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Nightingale

Absente

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Something odd.

According to the LCBO who uses GCMS testing absente has 3.5PPM thujone in it. According to Alan the Absente in canada is bought/imported from the US and is most likely the US version of the drink. It looks like absente doesn't match US regulations but is still sold in the US. Since the US requires finished food products containing any Artemisia species to be thujone free.

Searching for info about the ingredients in absente I discovered something I'm surprised I missed. At least one source lists Peppermint as containing Alpha-Thujone and is possibly where absente gets its thujone.

 

So this could mean a couple different things, such as different samples containing different amounts or that the US testing process is not accurate enough to detect low levels of thujone.

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A number of possibilities:

 

False positives.

More accurate tests. The AOAC Method is a bit of a dinosaur.

The FDA is slipping up in it's testing, but that's not very likely for a drink named Absente—Absinthe Refined.

Most likely: They screwed up confused the reports.

 

Maybe minty fresh thujone is okay and wormwoody thujone is bad.

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If you mean a false positive from the LCBO I think that's highly unlikely. According to them they use GCMS (same as Ted's paper and Emmert's paper) a gold standard. At 3.5 ppm I'm betting the dinosaur AOAC test can't pick it up. (which brings into question just what is the threshold on that test?)

From what I understand the FDA doesn't normally do the test but requires the company to provide results from an accepted lab.

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Is Absente even worth trying?

Absente: pronounced "Obscenity"

Yeah, I mean....crap. I drink it, but its not good by any means. I've found that mixing it with Camargo or Versinthe can make a decent drink. Mixing it with Razzouk is ok too.

 

I've found that Camargo has a little depth to it, and not much anise. That, mixed with Absente (which is heavy on the anise) evens things out a bit. At least enough to hold out between shipments.

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Ok, so I was at the liqueur store today (a rare occurrence for me) and I decided to ask about Arak. The proprietor had me spell it three times before he took me to the back of the store and showed me a few dusty bottles of Razzouk. Upon checking out he asked me why I wanted to try the Arak (he had never). I told him that the stuff I usually drink can not be found in the USA but that I had heard from my like minded friends (that's you all) that arak was interestingly close and worth a try.

 

I had virtually the identical experience at Kelly Liquors over here in Albuquerque last week. We went in, I asked about arak. The man looked confused so I spelled it. Then he said, "if it's not in the catalog, we don't have it" and showed me the catalog. Looked for Henri Bardouin Pastis (not there), Arak Razzouk (not there), Herbsaint (not there). They only have Pernod and Ricard.

 

Finally the guy says, "So, what are you really here for?" And I say, you aren't going to have it. He says, "No, we might; what do you usually drink?" Absinthe. "We have that!" No you don't. "Yeah, we have that! Come over here..." and lo and behold, what is he pointing at triumphantly? Absente.

 

That's not absinthe. "Yes it is!" No, it's not. "Well, no; absinthe is illegal. This is the same stuff though, just without the narcotic." Sigh. Well, it's not quite what I'm looking for all the same.

 

Then he points to this Agwa stuff. "You should try this stuff. It's made from the Coca plant. They market it as liquid blow. It'll really f*ck you up." Um, thanks? "Or Jägermeister, do you like that?" It's not quite what I'm looking for.

 

"So you guys just passing through town?" No... we're from here. "Oh! I hadn't seen you before! You look a lot older than 21!" We are... we're new to drinking, not being 21. "Oh! Well, my name is Blort, let me know if you need help finding anything else!"

 

Sure thing, dude.

 

Eediots!

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Blort. :laf:

 

I've had pretty much the same conversation. I asked them if they'd ever tasted Absente. "No." Have you ever tasted absinthe? "No." That's why you think they're the same. "But who cares how it tastes, right? It's the effects!" Does this give you effects? "No." Well, there you have it.

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Blort?

 

Wasn't he some villain in a James Bond flick? Oh, wait, that was Blofeld, that's it. Sorry.

 

Anyway, Absente...um, no. Look at my avatar. Does that man look happy? I think not. That's what he gets for being on the damn package!

 

But your experience is exactly what I go through at every liquor store up here in the freezing shithole. There is a really good one down south in the state that will order Arak for me and call me when it is in, so that and Ketel One is what I buy from them. Oh, and the odd chocolate dark beer every so often.

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Maybe "Blort" does eBay... (it certainly looks like Blort typesetting and discreet color sensibilities)

 

Absente Absinthe Refined 100 ML Mini French Collectors

This is a 100% Legal Bottle in the USA. It is REFINED.

 

absente

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Strange it should be called Absente (at least in Europe), then, considering the name means 'absent', and was coined as a play on words to indicate the lack of wormwood. :huh:

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The reviews page on absinthe.se says:

 

This particular bottle was bought in USA, and therefor contains no wormwood. Instead 'petit wormwood', which is legal in the US, is being used. That alone would probably classify this as a pastis, but as the real, European version contains wormwood I will keep it here. [snip]

 

Confusing!

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Okay, I've done a little more research on this. I've found several sites (none that I consider authoritative, in typical Internet fashion) that say the EU version does indeed contain A. absinthium.

 

It also seems interesting that the US version has the slogan "Absinthe Refined" while the EU version's slogan is "N'est Absente Que Toi." My French isn't that great but I think a loose translation would be "The only thing missing is you." With the subtle inference that Aa is NOT missing, perhaps?

 

Anyway, I went to both of the websites for the EU and US versions and sent them emails via their contact pages asking for more clarification. I'll post here if anything comes of this...

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Sorry not to have answered earlier on this.

 

The two products are different: in Europe it contains Aa and is considered an absinthe. Ari has worked on the Absente Wikipedia page and I have provided some of the background information.

 

Interestingly Absente sold in Canada is supplied via the USA and therefore seems to be USA stock. The Liquor Board of Ontario describe it as having 3.5 mg/kg of thujone ....

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I tried some and it is remeniscent of absinthe but not very good. It tastes more like Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum) or mugwort along with anise. Not as good as Turkish Raki.

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I used the "Contact Us" page at Absente's European website to ask about the differences, and received the following information from Alain Robert, the Managing Director of Distilleries et Domaines de Provence:

 

European Absente does contain Artemisia absinthium (Grand Wormwood). The US version has A. abrotanum (Southern Wormwood) and A. officinalis instead of A. absinthium. According to M. Robert, "such difference in the recipe doesn't affect really the taste."

 

He also says the US version is "nearly sugar free" while the European version is sweetened.

 

It would be interesting to taste the two side-by-side. I haven't tasted the US version, but my unsophisticated newbie palate found the EU version quite sweet and minty, not as bitter as I gather a "proper" absinthe should be. But I must say, I did like it!

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"such difference in the recipe doesn't affect really the taste."

 

Really? Even if together abrotanum and vulgaris (never heard of officinalis) will not approximate the taste of wormwood. There have been such an attempt made at in Martinez Black Diamond vodka and it did not work.

 

From what you have found out, there seems to be three relatively different Absentas on the market right now. Well done :thumbup: , Mayzandas.

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Maybe my maths skills are deserting me but I make that two different versions.

 

1. USA and Canada

2. Europe and maybe the rest of the world.

 

If the European one contains sugar, can it still be considered absinthe? The Wikipedia definition states:

 

"Although it is sometimes mistakenly called a liqueur, absinthe is not bottled with added sugar and is, therefore, classified as a liquor or spirit."

 

I couldn't see sugar specified in any of the old recipes on Fee Verte, but on the other hand I also couldn't see anything there stating that absinthe cannot have added sugar.

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I was meaning that weird Absente Bitter, http://www.alandia.de/absinthe/product_inf...nte-Bitter.html

 

so we could have now one for USA and Canada, and two for Europe, if probably none was to be classified as "absinthe".

 

If sugared=creme d'absinthe with higher alcohol content :laf: But neither (apart from Alandia) is presented as if it was one?

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My apologies: it does seem to be three products. Ari, change the brand page on Wikipedia again! So

 

# 1 (US/Canada) has no sugar and has persuaded the US authorities that it is thujone free, but the Canadians say it has 3.5 mg/kg.

 

# 2 (Europe Liqueur) has sugar and thujone, but doesn't make any special claims about itself.

 

# 3 (Europe Bitter) claims "maximum wormwood content." Is there such a thing as maximum wormwood content?!

 

Of course it's really 4. We are forgetting the other Absente! The liquid herbal extract with the same label.

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