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So I'd like to de-lurk so I can post a few questions and pick some brains. I'm expanding distillery operations here in west Michigan and developing recipes for absinthe. Absinthe has intrigued me for a long time and developing versions of it brings out creative opportunities that I enjoy. Hopefully others will enjoy drinking the product too of course.

 

That's it, in a nutshell...

 

I just got in a few different wormwood plants... anyone have any tips for getting a few young pontica plants to feel at home and be fruitful and multiply?

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Welcome. :cheers:

 

We're always happy to see a new distiller here interested in making proper absinthe! My only pieces of advice are:

 

1) Be very cautious with innovation and respectful of the category. We (some of us) very much encourage innovation, but without a deeper understanding of the spirit and its character, it's easy to go off in a totally wrong direction into something that's not absinthe anymore. We've seen this happen with gin over the last eight years or so.

 

2) Be respectful of absinthe's true history and promote it as the respectable, dignified and elegant spirit that it is, rather than taking the low road by marketing it with ideas and images from its old enemies.

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Anyone here know anything about pontica?

What do you want to know, jbierling? Put 'em on a nice alpine hillside with lots of rocky clay for soil, a fair amount of rain and stand back while they go wild.

 

Welcome to the Forum!

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The absinthe will be as true to historical form as I can figure out how to make it (mashing/fermentation to finished spirit). By recipe I also should have also mentioned process. Every still is different and the exact quantity of herbs to produce a proper louche for example needs to be determined. Classical recipes also differ a little in the ratio of artemisia absinthium to fennel to anise seed. I also want to compare vapor infusion to maceration to see how that affects the finished spirit. Anyway, there are more than a few things to figure out never mind making it a good business endeavor.

 

As far as the pontica goes, alpine and rocky are a bit hard to come by here but clay and rain are not. As I'm typing, I find myself wondering if deer like to eat it.

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Deer, elk and moose seem terribly uninterested in pontica unless there is a significant drought, then they'll eat anything green. Generally, they won't touch it. The same is true for most artemisia plants, melissa, costmary and angelica. Mother Nature takes care of her babies. ;)

 

Shoot me a PM if you have more specific questions but I'm pretty open about information about our favorite herbs.

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^ What Evan said. For some reason there's still loads of distillers wanting to add an absinthe to the portfolio, and develop a "cocktail friendly" or "modern" absinthe. In all honesty, they're a bunch of bandwagoners trying to cash in on what they perceive as a trend. So it's a breathe of fresh air when someone says they want to learn first, then produce a traditional absinthe. I'm curious about this vapor infusion business, so expand if you'd like. It may not come as a surprise, but the best absinthes are those made with respect to tradition, and with all the corners intact.

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Welcome to the boards! It's nice to see a distiller doing research instead of coming out with what I believe should be a new acronym:

 

YACA "Yet Another Crap Absinthe". :)

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