The "Louche" Effect
Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:31 PM
All I can figure out is that water has a HUGE role with it.
Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:33 PM
As you pour, watch the water as it mixes with the absinthe. When the water-to-absinthe ratio reaches a certain level, the essential oils which are dissolved in the absinthe during distillation will emulsify with the water and create the marvelous, opalescent, cloudy effect known as the "louche." A proper louche is among the characteristics used to judge a premium absinthe. It should be neither too thick nor too thin, indicating either too much or not enough anise. Absinthe is above all, an anise drink, but it should not be overpowering and candy-like.
A good louche should be opalescent and translucent in good light, neither transparent nor opaque. It is best observed in full sunlight, and is appreciated even more with the second glass!
As the glass slowly fills and the louche develops, the bouquet of the absinthe is more fully released and you may detect fragrance notes which were only barely perceptible in the undiluted absinthe.
Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:45 PM
To say nothing about glass three, four and five.
It is best observed in full sunlight, and is appreciated even more with the second glass!
Posted 05 August 2008 - 02:12 PM
There is a lot of information on the main site, you know. You should have a good browse through it.
Maker of Marteau Absinthe and Foxtrot London Dry Gin
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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:27 PM
In my experience a louche can most definitely be too thin, but I've never considered an absinthe to be of a lesser quality because the louche was too thick. I won't even debate that a louche must be thick and creamy for it to be considered proper but I do question that it could or should be marked down for having these qualities.
What has brought you to your belief that an absinthe's louche should be marked down for being too thick?
Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:42 PM
It seems that a drink that louches too quick or is too thick may be due to star anise versus green anise.
It's merely a shot in the dark. It just seems that when ever a quick, thick louche happens.......star anise is brought up in discussion.
So, I guess I can't answer your question but I am looking forward to sitting down and discussing the subject in person over a glass of good absinthe.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.
Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:13 PM
A thin louche makes me think someone short-sheeted the anise.
It's an anise and wormwood drink, first and foremost. Crank it up. If it gets too thick, I'll pour it over my Coco Puffs.
Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:14 PM
Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:16 PM
Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:17 PM
Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:47 PM
While an under watered absinthe may appear thicker, a thick louche does not always or even normally imply an absinthe needs more water.
T, I think, as preferences go, we are definitely on the same page; and Bill... I honestly look forward to it.
Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:02 PM
Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:07 PM
“I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look for it.” - Neil Gaiman
Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:24 PM
Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:35 PM
I get the feeling some US producers are uncertain what the market will eventually support. I hope they're not short-changing their beverage on ample and quality herbs or worse, led astray by the Crapsinthe market.
As many have said, we're in absinthe's second infancy. We, as a whole of both consumer and producer, have much to learn. That's why I sometimes cringe when a new product is slammed instead of gently critiqued.
Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:35 PM
Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:43 PM
If it gets too thick, I'll pour it over my Coco Puffs.
Exactly. I've seen some pics of absinthe where it does look like milk. Personally, I consider it a flaw, because part of the absinthe ideal for me is that creamy opal.
Posted 07 August 2008 - 06:21 AM
The writer did say it was probably folklore...but this does make me wonder why when I poor an Absinthe it always comes out Louched and my bulldog looks so guilty.
Posted 07 August 2008 - 11:08 AM
An alcoholic example I can think of is Luxardo's Triplum Dry Orange liqueur.
It is so saturated with orange oils that it often produces a light louche when mixed in cocktails.
A non-alcoholic example is Orgeat or almond syrup. Most commercial orgeat is colored and/or so saturated with almond oils that it is more or less pre-louched, but homemade stuff can be nearly clear if you make it carefully. When you add water to it, the almond oils will louche. Very cool.
I've also seen examples on the web where home distillers overdo the botanicals in gin and it will louche. It's usually considered a flaw in gin.
Bernal Heights, San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted 07 August 2008 - 12:39 PM
Posted 07 August 2008 - 08:33 PM
*Not intended to be a shot at ejellest's comment, which is true.
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