Tim F wrote:Disagree, Pete - I personally feel absinthe should always be watered - at around 70%, it can take a ratio of 1 to 5 and still be a balanced, flavoursome drink. Also, real unsweetened absinthe really does benefit from the dissolved sugar.
Pete Smoke wrote:
But i agree Tim. I just find the spoon and lump of sugar an excessive ritual, i didn't say no water should be added, although i wasn't very clear. Last time i had it was a 50%er and on that occasion i did sip it neat.
Peat Sampras wrote:Drinking la fée verte with a spoon and lump of sugar perfectly makes sense
Peat Sampras wrote: It doesn't make sense to wear silly hats at a horse race neither but y'all do it at Ascot
Thujone is most famous for being a compound in the spirit absinthe. In the past it was thought that absinthe contained up to 260–350 mg/L thujone, but modern tests have shown this to be far too high. A 2008 study of 13 pre-ban (1895–1910) bottles using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) found that the bottles had between 0.5 mg/L and 48.3 mg/L and averaged 25.4 mg/L. A 2005 study recreated three 1899 high-wormwood recipes and tested with GC-MS, and found that the highest contained 4.3 mg/L thujone. GC-MS testing is important in this capacity, because gas chromatography alone may record an inaccurately high reading of thujone as other compounds may interfere with and add to the apparent measured amount.
Absinthe produced under the modern EU (European Union) limits for thujone content may have a maximum of 10 mg/L if >25% alcohol, and 35 mg/L for "bitters" with less alcohol.
More recently, following European Council Directive No. 88/388/EEC (1988) allowing certain levels of thujone in foodstuffs in the EU, the studies described above were conducted and found only minute levels of thujone in absinthe.
Tim F wrote:Someone mentioned pernod above - Pernod started out as an absinthe distillery. After absinthe was banned they switched to making an aniseed liqueur - something similar to absinthe but without the wormwood and at a lower strength. This imitation absinthe became known as pastis because it was a pastiche of real absinthe and this product is what we know as Pernod today (although they have recently gone back to producing real absinthe as well).
Tim F wrote:I've never heard that before, Oli, do you have a source for it? I've never seen anyone make that distinction before, over here any french aniseed liquer is casually referred to as pastis as far as I'm aware. I'd heard the anisette term, but hadn't heard any proper explanation for it, or realised that it was different from pastis, so thanks.
Tim F wrote:Oli, I think you've got that the wrong way round? Looking at the EEC regulations and the wikipedia article (which unfortunately has no citations to back up any of its assertions), I'd say that according to wikipedia it isn't pastis, but technically it is.
Tim F wrote:(2) For an aniseed-flavoured spirit drink to be called 'pastis' it must also contain natural extracts of liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), which implies the presence of the colorants known as 'chalcones' as well as glycyrrhizic acid, the minimum and maximum levels of which must be 0,05 and 0,5 grams per litre respectively.
Tim F wrote:Back to absinthe, though, I can heartily recommend the Enigma absinthes that myself and Billy tried recently (see his excellent writeup here: http://bbblog.org.uk/2011/08/enigma-absinthe-with-ian-hutton/) My personal preference was for the blanche, taken with a sugar cube and diluted with 4 or 5 parts water.
Billy and I will shortly be going to taste the new Jade absinthes we've recently listed, and I have very high hopes for them as they are from the same stable.
Tim F wrote:Incidentally, the Jade PF absinthe is reverse-engineered from an original bottle of Pernod Absinthe (although thanks to bottle-age effects of course that source bottle won't taste as it would have done in the 19th century). Will definitely report back once we've tasted them.
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