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#1 The Standard Deviant

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:20 AM

I was surprised to see there was no discussion at all of Zubrsinthe here, as the idea is so curious! I know its original creator is perhaps persona non grata here.

I tasted Zubrsinthe at the Boveresse festival in 2009 and was incredibly surprised that not only was it drinkable, but in fact rather good, almost certainly owing to its simplicity.

The idea was to take a blanche distillate of just wormwood and anise, and colour it with the type of aromatic grass used to flavour Zubrówka vodka.

Interestingly, the chemical coumarin which comes from this plant, is restricted in the US, so the versions of bison grass vodka available are sort of like the 'Absente' of bison grass vodkas, either with something else to approximate the flavour, or with some kind of process to remove the coumarin. Sound familiar? : )

In Poland Zubrówka is usually drunk alongside a glass of apple juice, which is on my list to try with the Zubrsinthe. Or mixed together.
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#2 Père Ubu

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:35 AM

We talk about the Boggy products. Some have given them decent reviews. I just never heard of Bison grass. Add to the things I'll look for if I get sent to France again (they keep threatening, but will not live up to their threats so far, probably because I smile when they do).

#3 The Standard Deviant

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:28 AM

(Sorry, I wasn't trying to suggest that the discussion was because it was by Bogumil, I have seen the threads on the other Bourbonnaise absinthes here. There is also no discussion of Zubrsinthe over at Fee Verte. I was surprised Phil hadn't mentioned it here. But anyway, none of that has anything to do with the drink itself!)

Bison grass is sweet, and I can't quite pin down what the smell makes me think of, it's not vanilla (at least for me) as one of the names suggests:

Hierochloe odorata or Anthoxanthum nitens,[1] also known as sweet grass, buffalo grass, bison grass, holy grass (UK), manna grass, Mary’s grass, seneca grass, sweetgrass, or vanilla grass, is an aromatic herb which grows in northern Eurasia and in North America. It is used in herbal medicine and in the production of distilled beverages (e.g., Żubrówka, Wisent). It owes its distinctive sweet scent to the presence of coumarin.


http://en.wikipedia....rochloe_odorata

I'm not sure where you'd Zubrsinthe in France exactly, you're more likely to bump into a bottle of Versinthe to be honest!

The green colour is really quite impressive:

Posted Image
Steeped in absinthe from an unhealthily young age, The Standard Deviant now has the green fairy as a colleague, or rather works selling her.

#4 Père Ubu

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:41 AM

Send a sample to the reviewer, that is bound to get tongues wagging.

#5 thickasabrick

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:46 AM

I find this interesting because of the lack of fennel. I can't think of many (reputable) absinthes that lack fennel.

I only know sweetgrass because it was used by Native Americans in my home province of Saskatchewan for healing/religious reasons. I believe we have an official tribe named the Sweetgrass Tribe.
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#6 Brian Robinson

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:23 AM

Send a sample to the reviewer, that is bound to get tongues wagging.

I absolutely love Bison Grass. You can buy it at many of the reputable online herb purveyors. I've macerated some in polish vodka. I've also made several batches of bison grass bitters.

It's actually a very common ingredient in incense as well. For a while, at the Columbia Room, they were serving a drink that featured a dried sprig of it, which was singed and was served smoldering on top of the drink. The aroma was spectacular.
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#7 jcbphd

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

Is bison grass ever used for smudge sticks? I know I've had one that seemed to be made of some sort of grass and smelled sweetly amazing.
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Ça descend la gorge comme le bébé Jésus en culottes de velours.

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#8 Brian Robinson

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:56 PM

Yup.
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#9 jcbphd

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:16 PM

So sweetgrass is Bison grass. Got it. That is some nice smelling stuff.
Temperance, like chastity, is its own punishment. ~Four Vines "The Peasant"

Ça descend la gorge comme le bébé Jésus en culottes de velours.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough. ~Frank Crane

#10 Ambear

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:21 PM

Hippie! ;)
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#11 baubel

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:55 PM

Sex grease! My girlfriend and I have some of that lying around our apartment. Has an interesting smell when burned. Seemed to mellow our cats out pretty well also.

A little technological fix to a spiritual problem.


#12 sardonix

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:16 PM

I'd give the Zubrsinthe a try...I like the Bison Grass vodka I've had. It does have a mildly sweet flavor, and makes some great tasting cocktails.
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#13 sardonix

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:16 PM

( :blush: sorry, double post)

Edited by sardonix, 25 January 2012 - 06:19 PM.

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#14 The Standard Deviant

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:27 AM

Having drunk Zubrsinthe and Zubrówka many times, I still can't find a satisfactory way to explain the flavour!
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#15 Brian Robinson

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:55 AM

It truly is difficult to explain. Think about walking through a meadow that has been freshly cut, with those wonderful aromas of fresh grass, but then add in some lavender, vanilla, cotton candy, and just a hint of earth.
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#16 mgs

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:44 AM

I also did not know that sweetgrass was bison grass !

Brian, can we actually get the sage+sweetgrass package available in Whole Foods and macerate with vodka ? I only burned that stuff in my fireplace !!!

- Marcelo

#17 Brian Robinson

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:00 PM

I wouldn't recommend it, as you don't know if it's been treated with anything.
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#18 Julie Legate

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:11 PM

Sweet grass is native to Montana. It grows all over the place. Something else to wildcraft.
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#19 Père Ubu

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:48 PM

So it really is something American Bison would like to eat? Cool. Kudos to Bogumil for thinking of that one.

#20 The Standard Deviant

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:25 AM

Sweet grass is native to Montana. It grows all over the place. Something else to wildcraft.


Sounds good! Might be one for private enjoyment if you make some Montana Zubrówka, sadly you wouldn't be allowed to sell it on the US market because of the regulations.
Steeped in absinthe from an unhealthily young age, The Standard Deviant now has the green fairy as a colleague, or rather works selling her.

#21 OMG_Bill

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:22 AM

Could it be infused in a blanche without messing up the drink?
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#22 The Standard Deviant

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:57 AM

I'd try a vodka first. I think Bogumil made the absinthe with only a few herbs deliberately.
Steeped in absinthe from an unhealthily young age, The Standard Deviant now has the green fairy as a colleague, or rather works selling her.

#23 Julie Legate

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 06:43 AM

Yes, the FDA is not all about bison grass. That is the reason we have not considered it for commercial use. That being said wildcrafting opportunities abound for the home-based herbalist. I look forward to tasting Zubrówka.
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#24 The Standard Deviant

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:19 AM

Zubrsinthe, surely? : )
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#25 Joe Legate

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:22 PM

While visiting a favorite liquor store in Missoula, MT, we bought a bottle of Bison Grass Vodka. For whatever reason (and as Sardonix suggested), it seems the gub'mint is good with it.

It tastes kinda interesting. There is both a sweet and bitter component to the flavor. Very odd.

#26 jcbphd

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:03 PM

I tried to sample some tonight. I was thwarted due to the bar being out of the product.
Temperance, like chastity, is its own punishment. ~Four Vines "The Peasant"

Ça descend la gorge comme le bébé Jésus en culottes de velours.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough. ~Frank Crane

#27 Algernon

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:31 PM

Sweet grass is native to Montana. It grows all over the place. Something else to wildcraft.


Looks like I have yet another reason to get down that way.

#28 Absomphe

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:38 PM

I'll bet it's more like up, but either way, I'm sure it's way more than worth the trip.

Maybe someday, my lazy arse will heed my own advice. :cheers:

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#29 Joe Legate

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:46 PM

For whatever reason, I always considered North "up" and South "down." You're probably right Absomphe, Ridge sits at an elevation of about 3500'. Oh, and if the two curmudgeons want an excuse, the BIG absinthe event in June is around 4500' but if that's not high enough, you can hike to the top.

By the way, in retrospect, the Bison Grass vodka wasn't terrible. I could imagine it serving nicely in the right cocktail but I don't know which one.

#30 The Standard Deviant

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:46 AM

I know I sound like some terrible thujonist type person, but I'm slightly suspicious of FDA-permitted bison grass vodka, the particular taste can only really come from coumarin as far as I'm aware! Maybe they are just under the radar of the FDA!
Steeped in absinthe from an unhealthily young age, The Standard Deviant now has the green fairy as a colleague, or rather works selling her.


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