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What is the Wormwood Society?


WS Logo 200pxPURPOSE
The Wormwood Society is a non-profit association focused on providing current, historically and scientifically accurate information about absinthe,  helping to reform the regulations impacting absinthe in the United States and encouraging the responsible enjoyment of a safe, rewarding and historically interesting beverage.

We also provide guidance for spirits industry members who desire to produce and market authentic absinthe in a fair, honest and socially responsible way, including providing historically documented formulas and processes for making absinthe in the true Belle Époque style.

HISTORY

The Wormwood Society started in January, 2004 as a casual group hosting local absinthe parties in members' homes in Seattle, similar to cocktail parties.  The parties began to attract a wider national following and soon people came from all over the country, as far away the East Coast and occasionally, Europe.

As interest grew, and after many requests, the doors of the previously private discussion forum were opened to an international audience.  Soon it became apparent that there was a need for an independent voice which could help educate consumers on absinthe history, guide them in their absinthe choices and help them avoid the many inferior and spurious products. The Wormwood Society has grown from a dozen or so members in Seattle in 2004 to over 3000 members worldwide.

 

Meet The Wormwood Society Team: 

Gwydion Stone in wormwood gardenGwydion Stone

Founder & Administrator

Gwydion has long been fascinated by esoteric and obscure topics: alchemy, freemasonry, gnosticism, and  herbalism.  It was natural that when he encountered this intriguing green spirit he should try to get to the bottom of its mystique. When he learned that most of the information available was misleading and inaccurate, it prompted his journey toward discovering the truth about the "Green Fairy" and gaining a deeper understanding of what absinthe was, and wasn't.

After four years as an ardent student and passionate absinthe evangelist, Gwydion embraced the world of absinthe as a vocation in order to produce his own brand of absinthe, Marteau, as well as other obscure spirits.

A classic cocktail enthusiast as well as a talented distiller, Gwydion was instrumental in bringing absinthe back to its rightful place in cocktail culture as a traditional ingredient in classic cocktails, as well as a drink in its own right.

When he's not crusading for absinthe, Gwydion enjoys arts and crafts pastimes such as cooking, gardening, fine-woodworking, amateur photography, and artisan charcuterie and cheese-making. He is owned by four cats, one American Staffordshire Terrier, and his loving and supportive wife, Trinity.

Our Advisory Board and Support Team:

The Wormwood Society is fortunate to be administered by a group of dedicated and passionate absintheurs, composed of both independents and spirits industry members.  Our Board comprises professional absinthe distillers, a doctor, a financial consultant, a major software company director, an engineer, theater professionals and a military contractor.

The Advisory Board ensures that the administration of the Wormwood Society is open to external input and a variety of viewpoints from different political, social and economic backgrounds.  Its function is to advise and provide input, suggestions and diverse perspectives on organizational projects.

Most Advisory Board members also perform administrative functions in the Wormwood Society.

ImageJoseph Legate
Advisory Board, Forum Moderator

Joe followed the literary trail to absinthe.  An avid student and teacher, his studies frequently brought the mysterious drink to his attention.  It wasn't long before his first taste brought him to the Wormwood Society and another educational pursuit was launched in earnest.  His background in education coupled with thirty years of professional theatre experience highlights his belief in The Company: a unified group dedicated to a singular goal will be more successful than individuals working alone and it will be a lot more fun for everyone.

Joe sincerely believes life is too short not to have fun.  Absinthe is a passion.  The history, the process, the product and the future is a rich adventure.  That it attracts like-minded characters which have been added to his litany of friends is nothing short of extraordinary. 

After serving as a forum moderator for the Wormwood Society almost from its beginning, Joe took the leap and opened Vilya Spirits in 2010, where he makes Vilya Absinthe Verte & Blanche,  Silvertip Dry Gin and other handcrafted spirits.

ImageBrian Robinson
Advisory Board,  Review Editor, Media Contact

Brian has been interested in absinthe since he was introduced to it at a gypsy party while living in Spain in 1997.  The legend behind the green fairy and its relative obscurity in the U.S. at that time made it a perfect focus of his obsessive tendencies.  Since then, he has dedicated himself to learning as much about absinthe as he possibly can in his free time, and educating the public on the truths behind the drink, so often criticized by the mainstream.
 
Brian lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with his wife and son, where he runs a financial planning firm.  He loves to cook, craft cocktails, write, draw, read, and play the occasional match of rugby.  In 2009, Brian won the Hotel Monteleone cocktail contest; a competition to create a signature cocktail for the world famous Carousel Bar located inside the New Orleans hotel.

Dr. Judy BronsonJudy Bronson
Advisory Board

Affectionately referred to as “Doc”, Judy is the Wormwood Society’s resident Psychologist. Her interest in absinthe began in 2007, when the transition from life in the ivory tower to the real world left her with ample free time to delve into the history and mystery of the Green Fairy.  In addition to absinthe, Judy is passionate about music, cooking, classic cocktails, and wine. When asked about the impact that the Wormwood Society has had on her life, she reveals, “This diverse group of individuals has taught me so much about absinthe, but more than that, some of them have become lifelong friends and trusted confidants that I never would have met were it not for this forum.”

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