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Everything posted by Auguru

  1. Over the last couple of months, I've noticed the following: If I have had a glass or two of absinthe before retiring, I seem to experience an altered sleep pattern. (I am usually somewhat sleep-deprived, a consequence of being a "night-owl"). However, after imbibing absinthe, my sleep is "less deep", or at least I am much more easily awakened. Further, when I wake up, I am up! No particular grogginess or lethargy, rather a "bound to wakefulness". Can't say I note any real change in dreaming, but just the general experience of wakefulness or perhaps alertness. Any similar experiences? Or should I chalk it up to advancing "middle age"?
  2. Happy Birthday, demise1983! Just remember, liver punnishment is nothing to pun about.
  3. I have a question about the recommendations in the recent article by Lachenmeier and colleagues (see citation below). While he briefly notes the traditional method of macerating the ingredients in ethanol at 85% concentration before distillation, he goes on to the discuss approaches that should reduce the potential thujone levels in the distillate (to make sure the product is in compliance with EU requirements for maximum thujone levels). One is to reduce the concentration of the ethanol used in the macerate to 30%. I am a bit confused by this suggestion. If the testing of commercial absinthe (using more-or-less conventional methods) and testing of vintage absinthe has yielded thujone levels generally far below the maximum EU limit, why bother suggesting the change? Isn't a reduction in the ethanol concentration going to affect the extraction of other macerate-derived flavors? Might this change the character significantly? Furthermore, he indicates varieties/cultivars of A. absinthium are available that basically do not produce thujone at levels of significance in the production of absinthe using the traditional methods. This seems a more logical approach if my concerns about changes in flavor/character are relevant. Here is an excerpt from the paper: POSSIBILITIES TO REDUCE THE THUJONE CONTENT Today's manufacturers face the problem that they have to generate a distinctive wormwood taste, without exceeding the thujone maximum limit of 35 mg/kg. The selective enrichment of the bitter and flavor compounds, while keeping the thujone concentration low, was extensively investigated (45). Tegtmeier et al. (46) compared a water extraction to an alcohol extraction method By the percolation with water or alcohol (30%vol) no thujone could be extracted, because the solubility of thujone in water is poor. Only by the application of ethanol 90%vol, it was possible to extract 0.18 mg thujone per g wormwood herb. When the method of digestion with ethanol 30%vol was applied, 0.17 mg thujone per g wormwood herb could be extracted. The largest yields were obtained, whenever the macerate of the wormwood herb was distilled (0.24 mg thujone/g). The use of hot and highly concentrated alcohol for the extraction should therefore be avoided to obtain extracts with a low content of thujone. Because the percolation with pure water might lead to a loss of microbiological quality, the percolation with ethanol 30%vol is regarded as the method of choice. This method is described as being easy to handle and economic. Gambelunghe and Melai (47) verified these results. Wormwood macerated with ethanol 20%vol for 30 days contained only 0.2 mg/I of thujone, while the maceration of wormwood with ethanol 95%vol for 6 months contained 62 mgll of thujone. The consequence for the absinthe manufactures is that traditional recipes and methods have to be modified, in order to avoid thujone contents, which exceed the limit. The maceration should be done with low concentrations of alcohol and the wormwood herb should be separated before the distillation. A possibility for the continuation of traditional recipes is to remove the thujone from the wormwood herb before the maceration. Stahl and Gerard (48) observed, that the extraction with liquid or supercritical carbon dioxide provides a fast, selective and quantitative method for the separation of thujone from the wormwood herb. Absinthin, which is responsible for the high bitter value of wormwood, remains in the herb. It is therefore possible to generate nearly thujone free wormwood herb and to use it for the manufacturing of absinthe. However, the application of this method for the manufacturing of spirit drinks was never described. The most elegant alternative to avoid the toxic thujone may be the use of thujone-free wormwood herb, which is available in certain cultivation areas,IO.16 and appears to be perfect for the use in the spirit drink producing industry. With those chemotypes, it would be possible to produce absinthe with wormwood quantities on the basis of the traditional recipes, without the manufacturer facing the risk of exceeding the thujone limit. Lachenmeier, D. W., S. G. Walch, S. A. Padosch, and L. U. Kroner. 2006. Absinthe--a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 46:365-77. (Let me know if you want to see the complete paper).
  4. Auguru

    Delaware Phoenix Distillery

    Fantastic news, DP! Though I've been checking in less frequently at the WS, it has been wonderful to see your hard work and tenacity paying off. I, like others above, have put in a good word with Kamal at DUNY about your distillery/absinthe. Hope it is on the shelves soon. Love your pictures/set-up. Classic copper alembic, meet modern heating mantle. After meeting you at Oscar and Hissy's New Year's Eve event (a bit over a year ago), I had no doubt you were headed for success.
  5. Auguru

    A Poll at The Absinthe Review Network

    What? In questions 4 and 5 not a single option for any of the wonderful Eichelberger absinthe offerings... Guess it is too late to amend the survey?
  6. Auguru

    MARTEAU Absinthe de la Belle Époque

    Sad note. Though I placed my order (I think on the day it was announced at DUNY), I sent a quick email to see what was up with my empty hands and was informed my order was clobbered by the folks at FedEx. Worse yet, though I ordered one of the limited edition Marteau spoons, they were now out of them and no chance to get one. Oh well, at least I know my bottle is being shipped tomorrow. The folks at DUNY are great (personal emails!) and I will continue to support them. Now, if they will only pick up more product from the other WS distillers...
  7. Auguru

    What ya drinking tonight?

    Were you able to pick it up locally, or did you snag a bottle from an online vendor? I have been unable to find it anywhere in Atlanta...
  8. Auguru

    Absinthe in Alabama

    Peridot, We may have a slightly wider array on the store shelves here in Atlanta, but as you mentioned there is a complication: while the likes of Lucid, Kübler (and at one store at least, St. George), the shelves are full of lesser offerings like Mata Hari, Le Tourment, Grande Absente, Absente, and Pernod (yes, that one). I talked to a customer service rep at one of the "Total Wine and Spirits" stores about getting Marteau (they carry House Spirits' Aviation gin). Sadly, I was informed they already carried "a lot of absinthe" and would not be bringing more in any time soon. I recoiled in horror when she said that "great tasting" absinthe like "Le Tourment" should satisfy their customers anyway. If I had not been in such a hurry, I would have encouraged an alternative consideration of the available brands (but that will have to wait on another trip). On an encouraging note, they did have the Holiday package of Lucid with two etched glasses and a spoon at the same price as the bare bottle (~$55).
  9. Be Bop Deluxe - "Sunburst Finish" album. Working on a "Winter Mist" cocktail (by local bartender Stephanie Ruhe, as described in the AJC newspaper this week): Muddle 3 sprigs mint in 1 oz simple syrup Add 1 3/4 oz gin, 1 oz absinthe, 3/4 oz fresh lime juice. Shake with ice, strain into martini glass, garnish with mint leaf. Interesting, but a bit sweet to my taste (I also eschew sugaring my absinthe). Must update my sig after re-hearing the following line in "Life in the Air Age" that goes: "Beneath the stars there are the bars that serve the bitter drink..."
  10. Auguru

    Ain't no Grouch.

    Belated wishes on your birthday, Oscar! Come New Year's Eve, I'll be reminiscing...
  11. If you can forgo the amber glass (just pack it in a protective sleeve/wrapping paper), Check out the following options (really just a starting place, there are lots of alternatives): For a small, screw-cap bottle: Bellolio Glass Bottles 50 ml Here is a 200ml bottle (a little pricey, but nice; if you don't like the std cork, replace as desired...): 200 ml "Bordo" bottle As mentioned by others, sks has nice options, like the following: 4oz bottle with cork These folks also have interesting options: GlassPak A few interesting, but pricey options here: Fantes Cork options: Waterloo Leeners Midwest HomeBrewit and, as mentioned before... Widgetco
  12. Auguru

    This day is just Butch!

    Liquid goodies... Mmmm... Hope your birthday celebration was the greatest!
  13. Auguru

    It's Ghostorm Day!

    Happy Birthday, ethereal one! Hope the green fairy treated you right today...
  14. Auguru

    Dry Ice

    An alternative to dropping a chunk of dry ice into a drink is the opposite: get a block of dry ice, chisel out a slight hollow area in the top/middle and pour the drink in. Stir gently with insulated utensils (spoons) until the liquid turns to slush, scoop into glass and enjoy. I saw this done at the World of Coca Cola here in Atlanta (mostly with the various flavors of soda from around the world). I decided to forgo the sodas and try mixed drinks (I was attending a private, after-hours function). Kicked the curiosity factor way up and, needless to say, the line to the dry ice table got pretty long. Some drinks were a delight. Some, like the basic gin-and-tonic, took on a more bitter tone. Bottom line: a great idea for a Halloween party. See cell phone pic:
  15. Auguru

    Multiple distillation

    Thanks, Gimp, for reinforcing the distinction with gin. Here is a quote from a Slashfood web page regarding D. H. Krahn gin: "Many gins brag about being triple or quadruple distilled. The multiple distilling is done for a variety of reasons, but usually to make the gin as clear and neutral tasting as possible, before adding the botanicals and redistilling. D. H. Krahn says that they start with clean neutral spirits and then add the botanicals. After which the gin is only distilled once to 'preserve the fragile aromas and precious essential oils of the botanicals- essences that are lost each time a spirit is distilled.'" I am curious about the fragility of the "aromas and essential oils" (here speaking of absinthe). Is it mostly a case of their being labile (and degrade during multiple distillations) or is it more of a case of dissipation? I usually think of distillation as resulting in a concentration of the "aromas and essential oils", but maybe I am mistaken with macerated spirits (versus mashes, as Gimp noted). If labile, I am impressed by their durability after distillation, as so well recognized in vintage absinthe...
  16. Cogitating on the manufacture and marketing of other spirits and it struck me that some (e.g. whiskey, vodka, gin) are often heralded for the number of distillations before bottling ("triple distilled" etc...). Are there examples of absinthe subjected to multiple distillation steps? Perhaps it doesn't work the same for absinthe? Perhaps something lost in repetition? If there are examples, can someone describe any advantage/benefit in the final product?
  17. Auguru

    Stomp Brockmore

    Hope you didn't break any taboos on your birthday!
  18. Auguru

    MARTEAU Absinthe de la Belle Époque

    Congrats, Hiram! Can't wait to get my first bottle.
  19. Auguru

    Sleep and absinthe

    Yikes! Over 3 years since my original post. 'Been away from the forum for a long while (January), feels like I've been in a really long, complicated dream... Hope I can spend a little more time awake and online. Gotta do some catching up with all the great folks here at the WS! Have yet to find any spirit that has the same effect as absinthe on sleep/waking.
  20. Auguru


    Happy Birthday (belated), Stephen! How'd the french parlor theme turn out in your living room?
  21. Auguru

    Merry Christmas!

    Happy Holidays, Everybody! Blanche. Verte. Rouge. Sounds festive to me.
  22. Auguru

    Not a Grouch!

    Happy Very Belated, Grouchy! (Man, I've got a lot of catching up to do...)
  23. Auguru

    Grey Boy!

    Happy Birthday, Grey Boy! The Grey Council recommends l'heure verte!
  24. Ike 70 while listening to "Summer Salt & Subway Sun" by the ever intriguing Eyeless in Gaza.
  25. Ah, "Microcosmos"! I was so impatient to get a copy of it a few years ago that I bought the PAL version and transcoded it into NTSC. Shared with a few family members so they could watch it too. Truly a lovely film. My kids thoroughly enjoyed it as well. The same crew released "Genesis" nearly a decade after "Microcosmos". It is likewise engaging, but nowhere near as enchanting.