Absinthe Taste Test: Are New Brands the Real Deal?
A second brand of wormwood absinthe has been approved for U.S. sale (Lucid being the first). Yves Kubler, the fourth-generation distiller of Swiss Absinthe Superieure Kubler, told us he got permission to import his product after five years of haggling with the U.S. government (the turning point was when the Swiss embassy intervened). All the while, he says, he refused to tweak the recipe from what his family produced in 1875. For help determining which brand is more worthy of ingestion (and to gauge their authenticity), we invited the Green Fairy, an underground authority who for years has sold his own home-brewed absinthe in elaborate kits, to taste-test them. Are either of them good enough to put him out of business?
Absinthe Arrives in New York, and We Start Drinking It ImmediatelyA while back we gave you the heads-up that wormwood absinthe was coming to town. We are giddy (read blotto from absinthe) to report that the green fairy has touched down at certain liquor stores. “Lucid Absinthe has come in and is on the shelf, ready to go,” is the good word, via e-mail, from LeNell’s. Yesterday we called our local hookup, Park Avenue Liquor Shop, and were told, “We got twelve bottles in this morning. It just went like water.” Luckily we were able to get our trembling hands on the last $65 bottle (relax, Deutsche Bankers — the store is expecting six more today) and glub some of the stuff down at our desk (or desks? There are two of them now). Though it’s best diluted with water, we drank it straight (the building’s fire marshal wasn’t having the fire-and-sugar thing), and we can tell you the slightly syrupy stuff tastes like a much-spicier, somewhat-woodier version of Pernod, with a killer sinus finish. And so Grub Street enters its “blue period”
Earlier: Absinthe Feels So Good When It Hits the U.S. Market
Absinthe Feels So Good When It Hits the U.S. Market
As any frat boy can tell you, absinthe, the spirit of choice for Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Verlaine, was banned here in 1912 following rumors that its primary ingredient, grand wormwood, contained a psychosis-inducing hallucinogen called thujone — but now a Manhasset distributor Lucid has convinced the U.S. Alcohol-Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau that the green fairy is just as safe as any other liver-pickling, brain-shrinking alcohol on the market (even if the 124-proof booze’s alcohol content is more than 50 percent greater than that of vodka, rum, and most whiskeys).