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Everything posted by Auguru

  1. Happy birthday, to one and all. Come on back. We'll try to keep the prodigal references to a minimum...
  2. OK. Now, are the two versions of the Florence fennel different varieties, different stages of maturation, different in time post harvest (drying)? Better yet, which of the two would make a better bottle of absinthe? I guess I am trying to figure out if the quality correlates with color/shape. Is there an optimal time post harvest for distillation? I've seen some rather wide ranges of time mentioned (more for grand wormwood post harvest than fennel), but how do the various herbs fall in the fresh versus "aged" continuum? As far as utility in distillation goes... I am planning to plant some of these fabled "azoricum" fennels this spring/summer, both to try the bulb and to see the seed on the plant. Some of the sources I've read suggest seed harvest in year two. Clearly, the bulb from plants intended for second year seed harvest must be left in the ground, but I am unclear as to the rest of the plant. Is it cut back and grows out again from the bulb or are we really talking self-reseeding? Finally, any favorite recipes using Florence fennel?
  3. Happy Birthday, Geoff! Hope the magic hasn't worn off already...
  4. Welcome! Nice web site. Some of your work reminds me of stuff by Pascal Doury.
  5. Welcome, Preacher! I just gotta ask: are you there by choice? And the government restricting the ethanol to 60%! I figure that concentration just begins to act as an antifreeze in such northern climes. Any particular absinthe favorites? Do the flying monkeys make it up there or do you have to use more creative ways to import the green fairy?
  6. Here's hoping you're still celebrating, JCBPHD! (Given your proclivities, any thoughts on Julian Jaynes' "The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind"?)
  7. I'll bite. 2 and 3 are the azoricum 1 and 4 are the common/sweet Roman and 5 is the "wild"?
  8. Thanks for the graphics! It makes a lot more sense to me now. The obvious next question is how much of a difference using the common/sweet fennel versus the true Florence fennel makes in a given batch of absinthe. Or perhaps a better question is: how often can the difference be discerned? I suppose those with the most experience and sensitive palates have the advantage, but I am trying to figure out if I can put a finger on the difference among the commercial absinthe I've accumulated. How often is the common/sweet used by the commercial producers? If, as I suspect, the Florence is more expensive, then how often would a vendor be inclined to substitute?
  9. Could you elaborate on the volume? Is this a "typical" portion or "one glass and you're out"? I keep seeing feet curling up under the base...
  10. I kinda feel like a party-pooper for my last post. Been quiet around here. I would like to follow up on the above quote (and several unquoted retorts). Could someone make the distinction between Florence and run-of-the-mill sweet/common fennel. If the images previously posted are unclear, could someone with better examples do a side-by-side for those of us that enjoy being educated? Thanks in advance!
  11. I'm with Hiram and Rabelais on the Leone. If almost everyone has run into an "anise bomb" or "wormwood bomb" along the way, then the Leone is a bonafide "lemon bomb", no pun intended... If the folks at Pastiglie Leone could tone down the harsh aftertaste, it would make an interesting alternative absinthe for your collection. Anyone know if there are more recent production runs that are more palette friendly?
  12. Happy birthday (belated), Bill! I see the manatee has been recommended for removal from the endangered species list. A good omen. Extinction averted...
  13. Happy belated, to the pink opaque one!
  14. Happy Birthday, Martin! As Asclepius would recommend: "one or more at the recommended dose will cure what ails ya..." (Are you for or against the camp that argues the caduceus (or better, Asclepius' staff) actually represents the removal of a guinea worm?)
  15. Lots of gin drinkers here. Myself, working on an Opera made with Martin Miller's gin. As with most cocktails, a bit on the sweet side for me, but very tasty. I just received several bottles of Eichelberger absinthe (60 Verte, 70 Verte, 58 Blanche, and 80 Brut), courtesy of a traveling colleague and the very kind folks at the Eichelberger distillery. I plan to conduct a side-by-side with my existing bottle of Eichelberger 68 Limitée this weekend. Now there's a plan!
  16. Happy Birthday, Morgan! All anachronistic references aside, what happened to you? Lost in time?
  17. Happy Birthday (a little late...), Tayker! May the cuke be with you.
  18. Happy Birthday, Mad! Wherever you are, here's hoping you're at least ONE STEP BEYOND... Madness - One Step Beyond
  19. Happy Belated, Plunger! Calamities aside, hope it was wonderful.
  20. To what degree is the quinine content limited? I could probably look it up, but... Besides, I am wondering if you would elaborate on whether there is a generally recognized preference for the UK strength vs. US version. Also, any notion whether the home-made version is worth the trouble? I checked on the availability of the cinchona bark and most sites sell it by the pound (cheapest I've found so far: ~$17/lb and with shipping would be ~$25). If I try it once and hate it... argh!
  21. As described in the March/April issue of Imbibe: Ingredients: 4 cups water 3 cups pure cane sugar 3 Tbsp quinine (powdered cinchona bark) 6 Tbsp powdered citric acid (apparently available in larger grocery stores in the bulk section) 3 limes, zested and juiced 3 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped 1. Dissolve sugar in water (facilitated by heating in saucepan to a boil and reducing heat to low) 2. Add remaining ingredients, stir well, simmer for ~25 min. 3. Cool. Strain out the chunky stuff using a colander, filter through cheesecloth (or coffee filters). [Looks messy!] 4. Pour into storage container(s) and store for up to several weeks in the refrigerator. [The article recommends using sterilized bottles that can be closed tightly.] The article has nice photos and entertaining background. The final product is blood red from the photos. I missed it before, but they recommend herbspro.com as a good source for the quinine. Herbspro.com link for quinine The January/February issue of Imbibe had a brief "taste-test" of 8 artisanal gins. I haven't tried them all, but would agree the Hendrick's, No. 209, and Martin Miller's gin are quite nice. I have tried unsuccessfully to find Aviation Gin (from Portland, Oregon) in my area, nor will the local liquor stores be able to get it soon since none of the distributors carry it. Given current state restrictions, I am not sure I can order it online... I have a bottle of Bluecoat Gin coming by personal courier in a couple of weeks. Other favorites are Sarticious, Old Raj, Tanqueray No. 10, and Magellan.
  22. I've not developed an affection for tonic water, but was curious about the recipe published in the March/April issue of Imbibe magazine. It looks a little messy, but as a determined DIY'er, I may give it a try. Anyone want to recommend a source for the quinine (powdered cinchona bark)? I can excerpt the recipe if anyone is interested.
  23. Happy Birthday, Shai! Go sooners!
  24. My question (perhaps should be in the science section) is: how stable is thujone once distilled and bottled in absinthe (or in ethanol between 45 and 80% concentration)? Testing antique bottles might not mean much if the thujone deteriorates significantly over time. However, if it is relatively stable, I am much more assured the teacher was exaggerating (or trying to impress a student with his "radical youth").
  25. Grim, As I understand the recipes/protocols (especially the Duplais on Oxy's site), it would appear the macerate is initiated by suspending the ingredients in 85% ethanol, after some period of time this mixture is diluted with water to bring the ethanol concentration down just below 60%, and the diluted macerate subjected to distillation (with guidance that the original volume of 85% ethanol be the guide for distillate recovery. Assuming Lachenmeier is proposing the maceration be accomplished using no more than 30% ethanol, wouldn't this significantly change the ability of the ethanol to dissolve the various oils and other substances solubilized by the ethanol? I am guessing this, in turn, would change what is volatilized during the distillation procedure? Is there any precedent in the published (or at least accessible) info on absinthe production that suggests this sort of reduction in macerate/ethanol concentration would yield a comparable product? I am not criticizing his recommendation, just trying to understand the implications if such guidance were implemented.