Question from a noob:
When pondering all the primary variables that go into absinthe I arrived at a question. My reasoning is laid out to facilitate critique.
Herbs are herbs. They vary widely in quality, but ultimately that can be controlled. I have no doubt that modern artisnal distillers (and HGers) have solved this problem.
The process is outlined fairly well in the litereature. Experimentaion has refined it further.
But what about the source of the base alcohol?
Traditional recipes call for distilled wine spirits with some tail. The implication is that the tails of the wine distillation are very important to the chemical complexity (hence taste) of the final product.
Assuming I am on track so far...
I have the impression that some HGers use everclear/vodka etc as the the starting point for the alcohol rather than distilling wine first to get wine spirits (due to the expense). Others, I imagine, buy large quantities of wine for distillation into wine spirits.
In the first case you obviously lose the tails of the wine distillation resulting in a possible significant difference from pre-ban absinthe. In the second case you have a ton of variables. What particular type of wine was used to render wine spirits? How old was it? It undoubtedly did not contain sulfites. In any case, I suspect that wine spirits from pre-ban times might be rather different than spirits derived from the cheapest available wine around today.
Comment appreciated. (if you must pun on 'tails', please try to be original).