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Posts posted by dakini_painter

  1. I haven't entered any spirits competitions. It may make sense for promoting one's product when you get to a certain level. I'm sure there are many distilleries for whom these competitions are valuable. At this point, I'm not one of them.


    Todd, do they actually louche the absinthe at these competitions? Or do they simply add some water to bring the proof down to whiskey/vodka strength?

  2. I'm really thinking the Meadow of Love will be by next (and second-ever) Absinthe purchase... Is this in danger of becoming sold out at DUNY? Or is there enough to go around?



    Thank you very much for your support.


    afaik, orders are exceeding production capacity atm.

    afaik, there will be enough as I'm continuing to make more. This is NOT a limited edition release, just that production capacity is limited.

  3. Southern Tier Porter Dark.


    It's nice. Quite flavorful, but lighter than a stout. Didn't have much of a head, and that dissipated in a minute of so. A bit of hops bitterness lingering at the back, but not lots. Don't know enough about beer to be able to say whether this is a good example of the style but I'm finishing it.


    Next up: tansy-induced madness via vdt09 :twitchsmile:

  4. And for the French to take up the Teutonic beverage beer, would have been tantamount to treason.


    tell that to the native Gauls...they created wooden barrels for their beer that eventually replaced clay amphoras for wine...that's why good(debateable) wine smells of oak and not pine resin...beer has existed in France longer than wine! and the Alsacians? yikes!



    You mean there are still native Gauls in France? OK, I mean other than Asterix and Obelix?


    In my searches I've discovered that yes the French did make beer and drink it. The NW coast was a particular area where wine growing never caught on. As friend Absomphe says, there isn't much of an export market, so most people are not familiar with French brewing.


    Also in my searches there's much to suggest that by the 1860's the rise of improvements in distilling technology and practices led to the availability of many spirits at higher quality than previously. And absinthe may have benefitted from this, and with it's special preparation may have gained greater popularity. Also, folks may just have liked it.

  5. What seems clear to me is the success of the Temperance Movement in promoting a more moderate drinking lifestyle with that generation.


    Or there could have been an upsurge in liqueur, other hard liquor, and beer consumption during this period.

    Efficacy of the Temperance movement is always a possibility, but one must keep in mind that these are the Belle Epoque French we're considering, and not latter-day Puritans.


    But you forget that a number of countries other than the US totally banned alcohol, while some banned harder alcohol. The US experiment was the longest; only Norway had Prohibition in effort for an equal period (1919-1932).


    From wiki:

    The first half of the 20th century saw periods of prohibition of alcoholic beverages in several countries:

    1900 to 1948 in Prince Edward Island, and for shorter periods in other locations in Canada

    1914 to 1925 in Russia and the Soviet Union

    1915 to 1922 in Iceland (though beer was still prohibited until 1989)

    1916 to 1927 in Norway (fortified wine and beer also prohibited from 1917 to 1923)

    1919 in Hungary (in the Hungarian Soviet Republic, March 21 to August 1; called szesztilalom)

    1919 to 1932 in Finland (called kieltolaki)

    1920 to 1933 in the United States



    Certainly from this we can see that the most Northern European countries, and the US attempted prohibition of alcohol. The more southern nations (including France, Italy, Spain, etc) never attempted prohibition of alcohol.


    And for the French to take up the Teutonic beverage beer, would have been tantamount to treason. It could simply be that many French said if they couldn't drink French wine, they wouldn't drink any at all. Absinthe production over the greatest years of the phylloxera blight (mid 1850's to late 1870's) was quite low (Hartsmar's site quotes the figure 700,000 liters for 1874; I thought it was higher).


    If you find actual statistics on beer consumption in France during that period, it would be good to know.


    Certainly absinthe production increased from the 1840's until the period of it's greatest popularity (1880-1915). But I don't see a correlation between phylloxera and absinthe. Maybe I'm just missing the obvious.

  6. After sleeping on this I'll disagree with WBT. While the wine industry was certainly damaged severely by phylloxera, per capita consumption of wine fell from 147 liters to 93 liters from 1875 to 1889. Even though there was lots of wine available, albeit at a higher price and lower quality. Absinthe consumption in 1880 was 1 liter per capita. That did not take up the slack in the fall of wine consumption.


    What seems clear to me is the success of the Temperance Movement in promoting a more moderate drinking lifestyle with that generation. With the next generation, the wine industry had recovered from phylloxera and people started drinking more (per capita consumption began to rise again).


    One area of investigation might be what happened to brandy production? My guess is it was nearly destroyed. Simpson points out that brandy and 3/6 were made from excess grapes not sold as wine. For someone accustomed to drinking brandy, absinthe may have been an alternative as a higher proof alcohol to something that might have been unavailable.

  7. This reference is an analysis of the French wine industry in the years 1870-1911.


    Per capita consumption grew from an average of 76 litres in the early 1850s, to 140 litres by 1875, when the harvest reached 84.5 million hectoliters, France’s largest ever.


    Wine output, which had averaged 57.4 million hectolitres in 1863/75, fell to 31.7 million in 1879/92, before recovering to 52.5 million once more in 1899/1913.


    Therefore if the wine shortage produced by powdery mildew in the 1850s had led to wine prices doubling in France, the price increase with phylloxera was much more modest, about a third between the early 1870s and the early 1880s. Consumption, which had reached 147 litres per capita in 1875/9, fell to a low of 93 litres in 1885/9 (Figure 2 and Table 2).


    One thing the paper points out later on is the huge surplus in wine in France by 1900 (after phylloxera).


    While phylloxera may have contributed to absinthe's popularity, a lot of wine was imported to make up for the difference. The French continued to drink lots of wine. Interestingly, consumption of wine did decline between 1875/9 and 1885/9. Whether that can be attributed to people abandoning wine for absinthe you can't determine that from this information here. And when cheap wine became available again in quantity, absinthe wasn't abandoned.

  8. Around the state? Yee gads!


    I have dinky sized alembics, and am only now really getting up to speed. Right now there's not enough to go around, and I have yet to even attempt development of the Binghamton market.


    However, all is not lost friend AiO (begin voice of old timey snake oil salesgal or perhaps Daffy Duck). Yes indeedy! Fortunate consumer that you are, you, YES YOU!, have the grand opportunity to travel a mere hour to the east and visit the fine establishment that is the Delaware Phoenix Distillery and there! feast your eyes upon the delightful copper that makes these beverages, regaled by all (ok, maybe a few, rather a couple, enough! by me!!) And whereupon on your arrival you shall receive the grandiose distillery tour!


    And you'll be able to purchase these absinthes at the incredible Breakey Liquors in downtown Walton.


    So if you can make it, you'll probably find it worth your while to go the extra few miles if you can make the time. (ps I'll give you a sample of something, not available in stores! :fork:)

  9. According to the book The Temperance Movement, H.E. Blair, 1888, gives the production, import, export and consumption of wine in France (see the chart on page 244). For 1880, the consumption was nearly 41 million gallons (155 million liters). This was up from 1879 where only 35 million gallons were consumed.


    So some effect from the phylloxera epidemic may be present, but the French still drank wine and a good amount of it. Not being able to get one's favorite cru from the Medoc may have been an incentive to try absinthe, but realistically, absinthe had been around all along, and was well known since the 1840's.


    Price might have been a factor like WBT suggests.


    Research into the editorials and newspapers of the 1840's through the 1860's might be an interesting avenue of investigation.

  10. That was how absinthe got its start, in the first place, winning over the French during a period when wine was off the menu.


    A misconception. The phylloxera epidemic was not something that struck all of France all at once. It began in the 1860's and continued into the 1880's. Certain regions were hit harder than others. France continued to produce a very large amount of wine, even as imports of Spanish and Italian wines were increased.


    In the 1880's, absinthe production was about 36 million liters, equal to the population of France at the time. Wine production was still much much higher, perhaps 200 million liters.

  11. To my understanding, if there's a difference between what I had and what's available for pre-order, it'd only be a couple months of aging.



    Other than being very fresh, there should be little difference. The first colorings from the Gonzo batches were a little lighter than I wanted in comparison with the prototypes. But with continual additions of new runs, that should be minimized.

  12. On the cocktail booklet.


    One thing I would like to see (as someone who is an ignoramus about cocktails) is an index showing how the absinthe is used in the cocktail. Going through the list on the main site there were these kinds of categories:


    * absinthe as the dominant liquor in the drink

    * absinthe paired equally with other drinks

    * absinthe paired with another liquor that is dominant in the drink

    * absinthe used as a nuance, or flavor enhancer


    A lot of the gin+absinthe drinks that people said they liked were in the 3rd category. The sazerac is in the 4th category, mostly whiskey, but a little absinthe, sugar, water, and lemon peel. The second category seemed to be focused on how drunk can you get, how fast.


    This kind of index I think would help people, and perhaps knowledgeable people.



    On the idea of absinthe being a "niche" beverage, why is that bad? I'm sure for many people, it would be nice to walk into your local liquor store and if not buy a bottle, be able to order it. I presume people mean something that they like better than Lucid/Kübler.


    Not being "niche" is what Leopold said: every TGI Fridays is going to have it, and all of you will say "That's nasty!". It'll be NS with flavorings and coloring.

  13. Lack of knowledge about absinthe is still the main problem.


    Bar/restaurant owner gets bugged by his distributors to carry some absinthe. "It's hot. I have a great one for cocktails." That's the LTV or Green Fairy or something similar with artificial coloring.


    Or they're busy and they don't have time to water someone's drink for them so it gets underwatered to about 2.5:1. The customer usually doesn't know it's underwatered and thinks absinthe is supposed to be like whiskey/gin/etc.



    There'll be plenty of misconceptions to debunk.

  14. Does that mean NY won't allow you to sell from your own distillery?


    Correct. A "farm" distillery can sell direct to a person at the counter (no mail order, internet order, phone order, etc etc). But you have to use 100% New York agricultural products to make your spirit products. Last I heard, New York grown anise and fennel seed are not in stock at this time.


    So that's why I'm not a farm distillery (which doesn't have to be on a farm). And why I can't sell direct to the public. At least they way the laws are today. Maybe if NY gets desperate for cash, they'll change their mind.

  15. Walton, NY, not far from Binghamton? That's a doable drive from Buffalo...


    I'm an hour further east from Binghamton. For the distance, I'd say wait until the weather is nicer and availability better. Maybe I will have found a suitable place in Ithaca by then.


    Are you still looking into the possibility of getting your products into the backward state of PA once it debuts?


    At some point that would be nice, along with VA. But PA wants $1000 just for the privilege of being a liquor vendor in their state. I have to be a little more flush to be able to afford that. It's been 3 weeks since my email to the responsible person at VA ABC.


    But these are things to work on.



    How far out are you from sales?


    I think it's best to let the retailers make their announcements through their usual means. It may take them a little time to get something new on the shelves.


    Thanks to everyone for their support. I couldn't have done it without your ongoing encouragement.