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BrotherO

Any herbs NOT allowed in a proper absinthe?

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I for one have found your calling the making of absinthe and art to be refreshing. You and I have had discourses over time on the art versus science aspects of making absinthe. I have always favored the creative (art if you will) over the technical (the science). While the technical is necessary to gain the rudimentary skills of absinthe (and liquor making in general) making, to truly make an absinthe that is transcendant requires art. A sense of creativity with a flair for adventure. Now I'll go and shine some turds...

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The treatises that we've coveted from the mid to late 1800s are not definitive treatises of art.

A number of good thoughts but this struck me as something I never really thought of before. While useful the treatises are not only not definitive and not art but not even about art, concerning more specifically a shadow of what was sold, which may or may not have been fine-liquid-art.

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I agree with Absomphe and would like to add that every stage of absinthe production: being it maceration, distillation (assemblage of distillates as well as in case of de Fougerolles) and colouration are ALL a skilful operation and require wisdom and zest for them.

 

I cannot agree with Hiram about absinthe being just a culinary stuff.

From the very beginning it has been perceived as medicinal tonic (or "herbal remedy" as it is suggested in Ian Hutton's article) and those of who who had the pleasure of drinking 1797 (Essai 1) see it is far away from any other even of the subsequent pre-ban absinthes on the market, still could be, I put stress on the word "could" an approximation what Dr Ordinaire had created.

 

As you all know, in Poland, we are having piołunówka, which by the matter of act is always treated as medicine which it is just as two anise-flavored Polish specialty drinks: Dubelt Annis and Kontuszówka that were served for the purpose of alievating stomach and intestinal problems with gout and things related.

 

I am not advocating that piołunówka could be older than absinthe, there are far greater minds to deal with with that subject.

 

What herbs are to be found there it still depends on the given producer, IMHO if they are of best quality, 4-6 is sufficiently enough. And as by differences grow people's values, the better for absinthe, as it has already been mentioned, it is evolving (from medicinal tonic to an aperitif) and had changed its profile so many a time :cheers:

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Absinthe started its life as a medicinal tonic, but it hasn't been primarily perceived as such for well over a century, and I would guess longer. Certainly at the height of its popularity in France, people weren't drinking it for its reputed curative properties, but for its taste. As you pointed out, it has evolved from a medicinal tonic to an aperitif. Which, to my mind, makes it primarily a culinary art.

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Agreed.

 

And not that the 1797 didn't have its flaws, but I find it a little hard to swallow (pun intended) that the original medicinal tonic tasted quite as good as the contemporary interpretation of it. I have the feeling that absinthe underwent a rather quick, and dramatic evolution (involving a hefty dose of culinary artistry), as it metamorphosed into the outrageously popular drink that it became during the fin de siecle.

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Yes, that is absolutely right :cheers:

Moreover, discussing absinthe per se we should not forget about its past and how it actually had influenced the future of the drink that we know nowadays.

Therefore I have mentioned the evolutionary aspect of it; absinthe has to do with medicine and culinary.

Still, whenever you want to settle your stomach, absinthe remains the cure whereas if you want to sip something extraordinary just for pleasure, absinthe is your choice, too.

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Still, whenever you want to settle your stomach, absinthe remains the cure whereas if you want to sip something extraordinary just for pleasure, absinthe is your choice, too.

So does pie.

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We're talking about two different topics:

1. What does it take at a minimum for a liquor to be considered an absinthe?

2. What does it take to make an absinthe, once established to be such, a good one?

Everything else you've said, I'll say amen to... but I see no point in shining turds.
I was just pointing out the incredibly contorted nature of the thread. From tangent to segue to non-sequitur.

 

Absinthe is a drink, not a medicine. Any arguement to the contrary is fatuous. I'd also like to point out that I've never seen any compelling evidence that Dr. Ordinaire ever existed. Are there any contemporary accounts of him outside of Pernod literature? He's the Santa Claus of absinthe (St. Nicholas, Sinter Klaus, what have you).

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Ok everyone has found the template for what they think absinthe is and should be. Guess what? You overlooked the gems by staying in the lines. So many of you quote works on distillation yet you failed to see the “Holy Grail” of information because it didn’t mention ABSINTHE.

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Some of it is interpretation, just like the bible (not to be discussed here but an example of what we believe things to be based on what we read).

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Just a little note on the topic science and art.

For centuries, every artist had to prepare everything himself.

The Impressionists were the first to use oil colours in tubes what enabled them to go en plein air and embrace the sun truly.

However, making your own paint from pigment and linseed oil, priming your canvas, assorting your palette, brushes, choosing the right thinner is a matter of science.

The very moment your brush touches the canvas, it is art, aye?

This could easily apply to absinthe, I believe.

If we question the existence of Dr Oridinaire, we should question Henriod sisters as well :)

Santa Claus fortunately existed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Nicholas and still exists in the mind of children :cheers:

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Just a little note on the topic science and art.

For centuries, every artist had to prepare everything himself.

The Impressionists were the first to use oil colours in tubes what enabled them to go en plein air and embrace the sun truly.

However, making your own paint from pigment and linseed oil, priming your canvas, assorting your palette, brushes, choosing the right thinner is a matter of science.

If you want to spin it that way, everything is a matter of science, including my grandma's chicken soup. But it's not analytical-taking-molecules-apart-with-GC/MS-to-get-the-constituents-per-ml-just-right science. That strips the soul out of the art in my opinion. Sure, it can be helpful to a point, but after a while it's just academic masturbation. Whatever happened to taste?.

 

I want to drink a well-crafted beverage made by someone who can taste the difference between a good absinthe and a bad one, not a Frankensinthe pieced together from a read-out of basic constituents to fulfill a mg/l quotient.

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Just a little note on the topic science and art.

For centuries, every artist had to prepare everything himself.

 

The Impressionists were the first to use oil colours in tubes what enabled them to go en plein air and embrace the sun truly.

 

Um, no on both counts.

 

Even in 17th century Dutch artists did not prepare their own canvases. See Rembrandt: The Painter at Work.

 

The Barbizon painters as well as Corot, Courbet, Constable and Turner all painted outdoors.

 

 

And as has been stated before, all the pre-Ban absinthes were all created without the benefit of all these scientific analyses. And the good ones were created through taste, sensitivity, and aesthetic. Things that science has a terrible time quantifying.

 

Science can be valuable and much can be learned through it, however there's no reason to be a slave to it.

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Rembrandt had a lot of apprentices and it was their work, still every Master before starting his own career was an apprentice, too :) (2-6 yrs) learning how to grind the pigment, prime canvas and dye the paper, not counting making of gesso. (Cennini, C "The Craftsman' s Handbook" and prof Nicolaus Penvsner "Art Academies")

The Barbizon painters were STARTING their paintings outdoors, yet finishing them in atelier; some of them also were using earth colours which Impressionists completely removed from their palettes.

Corot started painting en plain air at the age of 75 when he was starting and FINISHING his paintings outdoors.

All these painters considered any outdoor painting as a sketch to be finished in atelier, whereas for Impressionists every sketch was a FINISHED piece of art. The Barbizon painters (especially Narcisse Diaz de la Pena) taught the Impressionists to go out, but it was Impressionists decision to stay :D

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I was referring to the REAL coming out not just for making a sketch.

Even them (Corot or Constable) had never considered their sketches as finished and knew they they would not be treated as paintings.

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:laf:

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When is the funeral? This horse is starting to smell.

 

Perhaps Absinthist should have served him, along with the fried rat, before he started to spoil. :devil:

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I read the whole thread, including references to deceased equines.

 

The answer is, the minimum requirements for absinthe are debatable. But, assuming you meet those minimum requirements (whatever you might think they are), even if you put a shiny turd in it, it's still absinthe. However, if you use a dull turd it's not.

 

Or maybe I misread something.

Edited by BrotherO

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From the very beginning it has been perceived as medicinal tonic (or "herbal remedy" as it is suggested in Ian Hutton's article) and those of who who had the pleasure of drinking 1797 (Essai 1) see it is far away from any other even of the subsequent pre-ban absinthes on the market, still could be, I put stress on the word "could" an approximation what Dr Ordinaire had created.

1797... an absinthe based on a true story.

 

Put the 1797 in proper context.

1. The recipe this absinthe was inspired by was not distilled with a system that incorporated rectification in so sophisticated a manner as a spherical rectifier (that's not to say the method of involving "hydro-rectification" is something altogether elegant).

2. Nowhere in the original Abram-Louis Perrenoud recipe is there room for interpreting that wormwood must be macerated separately from anise & fennel, and that wormwood should be excluded from the distillation.

3. The popular interpretation of the 1794*/1797 recipe prescribes a low content of anise (equal to that of lemon balm, ie two handfuls in 18 pots of eau-de-vie)... a quantity of anethole-bearing herbs that equaled, in toto, that of say an Absinthe Suisse de Lyon as offered in Duplais would provide quite a different starting point.

 

Initially, many compounded spirits that were made from an eau-de-vie or esprit base were put forth as medicamens by the apothecaries of France, but with the burgeoning of chemistry and shift to doctors and surgeons the apothecarial influence was quickly overcome... coincident with the early history of absinthe.

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Wow. What can I say? Thanks, for the information.

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