Clandestine Absinthe is bootleg Absinthe which was distributed within the Black Market during the time of Absinthe prohibition.
Absinthe was prohibited and made outlawed in France, Switzerland and several other countries in th early 1900s after becoming a popular liquor since its creation on the turn of the nineteenth century.
Absinthe ended up being especially favored by the Bohemian art set in the Montmartre part of Paris. Artists and writers including Van Gogh, Gauguin, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway have been all enthusiasts of the Green Fairy, as Absinthe is generally known.
Anti-alcohol campaigners did start to paint a bad picture of Absinthe in the late 19th century and early 20th century, blaming it for France’s growing problems with alcoholism and proclaiming that the substance thujone (from wormwood) was psychoactive and was having psychedelic consequences. Many said that if Absinthe was not banned then France would be a nation of mad, insane people. Absinthe was even held responsible for an alcoholic murdering his family regardless that he had been drinking other spirits right after the Absinthe. Absinthe was restricted and prohibition began.
Clandestine Absinthe in Switzerland
During prohibition, there was clearly obviously still an industry for Absinthe and in Switzerland bootleg distillers still created and sold Absinthe. Switzerland was the home of Absinthe. It is claimed that Absinthe was created by a doctor, Pierre Ordinaire, being a tonic for his patients in 1789 in the Swiss area of Couvet in the Val de Travers, the Swiss Jura. Over time, Couvet took over as the Swiss capital of Absinthe creation and was obviously badly troubled by prohibition. One distiller, Claude-Alain Bugnon, is said to have carried on distilling Absinthe and distilled it by using a recipe of another bootleg distiller Charlotte Vaucher. The Val de Travers was recognized for its great bootleg Absinthe.
Absinthe was legalized in lots of countries in the 1990s but legalization in Switzerland didn’t happen until 2005. Claude-Alain Bugnon immediately requested for a license to promote Absinthe and was the first distiller to be granted a license for Absinthe production in Switzerland.
Claude-Alain Bugnon’s organization, Artemisia-Bugnon distilleries now produce different styles of Absinthe:-
– The famous La Clandestine Originale – This Absinthe is an award winning premium La Bleue, 53% ABV (alcohol by volume). It’s actually a clear Absinthe inside a blue bottle and a few people say that it took its name from the blue reflections noticed when the Absinthe louches.
– La Capricieuse – This Absinthe was developed to satisfy the flavors for pre-prohibition stronger Absinthe and contains an ABV of 72%.
– Recette Marianne – This Absinthe was manufactured to be distributed to the French market that has strict Fenchone laws and does not allow bottles labeled Absinthe to be distributed. Fenchone is the essential oil of fennel and is also considered to be psychoactive. This liquor is 55% ABV and won the exclusive Golden Spoon Award in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
– La Clandestine Originale Alcool du Vin – A distillation of La Clandestine Originale utilizing a wine base.
– Angelique Verte Suisse – Produced for individuals who want their Absinthe to be a little more bitter also to possess the traditional green color. The beautiful label on this bottle is just like antique labels depicting the Green Fairy.
The Artemisia-Bugnon uses herbs grown in your community like grande and petite Artemisia Absinthium (wormwood), hyssop and lemon balm to flavor its anise flavored liquor. No man-made colors or additives are widely-used and lots discuss about the Absinthes having a “bouquet” of Alpine meadows, of honey and flowers.
The Clandestine Absinthe of the Artemisia-Bugnon distillery is available to buy on their web shop but if you intend to try your hand at making your own Absinthe containing wormwood then you can make use of the essences from AbsintheKit.com to create your very own premium Absinthe.