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Aaronjw

Best tool for dripping?

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I've only recently gotten into absinthe; my first bottle, a bottle of Pacifique, arrived yesterday. It's delicious, but I fear I'm in need of something better with which to drip the water. I prepared my glass last night with a plain old 2 cup glass measuring cup, with a small spout. Unfortunately, I ended up dribbling water all over the place; it's pretty tough to pour slowly but without making a mess. So what is my best option? I just graduated college this past May, and am going to be renting a room from one of my professors for the next four or eight months, so I don't have the space (or money) for a big, expensive absinthe fountain. I know some people use caraffes; are these easy to pour slowly without the mess? Again though, I would prefer something a little more effecient as far as space is concerned, and it seems a bit silly to fill up a large caraffe with water and ice just to prepare one glass. I've looked around on Amazon, and I've found a few gadgets, such as absinthe brouilleurs (just little bowls that you place on top of a glass and fill with water and ice), and this "balancier" device, which apparently uses a see-saw action to drip slowly. The problem I see with the brouilleurs is that there is no room under them to place a spoon, so sweetening would be difficult. This is not a problem with the balancier, but it is a bit more expensive, which is a concern in my case.

 

So, in short, brouilleur, balancier, or a plain old caraffe?

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Balancier, hands down. Shop around, prices vary wildly. They can be had relatively reasonably. They work great and are fun to watch. Original instructions called to put the sugar in the cup of the balancier, but I prefer to put a spoon underneath. No clogging the hole with sugar, and vastly simply to clean. Since only water goes in, a simple rinse does it.

 

I bought a fountain as soon as I got into this but now I only use it for company. It's too much work to set up, while the balancier is simple and equally effective. And better than a standard brouilleur. I have an original Terminus and although it's fun, it's not as effective, and is very slow.

 

You won't regret it. A balancier is a lot easier and more tidy than a carafe. A sound investment if you plan to stick with this.

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poor man's dripper: throw a bottle of your favorite spring water in the freezer till it's almost frozen, then poke a hole in the lid and tip it upside down over your sugar spoon. you can control the drip easily and enjoy your drink while you save up some extra cash for a balancier!

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I've read some good things about the Lucid brand balancier, so I think I'll go with that when I get my next paycheck. People say it works really well, and it's also one of the cheapest I've seen (only 29 bucks), so I don't really see a downside to it. Until then, though, I'll give the frozen water bottle method a shot. Do you just use a sports cap and sort of squirt it, or do you use a plain cap you have to take off the bottle to drink, and put a little hole through it?

 

For balanciers, do you put the ice and water into the device? Or do you chill your water, measure it out, and then pour it into the balancier's top?

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The easiest method I ever learned was a plastic bottle of water with a partially unscrewed lid. It will drip water rather nicely, and you can adjust the flow rather easily. Sometimes you get a bottle cap in with your glass if you don't hold the cap in place. I've also thrown some ice cubes into a measuring cup, stirred that until the water was cool and slowly poured that into the glass.

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For balanciers, do you put the ice and water into the device? Or do you chill your water, measure it out, and then pour it into the balancier's top?

 

I have the Lucid balancier and it works great. I chill the water in ice before pouring it, but the only measuring I do is filling it to the top, then adjusting for taste.

as for the 'water bottle' technique - i just poked a hole in the lid, without even opening it. I used a corkscrew, I think. a safety pin would be even simpler.

 

I'm still learning and experimenting, because like you, I'm fairly new to absinthe. I don't (yet) have a collection of accessories to choose from.

Edited by preston

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I used the brouille. For me it was simple; just put some sweetened water in the freezer until it was almost at the freezing stage and pour it in the brouille. I had ordered it online, was expecting a glass brouille to match my drinking glass (which is what the website advertised), but what I got looked like a miniature pie tin.

 

I will like to try the balancier.

 

Edited to add: where do you find the Lucid balancier? I've found it included in gift sets but not sold individually...

Edited by Daniel

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Here's an interesting video made by Vert d'Absinthe in Paris showing the small original Cusenier, the larger original, and on the right the modern reproduction in operation.

 

http://vimeo.com/11927872

 

It's in French but it's largely self-explanatory.

 

He puts the sugar directly into the cup of the balancier. The one original advertisement I've seen for these recommends doing that, however you can see by the way the reproduction on the right gets clogged by the sugar that this is not really ideal. I prefer to use a regular spoon under the balancier. It works the same as dripping from a fountain and it makes clean-up a lot simpler -- nothing goes through the balancier but water so there's no sticky residue to wash. And, of course, it doesn't get plugged with trapped sugar during use, causing it to stop until it dissolves further.

 

I have an original 'Terminus' brouilleur with an indented section in the bottom for the sugar, and four tiny holes for water to drain. Unlike some of these, the holes in mine have not been enlarged by the original owner. It remains as-made. It is really fascinating to watch the very slow drip through those four holes; it makes for a dramatic development of the louche in the glass. But -- the tiny holes quickly become clogged by the sugar. In the end, it is tedious to use. This is one piece of original absinthiana which I'll probably use only on very rare occasion, and otherwise just treasure as a fine antique.

 

Edit to add photo:

 

post-4189-0-29152600-1375390945_thumb.jpg

Edited by Georges Meliès

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A lot of polishing on that brouilleur, so much so that the silver plating has been removed. That is my favorite brouilleur to use instead of the balancer and since no sugar, no problems.

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A lot of polishing on that brouilleur, so much so that the silver plating has been removed. That is my favorite brouilleur to use instead of the balancer and since no sugar, no problems.

 

Actually, the plating is close to perfect. My picture just has crappy lighting/reflection. Here's a better picture which also shows the unaltered holes more clearly.

post-4189-0-33479500-1375400181_thumb.jpg

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my balancer (along with a glass) came with my bottle of Lucid. I bought a spoon on amazon and I'm all set for a single service. I will be collecting more accessories as time goes on.

Edited by preston

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I don't use sugar that often for my absinthe so a brouilleur works fine for me.

 

You can just hold the brouillieur above the spoon if you want to add sugar and don't mind holding still for a little while.

 

OR, get the Balancier so you can set it and forget it. If I used sugar often I'd probably have one by now.

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Apart from the mystic associated with pouring absinthe and then water over the sugar cubes, into the special glass and spoon (which I have seen on videos etc.) does it really make a difference in how the absinthe drink is prepared? I have used the liquid over sugar cubes approach; however, at some point, I just want to mix the liquids and start drinking...

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Tried out the mostly frozen water bottle idea last night; worked wonderfully. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

I'm thinking I will get the balancier when I get some extra cash; seems like it'd make it really easy to just measure out exactly the amount of water desired, and just dumping it into the device's resevoir.

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I enjoy mine, but then again I'm a rookie who likes watching the sugar cube dissolve. it's fun.

Edited by preston

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Apart from the mystic associated with pouring absinthe and then water over the sugar cubes, into the special glass and spoon (which I have seen on videos etc.) does it really make a difference in how the absinthe drink is prepared? I have used the liquid over sugar cubes approach; however, at some point, I just want to mix the liquids and start drinking...

 

Hehe. Have safe, responsible fun, that's the most important part. I've used a standard glass for reviews, but some simple ceramic tumblers for simple relaxing. Like Brian said, it's that simple.

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The easiest method I ever learned was a plastic bottle of water with a partially unscrewed lid...

My favorite. Any other way, I forget the glass is being dripped and find a glass of water a few hours later.

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,

; however, at some point, I just want to mix the liquids and start drinking...

 

A fast mix of water to your absinthe is called a "power louche" . Here is a thread about that subject:

http://wormwoodsociety.org/forums/topic/7085-power-louching/

2nd page

 

How fast is too fast? That is something you can have fun experimenting with. :euro:

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Even if I power louche a drink, I still let it set a minute or two.

 

It just seems to louche itself and works okay.

 

To each their own. :)

Edited by OMG_Bill

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Since I prefer my absinthe with sugar I usually use the spoon with sugar cube underneath the balancier method. Works beautifully! For me the ritual is half the fun and one of the things that makes this drink so fascinating.

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I prefer using a fountain when I have space. And a fountain that isn't shattered. :(

 

But currently I just do the water bottle with a hole in the lid. Actually I use a gatorade bottle because the mouth is wide enough to accommodate ice.

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