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#1 natesf

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:34 PM

Hello.

I am interested to hear how others are taking care of their bottles of Absinthe after the bottles are opened.

I have read in many places that you should not store in the light (particularly if the bottle is not UV coated.) That one seems simple enough.

I haven't been able to find anything on the following topics.

Preservation:

After opening, should you: reinsert the cork, use a wine stopper, vacuum sealer, etc. to preserve the taste, color, etc.

Are there similar conditions to wine such as cork influencing the taste? I read that Absinthe should not be stored on it's side (like wine) as the higher alcohol content can effect the cork. Sounds logical.

Color Shift (after opening)

For example, I recently purchased some Delaware Phoenix Distillery Absinthe (amazing! / must try) and within a short period of time the awesome color shifted even in dark storage. It still tastes amazing but I was bummed to see the beautiful color change.

Is there something I could have done to have prevented that color shift or is that just normal?

Shelf Life:

After opening (presuming good storage) how long will the Absinthe be good to drink? (i.e., 1 month, 6 months? Until the next Belle Epoque?)

Storage Conditions:

I am currently storing in a cool dark place (a lower closet.) It didn't seem necessary to put in the wine fridge for example. What are others doing?

That said, I was thinking if it was cooler then it would be already near the right temperature for louching.

Then, I was wondering...would a colder temperature preserve the color?

*

Any other helpful tips, advice, or tricks would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Nate.
:cheers:

#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:03 PM

Hey Nate. Welcome to the Wormwood Society. Let me encourage you to stop by the Newcomers section and introduce yourself. This is generally a very friendly bunch and we'd like to welcome you all proper-like.

Wow! That's a bunch of questions! I'll try to help a little but try to help yourself, too. The WS Search feature is a good friend to know. Let's see...

Preservation.
Many contemporary absinthes come with a "T-Cork" although a few of the snooty brands like to use wine corks. I like to admire the intricate logos on the cork before I toss them in the trash and grab a T-Cork. A good T-Cork and stored upright in a good cool, dark place is all you need to do.

Color Shift (after opening)
Same advice as above and really avoid light. Do NOT store your absinthe in any refrigerated area. Extreme heat or cold is not your absinthe's friend. Regarding Dakini's bottle selection, only she can answer that but we would all agree with you: It's some excellent hooch!

Shelf Life:
Keep it out of the light, heat and cold in an upright position and you can probably pass it down to your grandchildren. They will love you for that.

Storage Conditions:
I bet you already know what I'm going to say, huh?

One last thing, pull up a chair and enjoy yourself. :cheers:

#3 Brian Robinson

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:07 PM

But before that, introduce yourself. ;)
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#4 Ron

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:12 PM

introduce yourself

introduce yourself


Make sure you introduce yourself!
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#5 Absomphe

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:48 PM

Better yet...

Introduce yourself.

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#6 Joe Legate

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 03:57 PM

You guys are way helpful, you know that? :laugh:

#7 Ron

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 04:08 PM

I can't speak for Abs, but I do what I can.

Seriously though. As far as storage, just cool and out of the sunlight. Dark would be best. Definitely no refrigeration! If you poke around here in the forum, you'll find all sorts of suggestions. I've read people saying they drop glass marbles in the bottle and keep dropping them in until all the air is removed. I'm not sure it's worth all that unless you plan on storing it into the next century. Chances are if you're drinking this stuff, you'll probably finish the bottle this year, if not this month. A cupboard will do for that purpose.

Ditto Joe on the T-corks. They're a blessing. You can pick up a sack of them at your local home brew supply store, or you can get them online. They're about 19 cents per the metric tonne.

On the Delaware Phoenix absinthes, I think you'll also find somewhere in the forum here where Cheryl talked about her bottle choice, and possible future choices. For some reason I'm remembering her saying something about going to dark bottles or using UV protection on the clear bottles. I can't remember. But I know it was talked about here.

The clear glass is an excellent way to show off a beautifully colored verte, like those DP absinthes. But it's also a great way to aide the breakdown of chlorophyll. Double edged sword. I'd prefer to keep it green until it's in my glass. So I'm okay with a dark bottle. Bryan uses a black champagne bottle with UV coating for his Obsello. That's the far end of the spectrum, but serves it's purpose well.
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#8 OMG_Bill

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 05:37 PM

As for storing absinthe, I like to put it in a closet near the center of the house. The temp swings are minimized and it's usually dark. Store it upright with a T-cork. If I had some absinthe I'd show you how and where.
I don't have a basement or cellar so room temp is the best I can do. :cheers:
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#9 Ron

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 05:56 PM

Bill?!! You're making your stash location known?!!
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#10 Babble

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:20 PM

Definitely no refrigeration!



Is refrigeration really that bad? I know at Dieu Du Ciel they keep their Clandestine in the fridge. I understand that temperatures close to zero would not be good but I don't understand why refrigeration would be bad when we stress keeping them in a dark cool place such as a cellar. I know a fridge is usually a bit colder than a cellar but does that make that much difference?

Also about the T-cork thing. What negative impact does a real cork (that the absinthe was bottled with) have on the absinthe. I know corks can get dry and break in which a T-cork would be necessary, but I keep the original corks on all my absinthe bottles and they're always still good. Although I do drink quite fast :)

#11 Joe Legate

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:40 PM

Keep your absinthe in the fridge and sooner or later, you'll notice lots of little white "floaties." The colder temperature will allow the oils to fall out of suspension and form little herbal (mostly anise) oil balls.

Usually, I'll just stick the cork back in the bottle, too. At least until I remember little piece of cork floating inside my glass. Not a big deal.

#12 Ron

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 07:53 PM

T-corks are real corks. I mean you can find plastic ones if you want, but the point is to have a cork that is easily removed and replaced without the aid of a corkscrew each time. You'll run the risk of dropping bits of cork into your booze as well, and generally making a fuckery of your bottle. You won't have an airtight seal with a hole drilled through it either. T-corks are the way to go.

The refrigeration issue, discussed at length here a few times, usually refers to the anethole being separated from the solution into floaty globules or crystallized chunks. The concern is that they may not become solvent when the temperatures are brought back up. There's also the unnecessary aspect. Using cold water is all that's required. If one wanted an ice cold absinthe, perhaps they're actually looking for a frappé?

Here's another absinthe frappé recipe that was recently revived with Pacifique.

Edit: Oh. Looks like Joe already answered it. I don't know how I missed his answer. So echo. echo. echo.
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#13 OMG_Bill

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:28 AM

You're making your stash location known?!!


I said IF I had some absinthe that's where I'd store it. I've been drinking water so long I've almost forgotten what booze tastes like. I'm sure I'll remember, right after my ship* comes in. They have Lucid and Kübler at the local package store. Kind of like starting over......hmmmm, not a bad thing. :cheers:










* Ship = winning the lottery. ;)
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#14 Ron

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:39 AM

Kind of like starting over

Yeah, you've got to do that sometimes.
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#15 Babble

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:05 AM

Dieu Du Ciel only keeps the bottle that is currently open in the fridge and not their whole stash. I wondered why they do this. The only reason I can think of is to match the ice cold water going in. I've noticed when diluting the absinthe 2:1 with ice cold water it's not that cold when you take the first sip because the spirit was at room temperature. That's the only reason I can think of.

Little anise globules eh? Sounds interesting. I wonder if you could get them out and serve them with cocktails just like that caviar stuff Jamie Boudreau does?

Ron: I'm totatlly stealing the word "fuckery" from you and am going to use it sometime today... and all week!

#16 OMG_Bill

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 10:02 AM

it's not that cold when you take the first sip because the spirit was at room temperature.

Fully louched absinthe at room temp is interesting. Granted, it isn't cold and refreshing but you can pick out different subtleties in it. If you want a colder drink add a piece of ice.....I do. JMHO

:cheers:
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#17 Jen Dixon

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:08 AM

I keep my stash in a closed cupboard and if I have t-corks on hand, I use one (provided it's not too loose for that particular bottle) and a wine vacuum stopper if I have to.
Room temp for storage is the way to go, and like Bill, I add a chunk of ice if I think the louched glass needs to be that little bit colder. (Or I'm impatient/forgetful and haven't put ice in a carafe or the fountain ahead of time. Which is often. Cursed ADHD. Hey! A chicken!)
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#18 Joe Legate

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:19 PM

Ron: I'm totatlly stealing the word "fuckery" from you and am going to use it sometime today.

Well done! :laugh:

#19 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:55 PM

... a few of the snooty brands like to use wine corks. I like to admire the intricate logos on the cork before I toss them in the trash...

:shock:

... I don't understand why refrigeration would be bad when we stress keeping them in a dark cool place such as a cellar. I know a fridge is usually a bit colder than a cellar but does that make that much difference?

Sit in a cool cellar for three hours and then in a walk-in fridge for three hours, then get back to us on that. ;)

Dieu Du Ciel only keeps the bottle that is currently open in the fridge and not their whole stash. I wondered why they do this.

They're uninformed? Unfortunately it's still the case that private consumers know far more about absinthe than professionals in the hospitality industry do. Often, these folks won't be schooled because it undermines their authority. Try telling a bartender why he shouldn't light absinthe on fire, when it sells so many drinks.

The only reason I can think of is to match the ice cold water going in. I've noticed when diluting the absinthe 2:1 with ice cold water it's not that cold when you take the first sip because the spirit was at room temperature.

2:1 is too strong anyway. Even the weakest absinthe, at 45%, needs more than two parts water. I've noticed that most places don't keep anywhere near enough ice in their fountains, just a few cubes floating at the top. I fill the fountain or carafe all the way with ice, then fill with water. It keeps the water much colder.

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#20 Joe Legate

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:01 PM

... a few of the snooty brands like to use wine corks. I like to admire the intricate logos on the cork before I toss them in the trash...

:shock:

I was wondering if you were ever going to see that. :laugh:
Truth be told, I don't have a corking machine and I'm not wailing on scores of absinthe bottles with a mallet.

#21 Ron

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:03 PM

... a few of the snooty brands like to use wine corks. I like to admire the intricate logos on the cork before I toss them in the trash...

:shock:

Hahaha.

I fill the fountain or carafe all the way with ice, then fill with water.

Ditto that. I also keep a jug of water in the fridge. So cold water PLUS a ton of ice.
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#22 Green Baron

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:06 PM

Color Shift (after opening)

For example, I recently purchased some Delaware Phoenix Distillery Absinthe (amazing! / must try) and within a short period of time the awesome color shifted even in dark storage. It still tastes amazing but I was bummed to see the beautiful color change.

Is there something I could have done to have prevented that color shift or is that just normal?


What they all said about a dark storage space to waylay the color change. But ultimately, color shift is very normal and completely natural. I know it can be disconcerting to see the beautiful vibrant green of the DP absinthes go olive, but you can't prevent it any more than you can prevent leaves from changing color in the fall.

You definitely shouldn't equate color change with a degradation in flavor. In fact, absinthe should ideally be aged for several months to a couple years for best taste (this isn't economically practical yet for many small indie distillers). What a very green absinthe can often (but not always) indicate is that it's very young and hasn't fully developed optimum flavor yet.
This post has been edited over and over again by Green Baron

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#23 OMG_Bill

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:43 PM

I've come to appreciate the dead leaf color more and more. The green colors are very nice but the amber-gold-greenish will make a gorgeous louche. Again, JMHO

Sometimes what seems like totally dead leaf color will surprise you when water is added. Yummy! :dribble:
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#24 Green Baron

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:51 PM

Well said Bill :cheers:
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#25 Joe Legate

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:25 PM

I don't think it's anything to get insanely caught up in. Some absinthe will change much more quickly than others. I don't think it has much bearing on flavor nor does it serve as an indicator of maturation, either. As has been discussed many times, Matter seems to hold its color and others less so. No big deal. Personally, I like a bright, fresh peridot but I won't turn my nose up to a glass that has lost that brightness.

#26 Babble

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:26 PM

... I don't understand why refrigeration would be bad when we stress keeping them in a dark cool place such as a cellar. I know a fridge is usually a bit colder than a cellar but does that make that much difference?

Sit in a cool cellar for three hours and then in a walk-in fridge for three hours, then get back to us on that. ;)


But I'm not a bottle of absinthe. I know it makes a difference to a human being but does it drastically change the spirit?

Dieu Du Ciel only keeps the bottle that is currently open in the fridge and not their whole stash. I wondered why they do this.

They're uninformed? Unfortunately it's still the case that private consumers know far more about absinthe than professionals in the hospitality industry do. Often, these folks won't be schooled because it undermines their authority. Try telling a bartender why he shouldn't light absinthe on fire, when it sells so many drinks.


That's exactly right. If someone is uniformed they will not be aware of that. So I don't think that is the reason why they store their absinthe in the fridge.

I've drank the absinthe there many times and I have never noticed any sediment or really any difference at all. Perhaps that only applies to Clandestine?

The only reason I can think of is to match the ice cold water going in. I've noticed when diluting the absinthe 2:1 with ice cold water it's not that cold when you take the first sip because the spirit was at room temperature.

2:1 is too strong anyway. Even the weakest absinthe, at 45%, needs more than two parts water. I've noticed that most places don't keep anywhere near enough ice in their fountains, just a few cubes floating at the top. I fill the fountain or carafe all the way with ice, then fill with water. It keeps the water much colder.


I only do 2:1 for a couple absinthes such as Taboo and Clandestine and it's more like 2/3:1. I find that, especially the Taboo, is better with only 2/3:1 parts water. It is definitely stronger but it seems to bring out more woody and fruity flavors for me. All others I use 3-5 parts water.

#27 Brian Robinson

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:37 PM

I've drank the absinthe there many times and I have never noticed any sediment or really any difference at all. Perhaps that only applies to Clandestine?

I know for a fact that it affects at least 25 of the most widely available absinthes in the US. Any brand with an appreciable amount of anethole will have the same issue.

Put a bottle of your absinthe in the fridge. You'll see what we mean. Just make sure it's not one of your favorites.
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#28 Babble

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 05:13 PM

I'm not sure I'm willing to try that now. All the absinthes I have right now are my favorites. I'll take your guys word for it. Next time I go to Dieu Du Ciel I will inspect the bottle a bit more closely and take note on how cold it is.

#29 thegreenimp

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:41 PM

Refrigerating absinthe is Winston™ worthy.
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#30 Grim

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:32 PM

I've drank the absinthe there many times and I have never noticed any sediment or really any difference at all. Perhaps that only applies to Clandestine?

I know for a fact that it affects at least 25 of the most widely available absinthes in the US. Any brand with an appreciable amount of anethole will have the same issue.

Put a bottle of your absinthe in the fridge. You'll see what we mean. Just make sure it's not one of your favorites.

Clarification: You've placed at least 25 of the most widely available absinthes in the US in the fridge (or similar conditions), and they've thrown sediment as a result of their anethole content?
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