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Tag: Absinthe

The new faces of absinthe

As London gets its first absinthe distillery, Millie Milliken arms herself with an absinthe spoon and discovers the elixirs that are giving the spirit a new lease of life, and…

As London gets its first absinthe distillery, Millie Milliken arms herself with an absinthe spoon and discovers the elixirs that are giving the spirit a new lease of life, and why the category might just surprise you.

Among my taxidermy collection are a mouse with a Jacobean collar (Blackadder), a Victorian menagerie of hummingbirds (The Jackson Five) and a sleeping mouse (Cheese). None of them, however, come close to the specimens that inhabit absinthe parlour, The Last Tuesday Society, in Hackney. One of my last visits to the curio-stuffed absinthe bar saw me take a perch next to a stuffed lion called Leonora (see header) sitting upright and wearing a red top hat. Directors Allison Crawbuck and Rhys Everett sure know how to do whimsy.

They also know how to make absinthe, having just opened London’s first absinthe distillery. It’s where they make Devil’s Botany from a small base in Leyton, using British wheat base spirit and 14 botanicals, including grand wormwood, green anise, devil’s claw root, meadowsweet and elderflower.

It’s part of a new wave of absinthes that includes Hendrick’s version, launched in 2019, which join more established brands such as St George and, of course, La Fée in changing people’s perceptions of this misunderstood, historically demonised and enigmatic spirit.

Yet, there’s still plenty of work to do. Those stories of hallucinations, green fairies and setting sugar cubes on fire still abound, and it’s ban for nearly a century, in the US in 1912, France in 1915 and the rest of Europe, hasn’t done its reputation many favours. But a world-wide repeal throughout the early noughties led to its re-emergence.

With so much history, ritual and romance, not to mention famous drinkers including Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway, it’s a category that home drinkers are starting to rediscover. So fix yourself a Death in the Afternoon, pop some Piaf on the record player and settle in.

Alison Crawbuck & Rhys Everett Devil's Botany Absinthe

Rhys Everett & Alison Crawbuck enjoying a glass of absinthe

A new horizon

“It’s always been the dream,” explains Crawbuck when I ask her why she and Everett decided to make their own absinthe. “We opened the bar in 2016, importing our absinthes from other artisanal distillers in Switzerland and France, sharing their stories, learning from their history, and seeing where we could make our own mark.”

It was important for them to highlight the complexity of absinthe, converting the naysayers who voice their dislike of aniseed and showing that there is so much more beyond it. “Our research found lots of 18th century recipes for herbal elixirs, so it was a mixture of finding out what went into the absinthe and making sure that we’re using botanicals used pre-ban and creating our own twist on it,” says Everett. “We chose herbs that grow around Hackney Marshes, but also those that make a difference to the absinthe to give it a more unique flavour. That’s how we landed on elderflower and meadowsweet.”

They also wanted to highlight the ‘bleue’ (clear) style of absinthe, as opposed to the more famous ‘verte’, which originated in Switzerland and was perfected during absinthe’s ban to cleverly trick officials looking for the giveaway green liquid. The absinthe also ‘louches’, turning a beautifully milky white on impact with water, a mark of a high-quality absinthe.

Someone else who has a keen eye on absinthe is Lesley Gracie. She may be better known for being the master distiller for Hendrick’s Gin, but 2019 saw the bar world in a frenzy when she presented them with the brand’s very first absinthe. 

From her lab up in Girvan, she set herself the challenge of creating one that showed the best of star anise, but also made it approachable – not to mention giving people a lower ABV.

“The way that we produce gin is very similar to how you make absinthe,” she explained. After all, absinthe is also a botanical spirit. “I really like absinthe, but some of them that are out there are so strong: if you have something at 70% ABV, you drink it and your ears melt and fall off. We pulled the strength down to 48% abv which means that when somebody makes a cocktail with it, they can pour a proper measure and really allow that flavour to shine through.”

The La Fee absinthe green room

The La Fee green room

The great re-awakening

None of this would have been possible without the help of a chap called George Rowley. The brand owner of La Fée, which was launched in 2000, also helped kickstart the repeal of absinthe’s ban in Europe. I (virtually) meet him in The Green Room, the very square footage where it all happened.

In the late 1990s, he set about making his own absinthe. He travelled to France to meet Marie-Claude Delahaye, owner of Musée de l’Absinthe to discuss how to go about it. It didn’t go well. “A week later I decided to write her a letter that said, ‘I understand where you’re coming from and we know absinthe is legally banned in France, but if we could find a distillery that used to make absinthe would you be the source of the recipe from the museum so we could guarantee that what we were selling was real absinthe?’ She agreed.”

And so La Fée was born. It was launched at The Groucho Club, helmed by none other than legendary bartender Dick Bradsell who chose Bohemian Sours to showcase it. Fast-forward 21 years and Rowley has just added a new 20cl version of his Parisienne bottling to the collection. It comes complete with an autopourer (for a fuss-free serve) and a menu including cocktails such as the French Mojito, Spider Highball and the La Fee Sour. Drinks that bring absinthe into the 21st century.

The French Mojito made with La Fee absinthe

The French Mojito made with La Fee

Expect the unexpected

Crawbuck too suggests simpler drier serves a world away from the traditional ritual of resting a slotted spoon with a sugar cube on top of an absinthe-filled glass and slow-pouring water over the top. “For the home bartender, absinthe as a Spritz is a great afternoon pick me up,” suggests Crawbuck. “It’s a time and setting most people don’t think to have absinthe, sitting in the sun, but it works, especially with our recipe being floral and herbaceous.”

Jenny Griffiths, previously manager at absinthe-bar Croque Monsieur, champions Spritzes too, switching vermouth or amaro with absinthe and adding a dry wine and some fruit. She also found a myriad of other ways to transform classic recipes into something a bit different with the help of absinthe. The Absinthe Grasshopper was popular “despite how boozy that drink should have been”, while a twist on the traditional fountain brought with it some refreshment: “We filled the water part with cucumber and the smallest bit of sugar and rose liqueur. That always went down really well,” she said.

Strawberry and vanilla are flavours that Kelley Hill of The Distillery London picks out as unlikely bedfellows of absinthe. She’s created the Lady Claire, 40ml Chase Rhubarb, 10ml absinthe, 10ml Byrrh, 10ml crème de cassis, 1 bar spoon strawberry jam, shaken and double-strained into a coupe as well as the Pulp Fiction, a mix of Portobello 171, absinthe, cloudy apple, lemon juice, black grapes and mint, designed to share Pimm’s-style in a jug.

Bar manager at FAM, Tatjana Sendzimir

Bar manager at FAM, Tatjana Sendzimir

For bar manager of FAM, Tatjana Sendzimir, creating a frozen absinthe cocktail is an intriguing idea. That or a Daisy: “something quite light that if you found the right gin, you could play around with something bright and zingy. Like grapefruit, which would work with the floral notes in absinthe in quite a pronounced way,” she said.

If there’s a cardinal rule for Rowley though, absinthe should be drunk with ice, and lots of it.

“The activator within any drink with absinthe is the ice, the water acts as a catalyst for all the flavours.” He should know; he’s drunk absinthe every week for the last 21 years. I doff my drinking partner’s red top hat to him.

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Five classic spirits from unusual places

Until fairly recently, beyond international stalwarts like vodka or whisky, there were certain native drinks that were not made outside their home countries. Now, however, this is beginning to change….

Until fairly recently, beyond international stalwarts like vodka or whisky, there were certain native drinks that were not made outside their home countries. Now, however, this is beginning to change. From Canadian aquavit to Australian vermouth, we lift the lid on five classic spirits made in non-traditional places…

The French have Cognac. The Scots have Scotch whisky. In Mexico they make Tequila, and the US boasts bourbon. There are rules and regulations that tie these spirits to their geographical location. But some spirits aren’t bound by such legalities. And with a bit of distiller ingenuity, they can be made anywhere in the world – and often with interesting results. Here, we look at five classic spirits made in unusual places…

Gin from Japan

Holland is widely credited as the birthplace of gin. Following the creation of genever – the region’s beloved malt-based spirit – gin is thought to have been invented by Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius, who used it for medicinal purposes back in 1550. By the time the 1600s rolled around, there were hundreds of gin distilleries in the city of Amsterdam alone.

Around the same time, gin started to emerge in England in various forms, giving way to a rather bleak period dubbed the ‘Gin Craze’ until production was eventually licensed and tamed. Today, the juniper-forward white spirit is produced in countless western countries the world over, but rarely in the east, which is one of the reasons we were particularly excited to see Ki No Bi Gin launch back in 2016. 

The inaugural release from the Kyoto Distillery – and the first Japanese gin produced in Kyoto – Ki No Bi is made from a rice spirit base and flavoured with locally-sourced botanicals that include yellow yuzu, green sansho and gyokuro tea. The botanicals are split across six flavour categories – base, citrus, Tea, spice, fruity & floral and herbal – and these groupings are distilled individually before being blended together to make the final liquid.

Shochu from California

Historians believe shochu first originated in Persia (or possibly China or Korea) but it’s best known as Japan’s national spirit, having made its way to the rural south of the island country sometime in the 16th century. While it’s typically made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or brown sugar, Japanese distillers have been known to use chestnut, sesame seeds, potatoes and even carrots to make the clear white liquor – so flavour-wise, it’s super diverse.

Generally speaking, shochu is little-known outside its east Asian home, with confused westerners sometimes referring to the spirit as ‘Japanese vodka’. However in recent years, a handful of experimental distillers, such as those at St. George Spirits, have sought to create their own regional take on the traditional spirit – in this instance, “a full-flavoured shochu from California rice that would complement a hearty bowl of ramen”. 

To create St. George California Shochu, steamed Calrose rice is inoculated with koji spores and fermented (known as ‘sake lees’). Once the rice starch has been transformed into sugar, yeast is added, and the mix is fermented cold. It’s then blended with non-GMO neutral grain spirit and distilled in a copper pot still. On the nose you’ll find cashew, pistachio, sweet mushrooms and dried cocoa, they say – with the latter developing on the palate as bittersweet chocolate.

Absinthe from Scotland

Unlike other spirits categories, we know precisely when and where absinthe was created: the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, 1792. It was the handiwork of French doctor Pierre Ordinaire, who set out to capture the powerful healing effects of wormwood in a potable form. Fast-forward 70 years or so, and this potent anise-flavoured spirit had become the alcoholic drink du jour among bohemian Parisian writers and other arty types.

Where traditional absinthes are bottled anywhere up to 74% ABV – and modern variants up to an eye-watering 90% – Hendrick’s Absinthe stands at an altogether far more reasonable 48%, somewhere in the region of your typical single malt. In a step away from the stereotypical green-tinged liquid we’re accustomed to seeing, this spirit runs clear.

Crafted by master distiller Lesley Gracie at the gin brand’s headquarters in Girvan, Scotland, this variant is flavoured with Hendrick’s signature rose and cucumber botanicals, as well as traditional wormwood and star anise, making it an approachable introduction to absinthe.

Aquavit from Canada

Distilled from grain (or sometimes potatoes), this herbaceous tipple has been produced in Scandiavian countries since the 15th century. Aquavit is characterised by its predominant flavours of caraway or dill or both – the style varies depending on whether you’re in Sweden, Norway or Denmark – and may be matured in a barrel or bottled unaged.

The spirit has found favour outside its Nordic home in the likes of Iceland, Germany, the US, and Canada – the birthplace of Long Table Långbord Akvavit. Produced at Vancouver’s first microdistillery, Long Table Distillery, the liquid is made in small batches according to traditional Scandi style.

Långbord Akvavit is flavoured with six botanicals including caraway, fennel, anise and Seville oranges, and it’s bottled unaged, so there’s no cask influence. Expect ‘complex licorice and orange notes’, ‘a smooth, sweet finish of lingering marmalade’ and ‘prevailing herbal notes on the palate’, the team say.

 

Vermouth from Australia

While it’s more commonly associated with Italy, the history of this fortified wine is rooted in 16th century Germany. In fact, the origin of the word ‘vermouth’ comes from the way French people would pronounce ‘wermut’, the German word for wormwood (an original ingredient that remains a staple to this day). Modern vermouth – as we know it today – was first produced in the 18th century in Italy, with French and Spanish producers creating their own iterations not long after.

Australia may be renowned for its outstanding vineyards, but even so – when Regal Rogue debuted its inaugural new world vermouth, the brand caused a bit of a stir. The four-strong range sees 100% Aussie wines – from Barossa Valley shiraz to Hunter Valley semillon – married with native aromatics including anise myrtle, quandong, pepper berry and more.

This Wild Rosé bottling introduces pale, dry Barossa shiraz rosé from Adelaide Hills to native illawara plums, rosella and strawberry gum, and rhubarb and kina, resulting in a semi-dry vermouth characterised by tropical fruit and fruit spice notes. Delightful.

 

 

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Five modern twists on traditional spirits

As some pioneering producers peer into the future for creative inspiration, others have chosen to look to the past, revisiting beloved booze categories favoured by previous generations. We look at…

As some pioneering producers peer into the future for creative inspiration, others have chosen to look to the past, revisiting beloved booze categories favoured by previous generations. We look at five traditional spirits bottlings that have been reloaded for the modern palate…

Whether it’s through reviving regional ingredients or resurrecting long-lost production practices, the spirits industry certainly enjoys indulging in a little nostalgia now and then. Perhaps because it’s a visceral display of human ingenuity that allows us to marvel at how strikingly different our world is now – and how far we’ve come since the dawn of distilling. Or, maybe we’re just pretty fascinated by old stuff. Whatever it is, all the innovation going on in the drinks industry has always been underpinned with a sense of reverence for the past.

However, humans are fickle and trends are cyclical, so we’re lucky that a handful of producers have been busy reimagining traditional spirits for our modern drinking preferences. Through them, the likes of absinthe, brandy, genever, and more, have been presented a path to the future. You might scoff at the idea of, say, brandy being a forgotten spirit, but without a little producer ingenuity and inventiveness, such categories are destined to continue their slow retreat from the back bar before they’re inevitably condemned to the history books. Without further adieu, we present five contemporary twists on traditional spirits…

Bobby's Schiedam Jenever

Bobby’s Schiedam Jenever

Another cocktail hero lost in time, genever fell out of favour in the early 20th century when light, bright drinks became the order du jour. It was a blow that gin’s malty cousin never quite recovered from, but fast-forward to today’s cocktail renaissance, and bartenders are slowly rediscovering the unique flavour profile of ye olde ‘Dutch Courage’. Made in the Netherlands, the veritable birthplace of genever, Bobby’s Schiedam Jenever contains a blend of Indonesian spices – including cubeb pepper, lemongrass and cardamom – that have been infused in traditional malt wine. A truly fresh take on a timeless classic that pairs perfectly with tonic.

Bertoux Brandy

Bertoux Brandy

Once the cocktail world’s darling, brandy was forced to retire from the back bar after the phylloxera outbreak devastated vineyards in the late 1800s. Now Bertoux Brandy co-creators Jeff Bell, from New York bar Please Don’t Tell, and Thomas Pastuszak, sommelier at The Nomad trio of hotels, hope to return the spirit to its fabulous former glory. A blend of pot-distilled Californian brandies aged for three to seven years in French and American oak, Bertoux seeks to pave the way for a brand new generation of brandy-based cocktails (and, of course, reinvigorate the classics that made the spirit so beloved in the first place). Sidecar, anyone?

Ballykeefe poitin

Ballykeefe Poitín

It’s taken more than 20 years for distilleries to embrace Ireland’s original ‘illegal’ spirit after the ban was lifted back in 1997, but poitín is making a comeback. Notorious for its potency, today the spirit still carries an ABV of anywhere between 40 and 90% – such is the magic of what was once known as Irish moonshine. The team behind eco-friendly County Kilkenny spirits producer Ballykeefe sought to encapsulate this rebellious essence and repurpose it for a contemporary audience (that’s you and me), and we think they’ve done a rather stunning job. Bottled at a palatable 40% ABV, serve Ballykeefe Poitín long, with plenty of ice and lashings of ginger ale.

Copper & Kings Absinthe

Copper & Kings Absinthe Alembic Blanche

In true Copper & Kings style, the Kentucky-based producer has given the classic Swiss absinthe recipe a delightful American overhaul. Traditional botanicals like wormwood, anis and fennel macerate in Muscat low wine for around 18 hours before undergoing a double distillation in alembic copper pot stills and bottled at a reasonable 65% ABV (no green fairies to be found here, thanks). The resulting liquid makes a cracking Absinthe Julep – all you need is crushed ice, simple syrup and mint. The team has also created an barrel-aged iteration, pictured above, that has been lovingly matured in ex-wine and ex-brandy casks.

Avallen Calvados

Avallen Calvados

Made in Normandy according to some rather strict regulations, brandy’s hipster cousin, Calvados, is also enjoying a revival. Sharing a passion for traditional spirits and sustainable products, Avallen co-founders Tim Etherington-Judge and Stephanie Jordan sought to create the most eco-friendly spirit they could. Described as fresh, fruity and apple-forward, the resulting bottling, made at Domaine du Coquerel, has injected new life into the languishing category. Try pairing with tonic and plenty of ice or alternatively get super-creative with a Calvados Sour.

 

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Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Absinthe has a reputation that means it can be a difficult sell. However, Croque Monsieur, a new bar in Camden, wants to help change this. We spoke to its bar…

Absinthe has a reputation that means it can be a difficult sell. However, Croque Monsieur, a new bar in Camden, wants to help change this. We spoke to its bar manager Jenny Griffiths about how bespoke cocktails, education and silly hats can help.

Have you ever considered going to a bar to enjoy absinthe? You might have been put off by tall tales of astronomical ABVs, potential blindness and harrowing hallucinations. Such myths, legends and soft science have certainly misled people in the past. Gradually, however, absinthe’s reputation is being restored by creative craft producers, educated consumers and bars like Camden’s Croque Monsieur.

Downstairs from the world’s only vampire-themed pizzeria, Lost Boys Pizza (it’s a wild start, but stick with me here), Croque Monsieur opened in December 2018 aiming to spearhead the absinthe revival in the capital. Despite the name, there are no ham and cheese toasties, before any of you ask.

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Bar manager Jenny Griffiths in her element

“It’s a spirit that has a lot of misconceptions. We wanted to show people why these aren’t true and give a proper insight into such a misunderstood spirit”, bar manager Jenny Griffiths explains, “Absinthe is absolutely delicious and we wanted to share that with our corner of London!”

Croque Monsieur is equipped with absinthe fountains on each table, funky hats, church pews as seating, Art Deco prints on the wall and a newly-launched cocktail menu, transforming a restaurant basement into a bohemian drinking den. For Griffiths, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“When Pete and Alex (founders of Lost Boys Pizza) mentioned they’d had plans to open a tiny absinthe/dive bar. My eyes lit up and I knew I had to be in,” Griffiths explained. “I’ve been working as the brand ambassador for Chartreuse for two years in the UK, and I actually got into drinking this by being suggested it by a fellow absinthe fan. Chartreuse and absinthe have similar flavour profiles, and anything herbal and punchy has always been my true love.”

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Camden’s Croque Monsieur

Even those passionate about absinthe will admit it’s a risky spirit to back, however. There’s still work to be done separating truth from pseudoscience and propaganda. “If you want to see the lengths the people who banned absinthe went to, Google absinthe and guinea pigs,” Griffiths remarks, alluding to an 1864 experiment in which guinea pigs were most definitely harmed in the making of (another reason to dislike those who fought absinthe).

The lore around thujone, a chemical compound in absinthe, is one of the reasons why it was successfully demonised. But the truth is absinthe contains such a tiny amount of this compound that it’s about as frightening as Kylie Minogue singing The Sound of Music to you while dressed as The Green Fairy. Griffiths summaries, “As with all alcohol, of course, you should drink it in moderation and responsibly, but absinthe will not drive you crazy.”

The task for Griffiths then is to use her passion and position help educate and change perceptions. However, she has no interest in providing dry history lessons. “You go to Croque Monsieur to be educated and have fun,” Griffiths exclaims. “We at Croque Monsieur are here first and foremost to educate everyone who comes through the door. I’ve always been a bit of a booze nerd myself, so being able to share the knowledge I have is great. But we also want people to have fun, which is why the music is always set to party bangers and we encourage everyone to take their pick from our array of silly hats. For me going to a bar should be about learning but fun should always be at the forefront!”

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Griffiths and the Lost Boys founders enjoying their labour of love

It’s difficult to deliver a dry lecture while your guests are wearing cowboy hats listening to Prince’s 1999 as a waiter brings them black charcoal pizza from a vampire-themed restaurant that was named after a 1987 American horror comedy film. Seriously. What more can ask for from a bar?

Well, how about a tailored guest experience? One method Griffiths employs at Croque Monsieur to demystify absinthe is a masterclass in which unlimited hot snacks and three drinks of either of absinthe or a cocktail are provided while you learn about the spirit (though you had me at unlimited hot snacks).

“This experience offers our guests a full masterclass on all things absinthe, from its vast history to the different liquids we offer and how to serve them,” Griffiths says. “We serve all of our absinthes louched with iced water at your table, where your fairy [as she calls her staff members] shows you the precise amount of water to add, explains the chemical reactions you see happening and answers any questions that may pop into your head.”

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

The delicious and playful Sneaky Vimto cocktail

Then there’s the cocktail menu: designed to make absinthe approachable, it aims to ensure that no matter what your experience is with the spirit, there will be a drink to suit your palette. “The menu is divided into three distinct parts; ‘Beginner’, ‘Intermediate’ and ‘Advanced’. All of the drinks contain absinthe in some shape or form (duh!) but this allows our guests to choose how much absinthe flavour they want in their drink,” Griffiths explains. “Beginner drinks simply have a spritz or two of absinthe above the glass, intermediate contains around 10ml absinthe per drink and are a little boozier. The advanced drinks use absinthe as the base (around 25ml) and are for our guests who are already into the flavour.”

The menu includes some unique fruity numbers such as the Sneaky Vimto (my favourite cocktail name of all time) and punchy offerings such as Death in the Afternoon, a potent combination of absinthe and Champagne, as well as some reworked classics like the Chocolate Old Fashioned (a personal highlight) and the Grasshopper, which is Griffiths’ stand-out on the menu.

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

The superb Chocolat Old Fashioned, a personal favourite

“For me disco drinks have always been a guilty pleasure I’ve embraced, so our Grasshopper #245 is my proudest drink creation to date” she explains. “We use a split base of Combier L’Entêté Absinthe Supérieure and Green Chartreuse, mix it with a chocolate and absinthe liqueur, Giffard menthe pastille and shake it up with vegan dairy. It’s creamy and delicious, with the right hits of chocolate and mint you expect from a grasshopper without the heaviness some dairy can have.”

For those new to absinthe, Griffith recommends the Parisienne Spritz, made with a splash of Combier L’Entêté Absinthe Supérieure, gentian liqueur, citrus, cucumber bitters and tonic. “It’s light and refreshing and a great aperitif”.

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Cocktails and capers are par for the course at Croque Monsieur

Griffiths and co. have certainly made a good case for a dedicated absinthe bar. “There are hundreds of whisky bars and gin palaces in the UK and we love what they do, but we wanted to show some love to something a bit different,” says Griffiths. There’s surely always a market for that in the world of booze.

To help you on your absinthe journey, we’ve rounded up a smashing selection of some of the absinthes we adore, including a recommendation from Griffiths. Or you could always enjoy this wonderful Absinthe Tasting Set!

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Maison Fontaine Blanche

“Maison Fontaine Blanche is a great place to start for any absinthe novice. The Blanche doesn’t have a secondary maceration of herbs after distillation (this is what gives naturally coloured absinthes their green colour) so it is a bit lighter and milder, with loads of cacao and sweet peppermint,” says Griffith. Tried next to the Maison Fontaine Verte it is also wonderful, this is a great way to explain to people the difference a few hours of maceration can make to the final flavour of an absinthe.

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Sebor Absinth

Sebor Absinth is a Czech take on the historic spirit and one that has proved incredibly popular. Made by blending 13 herbs to a century-old Swiss recipe, this is a rich, mellow and spicy absinthe that was bottled at a reasonable 55% ABV.

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

St. George Absinthe Verte

The Californian distillery St. George Spirits has made all manner of delicious booze, so it’s not surprising to find out that great absinthe was in its wheelhouse. Created with ingredients such as star anise, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop and stinging nettles, this was actually the first legal American absinthe to be released after the ban was lifted in 2007!

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

La Fée Blanche Absinthe

Popular among punters and award shows alike, La Fée Blanche Absinthe is a wonderfully sweet, herbal, old-fashioned white absinthe that was based on an old French recipe from the 1800s. Produced in conjunction with the French Absinthe Museum, its white colour is a reference to the days of bootlegging when green spirit could be spotted a mile off.

Championing absinthe at Croque Monsieur

Morveren Absinthe

Ok, so Cornwall might not cross your mind initially when you think of absinthe, but this expression from Pocketful of Stones might just change all of that for you. Made from wormwood and additional botanicals from the local area, this bottling was named from a legendary mermaid of yore…

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