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PeterL

Pernod aux Plantes d'Absinthe Superieure

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After reading this thread, it sounds like Pernod 68 and the more recent incarnation is not much superior in quality to Grande Absente Absinthe Original. That is a sad statement.

Also, in regards to altering the original pre-ban recipies and production methods just so an upper ceiling on the thujone limit can be attained really does bother me and here I am in agreement with Smiley. Why not simply make the modern absinthes exactly in accordance with the old recipies, thujone levels be damned?(As long as the thujone levels fall below 50mg/L). I am basing this figure on a study done on vintage pre-ban and modern absinthes in which the highest thujone level found in a pre-ban absinthe was determined to be about 48 mg/L. I would even be willing to live with an American limit of 35 mg/L(The present EU limit for bitters) since the average preban thujone level in the same study was found to be around 25 mg/L and in another study I have read it was found that 22% of all modern absinthes made strictly according to pre-ban recipies exceeded the 10 mg/L US limit and EU limit for alcoholic beverages. To put constraints on pre-ban recipies and production methods just to meet some arbirtrarily set thujone safety standard seems idiotic and in my opinion diminishes the authenticity of modern absinthes.

 

papers referenced can be found at:

thujoneinfo.com

Edited by AbsintheMindedProfessor

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Because Thujone makes you trip ballz and teh more teh betterer? ;) ... I don't think Pernod 68's problem has anything to do with thujone.

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Why not simply make the modern absinthes exactly in accordance with the old recipes, thujone levels be damned?

 

That's exactly what I did, and a few others besides me. Thujone isn't the issue with production, cash is. Most of these mass-market brands are made with flavoring oils and artificial coloring, Pernod included, which make them a lot cheaper to make and that's what allows such wide distribution.

 

I know for a fact—having seen the analysis reports—that there are at least two premium brands, one released, one immanent, that are made exactly in accordance with the old recipes and fall well within the US limits. I know of one brand that follows old protocols and recipes and has no detectable thujone at all. At least two other brands would fit this description as well. They all have limited distribution.

 

A few cl of anise oil (which is usually derived from star anise) is a lot less unwieldy than a couple hundred pounds of anise and fennel seed. You'll not see true global distribution of a true premium absinthe made from whole herbs until one of us opens a dedicated absinthe distillery with a battery of alembics, just like they did in the good old days.

 

What ticks me off is that when marketers make false claims about traditional recipes, etc., is that when you go out there an tell the truth, you sound like the rest of the schmucks who can't back it up. That's why we do distillery tours.

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A few cl of anise oil (which is usually derived from star anise) is a lot less unwieldy than a couple hundred pounds of anise and fennel seed.

And that may explain why a lot of the mass-produced approved U.S. brands( ex. Pernod 68, Grande Absente Absinthe Original) use star anise in place of green anise. In fact, even Kübler (manufacturer of the renowned and highly regarded Kübler 53) states on thier FAQ that "The principal ingredients in Kübler are referred to as the Holy Trinity - Grand Wormwood, Star Anise and Fennel."-(note: I am not knocking Kübler which offers great value for the money.) St. George also uses Star Anise in place of the Green(in all fairness St. George makes no claim to be a traditional absinthe). It would seem that using Star Anise in place of Green Anise is the norm for U.S. approved absinthes(with the notable exception of Lucid, which uses the traditional green).

That's exactly what I did, and a few others besides me.

Good for you! :thumbup:

Edited by AbsintheMindedProfessor

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Great blog entry, Brian. Thanks for posting it.

 

As Pernod begins to revamp their current absinthe product (we'll talk more about that later) with a brand new website and a new label, they are making more and more claims about their 1805 distillery in France being the first absinthe distillery.

 

This is very interesting and not a little disturbing. It seems clear to me that Pernod is angling to place their new brand as the "real" contemporary incarnation not just of Pernod Fils, but of Belle Epoque absinthe in general--with little or no regard to history or the truth.

 

I wonder what else they've been up to lately.

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I wonder what else they've been up to lately.

Generally being unpleasant little piggies.

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You know, to be fair, can anyone tell me with full certainty that the current owners of the Pernod name aren't actually just vagrant squatters who found the old place, turned the lights on and and took up residence inside? I mean, they clearly don't make anything similar to the Pernod Fils. Sometimes I use their modern absinthe-alike in my frying pan. It deglazes the pan in the same way cheap vinegar does, and adds a flavor that's similar to absinthe. I drink all my other absinthes.

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Well, all your other absinthes are worth drinking. ;) And I don't think you like rootbeer enough to make Nupernod potable, but I don't know...maybe you do.

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Great blog entry, Brian. Thanks for posting it.

 

As Pernod begins to revamp their current absinthe product (we'll talk more about that later) with a brand new website and a new label, they are making more and more claims about their 1805 distillery in France being the first absinthe distillery.

 

This is very interesting and not a little disturbing. It seems clear to me that Pernod is angling to place their new brand as the "real" contemporary incarnation not just of Pernod Fils, but of Belle Epoque absinthe in general--with little or no regard to history or the truth.

 

I wonder what else they've been up to lately.

 

Didn't expect this. We successfully fought off LTV, and now this? Hey, if they discontinue the swill they put out now and put forth an honest offering, I wouldn't be too upset, but if they try and pass of an oil mix as traditional BE absinthe? unhappiness will ensue...

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You know, to be fair, can anyone tell me with full certainty that the current owners of the Pernod name aren't actually just vagrant squatters who found the old place, turned the lights on and and took up residence inside? I mean, they clearly don't make anything similar to the Pernod Fils. Sometimes I use their modern absinthe-alike in my frying pan. It deglazes the pan in the same way cheap vinegar does, and adds a flavor that's similar to absinthe. I drink all my other absinthes.

 

Their corporate history basically ensures that there really is no connection. It's not as quick or cut and dried as you imply, but over the 20th century it amounts to as much.

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There are two members of the Ricard family on the Pernod-Ricard Board.

 

Interesting that under their anis-based spirits section, their absinthe is thus described:

 

"Pernod with absinthe extract"

 

I guess that explains it. I wonder what happened to the Pernod family?

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You know, to be fair, can anyone tell me with full certainty that the current owners of the Pernod name aren't actually just vagrant squatters who found the old place, turned the lights on and and took up residence inside? I mean, they clearly don't make anything similar to the Pernod Fils. Sometimes I use their modern absinthe-alike in my frying pan. It deglazes the pan in the same way cheap vinegar does, and adds a flavor that's similar to absinthe. I drink all my other absinthes.

They sold the business.

 

Here, this is for easier browsing than the flash site:

 

 

History

 

Legend traditionally attributes the creation of an absinthe elixir to Mother Henroid of Couvet of Val de Travers, in the Canton of Neuchatel in Switzerland who concocted it from plants that she found in the mountains. The elixir was adopted by a French doctor working in Switzerland named Dr. Pierre Ordinaire who rode through the hills, peddling a strange, yet patented medicine, which he dubbed his "absinthe elixir".

 

Following the death of Doctor Ordinaire, the rustic recipe was perfected by his two local sisters, before being bought by a businessman named Major Dubied, who saw the potential to sell the elixir beyond medicinal purposes. Major Dubied, however, had no knowledge of the art of distilling. Therefore, he hired Henri-Louis Pernod, a 21 year old distiller to help set up a small absinthe distillery in 1798. The business prospered allowing Henri-Louis Pernod to found The Maison Pernod Fils distillery in Pontarlier in 1805. The first commercial absinthe distillery was officially born!

 

Henri-Louis Pernod widowed and married the daughter of Major Dubied in 1807. Together they had a son Louis who grew up working with his father at the distillery. In 1827, Henri-Louis Pernod wanted to extend distribution. He split the markets between his sons Edouard, his eldest son from his first marriage, and Henri-Louis, born from his union with Emelie Dubied. Edouard exported Pernod to the United States and Henri-Louis assisted operation in France and the French colonies.

 

By 1840, the family business had doubled for the Pernods as the popularity of the spirit grew swiftly. The branch distilleries expanded through family ties taking on recognizable label names as Maison Gempp-Pernod and Maison Legler Pernod. The main distillery was taken over by the grandsons of Henri-Louis Pernod in 1855, leading Pernod into the Absinthe boom of the 19th and early 20th century.

 

Absinthe became one of the strongest symbols of its era with its enigmatic color and the ritual surrounding it. Its popularity was furthered by its reputation for being an addictive and hallucinogenic drug. As a result, by 1915 Absinthe had been banned in the United States (1912) and in other European countries. As a result, the Pernod Fils Company closed temporarily.

 

It re-opened five years later when a controlled form of anise liquors was legalized with a new absinthe-free Pernod recipe - a 40% alcohol (80 proof) Anis spirit still sold today. For US consumers of Pernod Absinthe, though, only the legend of "The Green Fairy" remained until it was legalized again in 2007.

 

For more information about Pernod and the history of Absinthe, check out the Absinthe Museum of America in New Orleans, LA or at:   absinthemuseumofamerica.com

 

 

Ingredients

 

The modern renaissance of the world’s most captivating cocktail experience began in 2000 at the Pernod Research Center in the South of France, where a dated manuscript from the late 19th century contained the detailed formula and process for making the renowned Pernod Fils Absinthe. [Which they apparently ignored completely and made the present product instead of reviving the true Pernod Fils. -GS]

 

The formula for this celebrated spirit was written by the Pernod cellar master at a time when it counted among its devotees the world’s most influential artists and intellectuals. While absinthe was ultimately banned in most European countries and the United States by 1915 -- a ban that endured throughout the 20th Century -- the mystique of Pernod Absinthe endured, and the formula for today’s “Aux Plantes d’Absinthe Superieure” is true to the spirit of the original.

 

Like the product sold in the 19th century, Pernod Absinthe has an alcohol content of 68%. It is a premium spirit made from quality natural ingredients, and each bottle of Pernod Absinthe is handcrafted -- bottled, corked, and labeled manually by Pernod distillery employees in France.

 

Produced from alcohol, extracts of “grande wormwood” together with star anise, fennel, hyssop and other herbs, Pernod Absinthe has a signature green tint from a coloring added to ensure a consistent and quality product across time and bottlings.

 

Wormwood

Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) is a herbaceous perennial plant, with a hard, woody rhizome. Its active substances include silica, two bitter elements (absinthine and anabsinthine), thujone, tannic and resinous substances.

 

Fennel

Fennel is a widely-used herb found growing wild and tall in the South of France, with beautiful yellow flowers and a yellowy-green fruit. It has a sweet and mellow fragrance and distinctive sugary flavour. Powerful in taste, as well as reputation, Fennel is used as an aphrodisiac in the Arab world, while the name and flower are synonymous with strength and flattery.

 

Star Anise

Also known as badiane, star anise is a distinctive star-shaped spice taken from the fruit of an exotic tree and cultivated in remote regions of North Vietnam and Southern China. It has a beautiful and pervasive fragrance and an unmistakable hot and sugary taste. The star anise is responsible for the louche or cloudiness created in absinthe when combined with water.

 

Pernod vs. Absinthe

After the ban of Absinthe in 1915, Pernod sought to continue to its quality production by offering a wormwood-free anise product. The result was Pernod Liqueur, an 80 proof anis liqueur. This spirit is a staple in the top restaurants and bars around the world. It differed from Pernod Absinthe in the following way.

 

Pernod Classic

40% alcohol (80 proof)

Contains Sugar

Bright Golden Color

 

Pernod Absinthe

68% Alcohol (136 proof)

Made with grande

wormwood (containing Thujone)

Bright Green Color

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Man, Pernod absinthe isn't even as good as their anise liqueur. It's mostly the same but harsh and bitter.

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I should pick up some of their anise liqueur if I can find some. I've been using their absinthe-alike when I cook, but the recipes that call for Pernod are really calling for what they're good at, the absinthe substitute.

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I should pick up some of their anise liqueur if I can find some. I've been using their absinthe-alike when I cook, but the recipes that call for Pernod are really calling for what they're good at, the absinthe substitute.

 

Better to use modern Herbsaint for cooking.

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... Sometimes I use their modern absinthe-alike in my frying pan. It deglazes the pan in the same way cheap vinegar does, and adds a flavor that's similar to absinthe. I drink all my other absinthes.

That's a fantastic idea! I've been using up the last of a bottle (which seems to be all but bottomless) in cocktails. I don't mind the stuff, but in most cases I have something much nicer on hand to drink.

I do wish Pernod would get their history sorted out... there's really no excuse for what they're putting out there. :thumbdown:

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