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Gwydion Stone

Wormwood distillations started in Bohemia in the 1500s

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"Despite my concerns for the piano, I invited an opera singer, an artist, writers and a theatre director to approximate a belle epoque salon and discover whether absinthe is a creative muse, as playwright Oscar Wilde believed."

 

If I can be of any help to any WS members trying to create an authentic "belle epoque salon," please PM me. I promise, I won't touch your stupid piano. B)

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That article changed my perception on everything about absinthe. Since they got some things right they must have got it all right.

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Who'da thunk that Radomil Hill was being so conservative when he ascribed a date of 1920 to the inception of absinth in Czechoslovakia? :shock: :rolleyes:

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"Wormwood distillations started in Bohemia in the 1500s"

 

That could mean just after 3 pm.

 

Actually 3 pm today may be a closer guesstimate to the truth than the date specified in the article.

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Hiram, just to play devil's advocate for a moment, Bohemia does have a tradition of alchemy/alchemists going back for centuries, it's very possible that they were boiling, distilling and macerating wormwood as long ago as the 1500's. It's also true that they wouldn't have been doing such things for purpose of making delicious beverages, but in search of various elixirs for prolonging life, etc.

 

I found the article to be fairly neutral on the subject of absinthe, if a little jocular.

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Not very well researched at all. Some alchemists may have been distilling wormwood from the 1500's, but I'd bet it wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, absinthe. Some citing of sources would've been nice.

"Ms Valttila prepared the absinthe using alchemical paraphernalia."

What the hell are they talking about?

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"Bohemia does have a tradition of alchemy/alchemists" Maybe but so did the rest of the world. Being of Bohemian descent I wish early absinthe production could be attributed to my people, but sadly there there seems to be no written record of such.

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"Bohemia does have a tradition of alchemy/alchemists" Maybe but so did the rest of the world.

Strictly speaking, separate from any talk of absinthe that is, there was a particular concentration of early scientists in Prague in the 1500's under the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. Such patronage does draw better talent than what "the rest of the world" could boast.

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Although I seriously doubt Rudolf contributed to the advent of our favorite drink, I do believe he would have fit in around here quite well. He was truly eccentric and a compulsive collector. I just wish we could get back to fact-based conclusions about absinth(e) in this country. Why is it so difficult?

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'newspaper makes unsourced claim, people buy it, news at 11:00'

 

If distilling one ingredient in absinthe, makes some thing somehow connected to absinthe, I'm going to give the 'first absinthe distiller' prize to those who distilled anise, as I would bet someone threw anise in a pot long before wormwood.

Although I'm sure the czech mafia has been dispatched to australia as the claim that wormwood should be distilled is reprehensible.

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Piołunówka was/is/forever shall be distilled with one ingredient, wormwood.

The recipe given by Stefan Falimierz in 1534 was included in his opus' chapters entiled "Of distilling vodka from herbs"

The first drink containing both aniseed and star anise was Kontuszówka (the date might be the same).

 

Piołunówka is NOT absinthe, still can be viewed as its predecessor.

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I just wish we could get back to fact-based conclusions about absinth(e) in this country. Why is it so difficult?

 

Why? I'll tell you why.

Money.

As long as the Czech producers can make and market ersatz-absinthe for around $3.00 a liter and charge $100.00 per liter (or more), and get gullible folks to fork out cash for it, you're never going to get them to be fact-based. There is little or no incentive to be honest with those type of profit margins.

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This is very true. It's become such a lucrative marketing schtick that's been invented, and subsequently ingrained, that there is little chance of it imploding without tremendous force being exerted from the outside. I also believe that originally few here would have been particularly bothered by the ethics after having falsified histories written and re-written, on a daily basis if need be, usually without further comment, for the better part of half a century. Probably only too happy to become the one pulling the levers for a change, as it were, instead of seeing the crime that they are perpetuating.

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