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Everything posted by Auguru

  1. Auguru

    Growing Wormwood

    I was surprised to see both the A. a. and Powis Castle infested with aphids a couple of weeks ago. I didn't think aphids would attack wormwood. Anyway, I didn't want to spray any sort of serious insecticide, and didn't have a handy source for ladybugs, so opted for the milder insecticidal soap. Worked like a charm and hopefully no residue after a few rains or sprinkler runs. Recommendations or alternatives to the strategy I used?
  2. Auguru

    Growing Wormwood

    I ordered mine as live plants from the good folks at Mountain Valley Growers. Unfortunately, last year I planted one of the two A. absinthium plants in a shady spot and it was outgrown by the black-eyed-susans... The other is in a nice, hot, sunny spot and looks great this year. Not knowing the best way to prune it, I took a chance and nearly cut it back to the ground late last fall. It came back gangbusters this year (I'll try to take a photo tomorrow and upload it). Oh, the Powis Castle is really beautiful, seems to accommodate even brown thumbs, and as Hissy attested, smells great when stroked. I have mine in a large container on the deck and it is likewise doing great. I would appreciate guidance on pruning/harvesting that will assure it makes it back again next year. Some areas do consider A. a. to be a noxious weed, so you won't find them in most garden centers.
  3. Auguru

    Want Old Overholt bottle - pre-1970

    Have you had both before? Any idea what you'll have to pay to get an old bottle? Let us know if you are successful. I'm an absolute noob when it comes to rye whiskey. I've got a bottle of the Old Overholt and a bottle of Michter's. Since I am an absolute beginner, I have no yardstick to measure whether the new versus old Overholt is better at constructing a Sazerac. Do you have favorites among the readily available rye whiskeys? Further, what brands of absinthe are preferred in a Sazerac? All responses welcome, of course.
  4. Happy Birthday, DeltaBlues! Here wishing you a wonderful l'heure verte paisley! Given your attachment to swords, I thought I'd pass along a picture of this magnificent hilt I saw last summer in Lisbon. The menacing snakes had emeralds for eyes, but clearly the Lion is undaunted.
  5. Auguru

    Absinthe: The American Remix

    Talk about nail on the head. I'm still chuckling, printmkr. 'Bet this was the photo he sent in to "Survivor". Watch out next season...
  6. Happy Birthday, MC! With apologies to Wreckless Eric: Take the cache...
  7. Auguru

    Training the Nose and Palate?

    Well, the shame is palpable. Every time I think I'm beginning to get a handle on absinthe flavors, I realize I haven't even left the starting blocks. Oh, well. Not the first time I've stuck my foot in my mouth.
  8. I like the idea of catnip as an ingredient. It would explain this famous poster: There is a "lemon catnip", too.
  9. I imagine aging (natural or artificial) would lead to mellowing of the bolder players, but does this not apply to the other ingredients as well? Wouldn't they "fade" and continue to remain behind the curtain, or at best peek around the edges? I've read the "hot" or "peppery" description for some of these lesser constituents, so understand why too much would be just that. If a particular flavor was to be desired, why not consider "unconventional" herbs? For example, if a lemony flavor was wanted, why not consider adding lemon verbena? I haven't seen it listed, but the raw herb clearly smells great and might add the right note. Since it doesn't show up, is this an indication other herbs are preferred or is it more likely verbena flat out doesn't work? I guess what I am driving at is the short list of ingredients short because so many herbs/spices are wretchedly incompatible (even if the failures aren't heralded in the various "recipes") or are the potential winners left anonymous for the obvious reasons?
  10. Auguru

    Training the Nose and Palate?

    I have been trying to make the leap from the scent/odor of the raw herbs/spices to what I can detect in the various CO I have acquired. I am able to pick out the major players, but the others? Perhaps those with discerning palates might identify particular absinthes that have a more noticeable presence of the minor players? I realize the identity of specific ingredients is likely kept a trade secret, but surely some of the brands have tell-tale signs of one or more of these lesser gods. Angelica root (and seed), calamus root, and elecampane root are especially intriguing to me, but sensing their contribution in the midst of robust anise and fennel is still a challenge, if I even have any brands that include these... Plus, the smell of the root/seeds may point in a direction, but I have no way of knowing if the distillate hews closely to or is rendered "alien" by comparison. I went back to my bottle of FG and, what can I say? After straying into the territory of CLB and ilk, Ike, Duplais Blanche, and the Jades, the FG seems particularly sweet (I use no sugar) and the presence of the star anise much more noticeable than I recall upon first taste.* Seems like the absinthe I've had with distinct star anise generally has a good mouth feel, but the slightly tongue-numbing character is much more obvious to me now. The bottom tier absinthe isn't being sampled much at my house much anymore. The oddballs for me include the Montmarte and the Leone. They come across like hammers. Picking subtle flavors out of these is torturous or may simply prove I have a long way to go before I earn any tasting medals. * I'm gonna feel really stupid if it turns out there is no star anise in the FG.
  11. (I hit my head like the V8 commercial: my cut-and-paste left the Roman chamomile off my list... ) I should have thought of the peppermint, but I thought it was Mentha piperta. Is the species you mention (Agonis flexuosa) used for the same purpose (coloring/flavor)? I am curious about the Black Alder, spinach and celery. Are these used primarily for the coloration step or for flavor too?
  12. Listening to the latest by Built to Spill entitled "You in Reverse" (yeah, I know it came out last year, but it is new to me...). One of those albums/CDs that grows on you the more you listen to it. The first track, "Goin' Against Your Mind" has the improbable lines: When I was a kid I saw a light Floating high above the trees one night Thought it was an alien Turned out to be just God Not a paean to religion, mind you. The song is much more questioning and reflective than that. With a glass of Ike in hand, I'm off in a reverie of wonder.
  13. I can't say I'm familiar with meadowsweet, but it sounds more appealing than the so-called "cinnamon" flavor in the Montmarte (which I do not find appealing). My question, to follow up, is whether anyone knows if this is successful in a distillate? Clearly, not everything makes the leap from crushed scent, to macerate, to distillate. As a corollary to the original question, I am wondering if there are particular combinations of ingredients that fare better or worse together? And then there are the relative proportions. Though angelica, calamus, elecampane, etc... are used, they are present in relatively small fractions. Is this because they are less appealing or tend to overpower the other flavors? I notice that if star anise is used it is often at less than a 1/5 proportion relative to the anise and/or fennel. Again, probably due to overpowering? I have a bias against star anise anyway. I suppose if it works at a concentration that enhances the louche effect without coming across as a star anise bomb, that would be OK. What other generally unmentioned herbs are known to be used with success in absinthe? Here is aggregate list of ingredients I have come across in the various recipes accessible on the web: Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) Melissa/lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) Petite/Roman wormwood (Artemisia pontica) Green anise seeds (Pimpinela anisum) Florence fennel/finocchio seeds (Foeniculum vulgare Azoricum) Calamus/sweet flag root (Acorus calamus) Angelica root or seeds (Angelica archangelica) Veronica/speedwell (Veronica officinalis) Dittany/burning bush (Dictamnus albus) Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) Star anise (Illicium verum) Elecampane/Horse-heal/aunée root (Inula helenium) Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citrates) Génépi (Artemisia mutellina, A. spicata, A. umbelliformis and/or A. glacialis)
  14. I searched, but did not see this discussed previously. Just came across the linked web site. Looks like basic distillation isn't so far out of reach if you live in Michigan. Even though the new law has been on the books since 1997, it looks like it is getting a lot more attention of late. I have yet to read the details, so it isn't entirely clear what constitutes an eligible "small" winemaker or brewer. I'm just impressed the state has accommodated this sort of activity. Distillation in Michigan part 2 Michigan distilleries
  15. Auguru


    Happy Belated, Mr. Defo! And to quote J.G. Thirlwell: "You tell the truth you go to the guillotine. You lose your head but your conscience is clean. Don't buy into no one else's dream. Say what you mean and say it mean."
  16. Auguru


    Happy Birthday, Volpane! Here's to green thumbs and l'heure verte!
  17. Auguru

    Absinthe: The American Remix

    Lachenmeier's paper: Lachenmeier, D. W., S. G. Walch, S. A. Padosch, and L. U. Kroner. 2006. Absinthe--a review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 46:365-77. (see this link for a thread on this forum discussing aspects of this paper: Lachenmeier discussion One of several papers that report chemotypes (in this case a French source) of A. absinthium that apparently produce no thujone: Juteau, F., I. Jerkovic, V. Masotti, M. Milos, J. Mastelic, J. M. Bessiere, and J. Viano. 2003. Composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Artemisia absinthium from Croatia and France. Planta Medica 69:158-61.
  18. I've been accumulating samples for the same purpose (and, quite honestly, to try to help me figure out which contributes the various tastes). I've been successful getting most of the "core" herbs, but a few have been hard to acquire. In particular, angelica seed has been hard to find. Further, while dittany has been described as a component in some absinthe, I have yet to find a recipe that indicates such, and no source for it to boot. I may be forced to grow my own (along with a few of the other herbs I have in the yard). Likewise, the various plants that go by the generic name "genepi" have been difficult to track down. As has been a source for A. pontica. Again, I may have to try growing my own. The A. absinthium I have in the yard is looking great this year (although the aphids seem to find it tasty ). The Powis Castle I've got in the ground and in a container look especially nice and smell wonderful when "stroked." On the subject of herbs not allowed, (knowing this question has been asked before), why not use the Powis Castle? It is fragrant and appealing. Is it really so bitter or otherwise unpleasant or is it more a case that the A. absinthium and A. pontica just taste/perform better?
  19. Auguru

    Celebrating the Lion!

    Happy Birthday, Ari! May the MYSTeries of life continue to inspire! Ah! the MYSTeries of life...
  20. Auguru

    What ya drinking tonight?

    Yikes! I think it is time for Oscar to spawn an avatar's avatar. Something Old Testament, perhaps Job-related? Here's hoping that cantankerous stone moves soon. Else it is time for the ultrasonics or lasers...
  21. Happy Birthday, Sand! Here's wishing you another year of the best. I forget if you are a Brother's Quay fan, but here is a link to a site with a snippet of their "Street of Crocodiles" film. Well worth the effort. Street
  22. Auguru

    Party in Paris?

    To the birthday boy! Happy Centenary!
  23. Auguru

    Kallnacher Absinth

    Both Eichelbergers are vertes. I haven't decided which I like better, having only had a couple glasses of the 60 so far... The 68 limitée is easier to come by (more vendors carry it) and there are more reviews to use as a guide. As far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong with any of the Eichelbergers.
  24. Auguru

    Kallnacher Absinth

    If you are talking incremental rather than finish line recommendations, may I suggest the Eichelberger 68 or 60. Among my favorites.
  25. No fair! Am I gonna hafta get out the absinthetta stone?