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PeterL

Sugar Maybe Not Such a Friend to Absinthe Afterall

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In the on going battle to keep my blood sugar levels from soaring through the stratosphere, I do my best to steer clear of refined sugar. An interesting thing happens when you do away with or at the very least, limit your sugar intake.

 

What happens is you being to discover wonderful and natural sweetness from so many things where sugar used to be the easiest way to impart sweetness. I understand the love of the rituals associated with Absinthe and love them. But I've yet to taste a single Absinthe that I would even consider as so bitter it would need sugar.

 

In fact it's the opposite. Brands like Kübler, the few Jades I've had are more than sweet enough. Some brands, especially the Grande Absinte, La fee and a few others are almost sickeningly too sweet for me.

 

My partner and many friends enjoy taking sugar with their Absinthe to which I say to each his or her own. But for me it's important to taste that first glass of a new Absinthe as it is, before masking it with sugar - and I've yet to find one that was so bitter I felt it needed it. Maybe the Absinthe of long ago was so bitter it needed the sugar to be enjoyed, although I have no way of knowing if this is true or not.

 

I would suggest a little experiment to even the most die hard sugar lover. Try to avoid sugar for a while. In a very short time around a week or two, you'll find all of a sudden your taste buds picking up a wonderful new kind of sweetness in so many flavors you once thought needed sugar. And it's a sweetness sugar simply can't provide. In fact, I think refined sugar masks these naturally sweet and subtle nuances.

 

That's been my experience and I would encourage anyone to give it a shot.

 

That said, my search for a more savoury Absinthe continues.

 

Peter :twitchsmile:

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Sugar will actually make the drink better in lots of cases. Most absinthes I've had, granted there haven't been that many, have been sweet enough. I have had some with and without sugar and I have seen tremendous changes made with just one cube. Positive changes. :closedeyes:

 

You are right though, to each his own. Good luck!

 

:cheers:

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"Sugar is optional, adding sweetness and viscosity, according to Gwydion Stone, founder of The Wormwood Society Web site (wormwoodsociety.org), and creator of Marteau, a Portland brand due to be released in April.

 

"Sugar is not for the absinthe, it's for the drinker, Stone said."

 

Who is this knucklehead? B)

 

 

I think Hiram put it put it perfectly. I have two sealed boxes of French Absinthe cubes left and one open. They're pretty cool as they come in all these different shapes they look like candies made out of snow.

 

 

I would be lying if I said I didn't look at them with a bit of longing...

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Sugar, sugar, sugar for the Nymph!

 

I think some regions have a heavier sweet tooth due to local cuisine. Southerners like their sugar (with the exception of Peridot, because he is a freak). We 'sugar up' our tea, coffee, and grits.

 

You just have a Yankee palate. :harhar:

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I avoid sugar in general, I don't have a big sweet tooth and I operate much better on a low sugar/carb diet. Generally speaking, salt is my vice (and booze of course). I think that's why I would always drink dirty martinis back when I used to have martinis, just one more vehicle for salt!

 

In any case, I too have found that absinthe doesn't need sugar for my palate. In fact a lot of them border on being sweeter than I'd ask for. I recently tried the Eichelberger 68 and really enjoyed the fact that it was less sweet than many other absinthes.

 

But as has been discussed, different tongues taste different things. What seems sweet to me will seem horrendously bitter to someone else. That variation is part of what makes discussing something so subjective as absinthe tasting an interesting endeavor.

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That really makes me into thinking what palate I have? I add one sugar cube to none to coffee, three to four sugar cubes to tea and from none to none to absinthe.

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I have not had sugar with my Absinthe for years. I know, I know, it's a synergistic relation, etc, but white sugar just tastes gross to me. And if you put too much in your Aperitif it's trashed; for some reason adding more booze doesn't fix the situation, the drink is ruined. I used to sweeten with honey or Agave nectar with decent results but ater drinking just Blanches for awhile I just got used to it that way and quite frankly I wouldn't want to booger up any of the tasty stuff in my cabinet with a cube of that sinister white stuff.

 

Basically the only real reason I am interested in spoons, etc. in my collection is for guests whose tastebuds aren't as burnt and embittered as mine. :devil:

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A year ago, I almost never used sugar. Now, I almost always do.

Not being religious about it one way or the other, I think sugar opens up a lot of the herbal flavors in absinthe. Occasionally, I'll drink a glass without sugar then the same absinthe with sugar. The difference is striking. If you don't like processed sugar cubes, try making your own cubes with turbinado (raw sugar).

 

There is no right or wrong way. If you are new to absinthe drinking, try it both ways from time-to-time.

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I'm going to make a whole new section of the forums just for sugar threads.

 

I understand the love of the rituals associated with Absinthe and love them. But I've yet to taste a single Absinthe that I would even consider as so bitter it would need sugar.
The ritual is more about the slow addition of the water whether there's sugar involved or not.

 

In fact it's the opposite. Brands like Kübler, the few Jades I've had are more than sweet enough. Some brands, especially the Grande Absinte, La fee and a few others are almost sickeningly too sweet for me.
They're pre-sweetened. ;)

 

My partner and many friends enjoy taking sugar with their Absinthe to which I say to each his or her own. But for me it's important to taste that first glass of a new Absinthe as it is, before masking it with sugar
For me, sugar unmasks the absinthe.

 

Maybe the Absinthe of long ago was so bitter it needed the sugar to be enjoyed, although I have no way of knowing if this is true or not.
Sure you have! Pick up on the next round of pre-ban samples. I'm sure that then as now, some brands were slightly more bitter than others, but not wildly so. There were many non-sugarers then, too.

 

I used to use insane amounts of sugar in coffee and tea. I finally discovered the joy of real cream in coffee and embraced the bitterness of it. Tea without loads of sugar, regardless of how much cream or milk, will still make me hurl.

 

I use two sugars with most absinthes; one for the more sweet ones. There's no arguing with genetics.

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I think some regions have a heavier sweet tooth due to local cuisine. Southerners like their sugar (with the exception of Peridot, because he is a freak). We 'sugar up' our tea, coffee, and grits.

Okay, how weird is this? I do make my iced tea with loads of sugar, but never add any to coffee anymore unless it's iced. I do put sugar in my grits, but so far I have never met a single other southerner who does so (except you, apparently); when I sugar my grits anyone near me reacts to it with a look of horror and says the only way to prepare them is with cheese, bacon, and salt.

 

My palate and possibly body chemistry has changed over time. I used to sugar every absinthe, then found myself sugaring only certain ones, and now I never sugar any of them. Sugared absinthe makes my stomach turn and my brain spin around in my skull.

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when I sugar my grits anyone near me reacts to it with a look of horror...

Yes, that's the look my face has right now.

 

I don't know what to say of either of you. This is obviously some sort of pervy Alabama thing.

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I sugar my grits too, and add just a touch of salt. I can drink my tea with or without. Coffee has to have some sugar. Most absinthes I find are sweet enough, but some, I may add a half cube.

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Wait, you mean people actually eat grits? I thought that was all just a big joke.

 

Here in CA people either eat some light & healthy crap like granola on yogurt for breakfast or flip to the opposite end of the spectrum and have some 1500 calorie behemoth scone from Starbucks. Me? Well I'm a real trendsetter. I like to have 2 eggs over easy with some bacon and a cup of black coffee. I'm a wild man, someone hold me back before for I turn the breakfast world on its head!

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I like my eggs sunny side up with the yolks runny. Bacon, grits, and a big ole cat head biscuit. A rib eye is also good.

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Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than anywhere else on the face of the earth? Well, I guess the laws of physics cease to exist on top of your stove. Were these magic grits? Did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?

 

Vinny Gambini aka Joe Pesci - My Cousin Vinny

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MENU

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Breakfast

2. Lunch

3. Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

The image of that ice cream scoop fulla Lard haunts me to this day.

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For me, sugar unmasks the absinthe.

 

For me it's the opposite, I think sugar masks delicate flavors. Remember Dr. Atkins, you know that guy was remarkable. All is life he was mocked but in the end - he was right.

 

He always said that refined sugar and flour were deadly. Eeeeh so maybe he was a little dramatic, but then he saved the lives of more Diabetics than any other Dr. on the face of the planet.

 

But all that aside, I have a sweet tooth when I used to drink coffee I poured the sugar in so thick the spoon would stand up. But then I discovered really good coffee, not the star bucks crap or what you find in the super market. But high altitude, mountain estate grown varietals....I'm telling you, the last thing you want to do is dump sugar in a cup of joe like that.

 

BTW....coffee that good? it's just a few pennies more a cup :)

 

Sure you have! Pick up on the next round of pre-ban samples. I'm sure that then as now, some brands were slightly more bitter than others, but not wildly so. There were many non-sugarers then, too.

 

Pre Ban samples?? where?? who?? when?

I used to use insane amounts of sugar in coffee and tea. I finally discovered the joy of real cream in coffee and embraced the bitterness of it. Tea without loads of sugar, regardless of how much cream or milk, will still make me hurl.

 

I use two sugars with most absinthes; one for the more sweet ones. There's no arguing with genetics.

 

 

Hiram, heavy cream only has a trace amount of natural sugars 1 gram per 2 Tbl spoons. half & half, light cream and milk are loaded with sugars....but not heavy cream! Thats why if you're on a carb and sugar restricted diet you can pour as much of it as you want to it's naturally sweet. But it's also COW MUCUS...yes, cow snot, literally. Talk about wanting to hurl.

 

:puke:

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He always said that refined sugar and flour were deadly.

Life causes death. 100% fatal. Death tallies from sugar, flour, cow snot, black plague and cigarettes combined can't hold a candle to life. Evil bastid, Life. :cool-reaper:

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He always said that refined sugar and flour were deadly.

Life causes death. 100% fatal. Death tallies from sugar, flour, cow snot, black plague and cigarettes combined can't hold a candle to life. Evil bastid, Life. :cool-reaper:

 

 

I'm mortified that I gave the impression I'm a health nut...really. That's what I get for drinking and typing.

 

I love the wisdom wisdom above T, Have fun while we're here coz we're gonna be dead a looooooooong time :twitchsmile:

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Oh, I don't think you're a health nut... ;)

 

Sorry, Brooks. I've gone days without using that little emoticon. Here comes the forks!

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I think sugar masks delicate flavors.

 

Agreed.

 

The mouthfeel may be richer, but, almost invariably, some of the more subtle flavors are completely overpowered.

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The mouthfeel may be richer, but, almost invariably, some of the more subtle flavors are completely overpowered.

Exactly.

 

"A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" even Mary Poppins knew sugar masked flavors.

Sugar?

:nono:

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I think it's high time Hiram admits that using 2 sugar cubes per glass of absinthe makes him less of a man.

 

Afterall, isn't it all about who can drink the most absinthe in the least amount of time, and with the least water and sugar, yet with the most fire? Someone should add that advisement to the eff-ay-cue.

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The mouthfeel may be richer, but, almost invariably, some of the more subtle flavors are completely overpowered.

Which is why I use cornstarch, and not sugar, to achieve the rich mouthfeel we crave.

 

1. Dilute absinthe with water to taste, and pour into a saucepan.

2. For every six ounces of louched absinthe, add 1 to 2 heaping teaspoons of cornstarch (2 results in a more "pudding-y" drink).

3. Boil for at least five and up to ten minutes.

4. Let cool at room temperature, and chill thoroughly.

 

You can make this by the quart or the pitcher, and it keeps for months. :shifty:

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