Absinthe is the legendary liquor that dominated the hearts and minds of most Europeans during the nineteenth century. Absinthe has wormwood and anise flavor. Absinthe was popular for its taste and the unique effects that were not comparable to other spirits. The drink has made a sensational comeback worldwide since the beginning of the twenty-first century. More and more people are interested in learning the perfect absinthe recipe. But before we discuss the absinthe recipe, let’s become familiar with its rich history.
A French doctor Dr. Pierre Ordinaire is attributed with the development of absinthe. The doctor recommended it as a digestive tonic and made use of it to help remedy digestive complaints. Henri-Louis Pernod is credited with the first commercial creation of absinthe in 1797 in Couvet, Switzerland. Later on in 1805 Pernod moved to a larger distillery as the demand for absinthe kept growing. Absinthe was the most popular drink in Europe and it rivaled wine, when at its peak. It has also appeared in the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh. Many absinthe-recipe great artistes and writers were frequent drinkers of absinthe and absinthe was a significant part of the literary and cultural scenario of nineteenth century Europe. As a result of certain misconceptions and ill founded rumors absinthe was banned in most of Europe and America for most of the 20th century. However, absinthe has produced a prosperous comeback as many European countries have lifted the ban.
Absinthe recipe is fairy simple. It is served by steeping natural herbs in neutral spirit and distilling the product thus formed. Absinthe can be wine based or grain based. After distillation the distilled spirit is infused with more herbs for flavor then filtered to obtain absinthe liquor. It is just a three step recipe.
The initial step involves procuring the neutral spirit. Wine could be distilled to increase the alcohol concentration. The straightforward alternative is to try using vodka because it is easily available. The next step involves putting herbs like wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), green anise, fennel seed, angelica root, star anise, etc. These herbs are known as as macerated herbs. These herbs are combined with the neutral spirit and kept in a dark cool spot for several days. The container made up of this mixture is shaken periodically. Immediately after days the amalgamation is strained and water is added. The amount of water added must be half of the quantity of neutral spirit used.
The 3rd step calls for distilling the maceration. The distillation process resembles the one used in home distilled alcohol. Within the distillation the liquid which comes out in the beginning as well as the end is discarded.
The final step involves adding herbs such as hyssop, melissa or lemon balm, and mint leaves. The mixture is periodically shaken and kept for quite a while. As soon as the color and flavor of the herbs gets to the amalgamation then it is filtered and bottled.
Absinthe has extremely high alcohol content and must be drunk sparingly. The herb wormwood consists of thujone which is a mildly psychoactive substance and is also thought to induce psychedelic effects if consumed in large quantity. Absinthe drinks are set using traditional rituals. Absinthe spoon and absinthe glass are used in the preparation of “the green fairy”, as absinthe is more popularly called. Like all drinks absinthe is an intoxicant and should be used in moderation to relish its one of a kind effects.