Get Absinthe Minded at The Liquor Barn!
With all the history, controversy, and mystique that surrounds Absinthe, it’s no wonder that interesting people have been enjoying this spirit for centuries.
It’s believed that people have been making and drinking spirits similar to absinthe as far back as the ancient Greeks, who used honey to sweeten a medicinal drink made from wormwood. The precise origin of absinthe is unknown, but the ancient Egyptians were making medicines from wormwood as early as 1500 BC. The spirit evolved into a unique drinking experience, which was popularized by many famous artists, writers, and philosophers in 19th century France. It’s also endured lots of controversy and several outright bans, largely due to misconceptions about its medicinal properties.
These days, absinthe is a well refined liqueur, enjoyed for its unique taste and the fun traditions built around its consumption. The Liquor Barn offers several premium varieties for you to try:
Legend has it the first true Absinthe recipe was created by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire in 1792 in rural France. Dr. Pierre Ordinaire, shortly after the French revolution, traveled around the Val de Travers on his faithful horse Rocket and sold his Absinthe initially as an all-purpose cure-all, an “elixir.” Dr. Ordinaire’s talents for apothecary and medicine yielded an elixir that may have been designed as a medicinal invention, but over time it became widely accepted as a recreational drink. People loved the taste and the effect, some even claimed to be cured of all their ailments. When Dr. Ordinaire died, the recipe ended up mysteriously in the hands of the sisters Henriod at the beginning of the 19th century. The sisters carried on producing this elixir, mostly from their home, but the pleasant aroma, taste and experience continued building the popularity of this historical drink. By the middle of the 18th century, the French troops fighting in Algeria returned to France bringing with them a taste for this anise flavored “elixir,” mostly due to a similar anisette elixir that was being administered to the troops as a fever preventative. It was at this time that Dr Ordinaire’s Absinthe was sold by the sisters and then mass produced for an affordable price. The onset of mass production caused the price of absinthe to drop significantly and the market expanded. Since the cafés were an extremely popular place to socialize, it became common practice for a wide array of people to enjoy Absinthe Ordinaire during L’Heure Verte, or the Green Hour because of Absinthe Ordinaire’s great taste and affordable price. This exciting drink now began rapidly traveling across the café tables from the south of France to the café tables of Montmartre in Paris, where his now legendary and mystical Absinthe would end up gracing the lips of artists, musicians, writers and poets alike, ultimately becoming the symbol of the free and easy bohemian spirit for the masses. We wonder if Dr. Ordinaire had any idea his “elixir” could have turned into something so magnificent.
Lucid Absinthe Superieure
Lucid contains a full measure of Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). By contrast, many other products with a claimed relationship to absinthe only contain Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum – sometimes referred to as Southern Wormwood). Southernwood bears little resemblance to Grande Wormwood and has a completely different flavor and chemistry. Genuine absinthe, such as the absinthe made during the Belle Époque period in France, has always been made with Grande Wormwood as a key ingredient. In fact, the word “absinthe” itself is derived from the scientific name for Grande Wormwood – Artemisia absinthium.
Leopold Bros. Absinthe
Handcrafted Absinthe Verte is prepared following the traditions of European master distillers of the 19th Century. We start with imported Chilean Pisco, placing it in our small 150 liter copper potstill, carefully adding the traditional Absinthe Verte herbs: Anise, Grande Wormwood, and Sweet Fennel, together with a number of proprietary botanicals.
The herbs are gently distilled at a high alcoholic strength, capturing the essential aromas and oils that are in the very heart of our hand selected flowers and herbs. These herbs are grown and harvested in the fields of Spain, France, and Western Europe, and the unmistakable aromas of these peaceful European meadows are captured in every bottle of our Absinthe Verte.
Before the Absinthe Verte is bottled, it must undergo a coloring step. Many commercial absinthes are colored artificially. Ours is colored in the most traditional manner by placing our hand selected coloring herbs (Hyssop, Melissa, and Roman Wormwood) in cheesecloth and steeping the blend in warmed Absinthe Verte. These coloring herbs strengthen the floral aromas and citrusy undertones of the finished Absinthe Verte. The high alcohol content of the Absinthe Verte leaches chlorophyll from the plant material, turning it a wholly natural, vibrant green color that is similar to the gemstone Peridot. This unique hue is one of the reasons that French Impressionists of the Belle Époque took so strongly to traditionally prepared, handcrafted Absinthe Verte.
Try one (or all!) of these great Absinthes at The Liquor Barn today!