Absinthe is the legendary liquor that dominated the minds and hearts of many Europeans in the nineteenth century. Absinthe has wormwood and anise flavor. Absinthe was popular due to its taste plus the unique effects which were not similar to other spirits. The drink has made a stunning comeback all over the world since the beginning of the twenty-first century. More and more people are interested in understanding the perfect absinthe recipe. But before we discuss the absinthe recipe, let’s get acquainted with its rich history.
A French doctor Dr. Pierre Ordinaire is attributed with the creation of absinthe. The doctor prescribed it as a digestive tonic and used it to treat digestive disorders. Henri-Louis Pernod is credited with the initial commercial production 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 within the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh. A lot of absinthe recipe great artistes and writers were frequent drinkers of absinthe and absinthe was a significant part of the literary and cultural arena of nineteenth century Europe. Due to specific misconceptions and ill founded rumors absinthe was banned generally in most of Europe and America for most of the twentieth century. However, absinthe has created an effective comeback as most countries in europe have lifted the ban.
Absinthe recipe is fairy easy. It is prepared by steeping natural herbs in neutral spirit and distilling the items thus formed. Absinthe may be wine based or grain based. After distillation the distilled spirit is infused with a lot more herbs for flavor then filtered to obtain absinthe liquor. It is just a three step recipe.
Step one involves procuring the neutral spirit. Wine might be distilled to increase the alcohol concentration. The straightforward alternative is to use vodka because it is easily obtainable. Step 2 involves adding 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 mixed with the neutral spirit and kept in a dark cool spot for a couple of days. The container containing this mixture is shaken occasionally. After a couple of days the mixture is strained and water is added. The quantity of water added must be half of the quantity of neutral spirit used.
The third step involves distilling the maceration. The distillation process resembles the one utilized for home distilled alcohol. Throughout the distillation the liquid that comes out initially and the end is discarded.
The last step involves adding herbs just like hyssop, melissa or lemon balm, and mint leaves. The mixture is periodically shaken and kept for some time. Once the color and flavor of the herbs enters the mixture it is then filtered and bottled.
Absinthe has quite high alcohol content and should be drunk in moderation. The herb wormwood contains thujone which is a mildly psychoactive substance and is also believed 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 adoringly called. Like several drinks absinthe is an intoxicant and must be used carefully to relish its exceptional effects.