthe Fizz. (The Fizz recipe is in the article, too.) An okay article, all in all. I was a bit disappointed that Ted Breaux didn't get any mention for his pioneering work with the Jades and getting Lucid legalized. OTOH, the Wormwood Society is mentioned in several places, and Gwydion (Hiram) is quoted thrice. Companion piece: "Liquid Assets" (reviews of Obsello, Kübler, and Grande Absente). Macias is new to the green fairy, suspects that Obsello is what real absinthe is supposed to taste like. (I haven't tasted this one, but I have the impression it's considered a bit on the minty side.) He likes Kübler, thinks it would "hit the spot on a warm summer evening." (Right on!) And he's a bit horrified by the color of Grande Absente: "Is this the stuff inside a Glow Stick?" (BTW, the link to this article in the front page of the WWS main site is broken. Can someone fix it?)
  8. Lounge ON20 1050 20th Street (midtown) Sacramento, CA 1-916-443-6620 Website Google Maps link Winter Hours: (as of 12/31/08) M-Th: 5pm - 11pm (food till 10pm) Fri-Sat: 5pm - 1:30am (food till midnight) Sun: closed Featured in the Sacramento Bee article "Absinthe: Spirit and Mystique," Dec. 31, 2008. Serving absinthe cocktails and six brands of absinthe: Kübler, Lucid, St. George, Obsello, Leopold Bros., Duplais Verte. Prices range from $8 (Kübler) to $18 (Duplais) per glass, Sazerac $14, Absinthe Fizz $12. They also serve appetizers, salads, main courses, sides, etc. Here are links to their drinks menu (pdf) and food menu (pdf). I wasn't aware of this place (much less the fact that they serve absinthe) until I saw the article in yesterday's paper. I haven't had a chance to visit yet, but they have received a lot of favorable reviews on Yelp. Sounds like a nice place, if a bit pricey by Sacramento standards. I'm looking forward to checking it out!
  9. Muito obrigado, Hiram e ejellest! My wife has those same measuring cups in... well... "measuring cup" sizes - 1C, 2C. (Onesey, twosey? Are we playing jacks or something?) I think my wife picked hers up at the local super-supermarket. (If not there, then probably Williams-Sonoma.) In fact, I used her 1C one for calibrating my water bottles, etc., for my tasting party last year. Didn't know OXO made them in that small a size - must keep an eye out for them! (I'd still prefer metric, though.) While I can appreciate the whole "appearance" argument in the shaken vs. stirred controversy, I have to side with our friend Mr. Bond: "Shake it very well until it's ice-cold." (Okay, I'll admit I might be just a little bit biased because he is, after all, the coolest guy on earth...) But anyway, thanks to both of you for the tip about the measuring cups. I've been tempted on several occasions to get out in the garage and see if I can't find the old graduated cylinder that I used back in my home-brewing phase. If it survived the last move! Saúde!
  10. Now THAT'S a Manhattan! Lately, my favorite everyday drink is the Manhattan. (Absinthe would be my favorite EDD if my bank account permitted.) I ran out of bourbon a few days ago, and Jameson and Canadian Club (and, well, scotch, although then we'd be talking Rob Roys) are what's left of the whiskeys in my bar at the moment. None of these make it as a base for the Manhattan, to my taste. So I'm standing in the liquor aisle at Trader Joe's trying to decide which bourbon to buy: Jim Beam? I can buy that a Costco for a lot less. Maker's Mark? Ditto. Jack Daniels? Somewhat overrated, IMHO, considering the price. Not a big Jack fan. But wait - what have we here? Wild Turkey! I haven't bought a bottle of WT in a long time! I wonder... Wild Turkey Manhattan 2 shots of Wild Turkey about 3/4 shot* of sweet vermouth** 3 healthy dashes of Peychaud's Bitters*** Shake well (at least 30 seconds****) with ice, strain into a martini glass, garnish with a cherry. My, oh, my - one of the tastiest Manhattans I've ever had! * I aim for about a 5:2 bourbon:vermouth ratio, but my shot glasses aren't conveniently calibrated. (It seems like all the candidates this year genuflect before the idol of Ronald Reagan, but nobody mentions the metric system. What ever happened to the US going metric?!?) ** Currently using Noilly Prat. Happy to hear any suggestions for which vermouths others prefer for Manhattans. *** A must-have if you consider yourself an absinthist and a cocktail afficionado. **** Um pouco de agua gelada is part of the recipe, as far as I'm concerned. Too many bartenders don't shake the drink long enough to get the drink really frigid and add enough water. (YMMV, of course.) Especially with 101 proof WT!
  11. When my wife and I went to France about a year ago, we had dinner a couple of times at an Italian restaurant in Cannes. (La Piazza?) After dinner, they brought tiny little thimble-sized cups of Limoncello as a digestiv. We'd never had it before - delicious! There's an Italian restaurant in Granite Bay (north of Folsom, CA) called Dominic's that makes a great Limoncello Martini. We tried to duplicate it. I posted the results of our reasonably successful experiment in the "What Ya Drinkin' Tonight?" thread. Here's a link: Limoncello Martini Saúde!
  12. I read an article somewhere about traditional absinthe glasses that said the purpose of the reservoir at the bottom of the traditional Pontarlier glass is to help measure the "dose" of absinthe, while the flutes help measure the "dilution." I got out my glasses from LdF (I hope they don't mind my hijacking their jpeg, below) and did a little checking with a measuring cup. Here's what I found: If I add absinthe to the lower red arrow, to where the liquid just covers the bottom of the upper portion of the glass, and then add water to the top of the flutes, I get very close to a 3:1 ratio (which is my typical dilution these days). I have another Pontarlier-style glass that I bought from Luc in Paris, that gives me about 3.5:1 if I fill absinthe to the "neck" (the narrowest part) of the reservoir and water to the top of the flutes. So you might want to get out your glasses and do some measuring, see if there are any markings, flutes, logos, etc., to help you. But this is just to help make it easy to get your dilution right, once you've decided what your own personal taste is. Personally, I like 3:1 these days for most. Lucid and some of the blanches I find better with less water, Vdf (Verte de Fougerolles) and maybe St. George, both of which seem sort of "hot" to me, need a bit more. À nossa saúde!
  13. re Absente: There are two versions. Unfortunately, reviews of Absente (including the user reviews available from the front page of the Wormwood Society) rarely make this distinction. The one sold in France (and perhaps the rest of Europe?) DOES contain Atemisia absinthium (Grand wormwood). The US version of Absente replaces Grand wormwood with Artemisia abrotanum (Southern wormwood) and Artemisia officinalis. Also, the European version is sweetened while the US version is "nearly sugar free." (The source of this information is an email I received from Alain Robert, Managing Director of Distilleries et Domaines de Provence.) As far as taste goes, I have only tasted the European Absente. It is very nice, especially for newbies. Accessible. Not so in-your-face as many of the better absinthes. Since it is already sweetened, adding sugar to it in the French manner makes it very sweet, something our American soda pop-habituated taste buds really love. (At a tasting at my house last year, a group of eight absinthe virgins chose it as the favorite, over three Jades, green and white Fougerolles, Un Emile, and La Ptite. If you'd like to read my report, it's here: Tasting Party Report - L-O-N-G!) As my taste has matured (I was one of the absinthe virgins - well, almost a virgin), I have come to appreciate the complexities and personalities of the premium absinthes better, and I doubt that I would like the Absente as much as I did a year ago. My memory of it is mainly that it was sweet and minty. My favorites these days (more or less in order) are Duplais Balance (mainly for the astonishing "mouth feel"), Monty (for the surprising hints of cinnamon and mint), and Mansinthe. (There, I said it!) Then, any of the Jades (I am not a fan of their "funkiness" but once I get past that, they're quite nice), then, beyond that I guess maybe La Ptite? (Though I must try Clandestine some time and compare it with La Ptite.) I am thrilled that we can buy absinthe in the US, but am a little disappointed that all we can buy so far is Lucid, Kübler, and St. George. (I haven't followed this closely - there may be some others that haven't shown up on the shelf at my BevMo yet.) I find Kübler pretty bland and one-dimensional. St. George is interesting - it has something about it that makes me think of it as "wild" or "untamed," sort of a teenager of absinthes. (If that makes any sense at all?) Not bad for a first attempt at a US-produced absinthe - not bad at all! - but again, not something I reach for with regret. (As in, "Jeez, here I go drinking the Balance again, and that bottle's almost as empty as my wallet." That kind of regret.) Of the three US absinthes I just mentioned, I definitely think the Lucid is the best. (And, although it has been almost a year since I tasted the Euro-Absente, and I've never tasted the US-Absente, I'd bet it's head and shoulders above either of them.) But there's something about Lucid that bothers me. I always feel like I've added too much water to it. It's just a bit thin. But if I add less water to the next glass, it still seems to come out just a bit thin. Plus there's a little of that "funkiness" that I don't like. The Jades (which were "designed" by Ted Breaux, the same guy who "designed" Lucid) all have much more complexity. Lucid is "very nice" but it's not "great." Three and a half to four stars, maybe? I think it was Hiram who first called Lucid "Jade Lite" and I couldn't agree more. It's a great intro to "real" absinthe for America. The real deal, a quality product, made with care. Complexity, aroma, mouth feel, louche action - it's all there. It's just that I've been so fortunate (or unfortunate) to taste a few absinthes that I like even better! Three bottles of Duplais Balance, with shipping from LdF, ends up costing me about $118 per liter. Lucid costs me $95 per liter, with tax, at BevMo. Based strictly on how much I like them, I think the difference in price seems about right - about $23 to $24 "per star." But when you consider that I am having to import the Balance myself, three bottles at a time, the Lucid seems way overpriced! I wonder how much Mansinthe will sell for when it finally hits the shelves in the U.S.? (edited - I "dis-remembered" the price of Lucid at BevMo)
  14. We have a place - Dominic's Italian Market and Deli (and bar and grill) in Granite Bay, CA - that serves the best damn... Limoncello Martini ...and for Valentine's Day, I bought my wife the ingredients that we didn't already have. After spending the last three nights tweaking the recipe, we feel pretty happy with it: Valentine's Day '08 [based on http://mobidrinks.net/drink/628, with some adjustments] 1 shot Absolut Citron vodka 1 shot limoncello lemon liqueur 1/2 shot sweet and sour mix 1/2 shot fresh lemon juice 1 tsp, superfine sugar Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes; shake well. Swirl half a lemon around the rim of a margarita glass and dip in sugar. Pour the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass, and serve. Muito bem!
  15. I tend to fall back on uisce when the Absinthe (or the wallet) runs dry... Perfect Manhattan: 2 oz. Bourbon 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth 1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth coupla dashes of Angostura bitters ...shaken with ice, served in a martini glass with a maraschino cherry... Hadn't had one of these before tonight, even though the Manhattan is one of my regular bar-order favorites. I gather that "Perfect" in the name signifies a 50:50 ratio of sweet & dry vermouth. Very nice - always kinda thought regular Manhattans (which are all Sweet Vermouth and no Dry) tended to be a bit on the sweet side. Apparently, some people say that the PM should have a twist in lieu of a cherry, but, sorry... gotta have the cherry. 'Taint a Manhattan without it, as far as I'm concerned. Besides, I gotta maintain my technique, on the off chance that I ever run into Meg Ryan. ;-) What's even better, though, ("more perfect"?)* than what I'm drinkin', is what's on the iPod at the moment: Putumayo Presents: Brazilian Groove Damn! If I had some cachaça, I could be drinking a caipirinho right now! Até logo! * "Perfecter"? It just occurred to me that "Dumb and Dumberer" can be at least partially blamed on Thomas Jefferson. He was a bright guy, but I kinda bothers me that the document upon which our country was founded contains such a glaring misuse of the English language. He probably would have approved of "Think Different," too!