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smug simian

Flavor training

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In regards to absinthe - assuming I wanted to review or critique whilst picking apart the individual flavors in detail, what sort of ingredients could I sample individually to give proper perspective?

 

The general idea is to assemble small amounts different herbs or ingredients (grand wormwood, anise, etc) and taste them by themselves. Perhaps I could sample a variety of different types, or different qualities (example -- fresh, dried, American, French, chopped, whole, spring, fall, etc)

 

I'm sure the most educational approach would be simply touring the various absinthes, but I would also like to try individual ingredients by themselves for added depth.

 

If you have any recommendations for HOW it should be tasted (example - wormwood sprinkled on a slab of brie) that might also be helpful.

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Hey, Stacy.

Those are really good, comprehensive sets that Peridot linked you to.

 

The most effective way for me to get started on palate training was to attend a gathering of WS folks. My first event featured all the essential herbs, as well as essential folks, so I could not only get a deep whiff and taste, but was also able to ask questions, and get relatively instant satisfaction, about the ingredients, ie. why, when, whence, etc.

I'm sure somehing has to crop up in your area soon. Alternately, Texas is a nice place to visit.

:wave2:

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Buy the herbs and chew them after you finished your glasse(s).

It will take time and liters of absinthe, but it works rather well with the herbs used for coloration. As for the Anise/A.a./Fennel trio, I would also recommend Markus' kit.

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You can also buy a bottle of Kübler; buy small quantities of traditional coloring herbs (hyssop, lemon balm, peppermint, basil, tarragon, nettles) from your local herb store; divide the Kübler into 100-200 ml amounts; use the herb to color the Kübler samples. One with hyssop, one with balm, etc. btw, don't use plastic containers for this.

 

When you go to the herb store, look at the herbs being sold. Do they have different colors, so they look like different herbs, or are they all the same dull brownish-green color? If the latter, find another store carrying better herbs.

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PM me your address, and I'll send you a nice large baggy of the horrible horrible cheap wormwood I bought for sampling. I learned my lessons since.

 

1) Wormwood is bitter as bitter is. You may learn where to look by nibbling some, but you're not going to get that taste out of your mouth for a while.

 

2) Cheap wormwood tastes like little but bitter and bad. Expensive wormwood tastes very bitter, but has other flavors that you may like. Those are what you want in the absinthe.

 

3) that taste is still in your mouth. It's going to be there for a while.

 

4) a fool and his money...

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