Absinthe recipe

All about absinthe

Moderator: Site Moderator

Post Reply
brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:57 am

Thanks for all the info.I also saw that site zman,wish I could afford one.Maybe when I get my $1200 from the Gummint.So in making wine spirits,what kind of wine to distill?Cheap I hope?Red,white?I ordered the pontica from cascade,and everything else from:http://www.dragonherbarium.com/ They have very good prices,hope it's decent stuff,only spent around $20 for all the other herbs.I'm getting kinda excited about this,I tried an Absinthe kit several years ago and I know now why it turned out so bad,A Absintium in the coloring herbs,totaley undrinkable....
Cheers,Brewzz

Jerolin
Novice
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Texarkana

Post by Jerolin » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:40 am

For wine spirits, I do it very cheaply and I've had great results thus far. I use 4.5 gallons of store bought grape juice (welch's or something similar, just make sure it's real grape juice), 4 pounds of sugar, 1 gallon of water, and then I add turbo yeast. It hasn't failed me yet.

Absinthe kits do NOT make real Absinthe. There must be distillation or an oil mix involved (although oil mixes are usually very sub-par). Anything you make will likely taste better than the kit did. If you've never tasted real Absinthe I suggest picking up a bottle of Kubler or Lucid from drinkupny.com so you'll know what to go by. I prefer Kubler, but Lucid is a verte and most (myself included) want to start with a green Absinthe.

Good luck.

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:12 am

I've had a couple Checz Absinthes,not very high quality...would like to get a bottle of some good stuff...saving my nickels and dimes.....got to get swambo to go along with it:oops: ..maybe after a couple drinks I'll talk her into it and order it right away...;)Then she can't back out..LOL
Cheers,Brewzz

Jerolin
Novice
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Texarkana

Post by Jerolin » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:25 am

Dear god, you're in for a surprise if you order Kubler or Lucid then. I only know of 2 or 3 Czech brands that are what most would consider real Absinthe (Oliva, Cami, and MAYBE Trul Absinthium 1792). Seriously though, if you can afford it pick up a bottle of Kubler at least, it's $52.99 for an entire liter with FREE shipping if you order it from drinkupny.com That way you would at least know what real absinthe tastes like.

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:33 am

Which,in your opinion is better,Kubler or Lucid?
Cheers,Brewzz

Jerolin
Novice
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Texarkana

Post by Jerolin » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:55 am

I would have to say Lucid. It has a fuller flavor (common with vertes). I like them both for different reasons, but I say go with Lucid probably.

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:30 pm

Well,I'm having my second glass of Lucid right now,I see what you mean.This tastes nothing like any Absinthe I've tasted.The taste seems to change with each sip.It's funny,my wife was going to the liquor warehouse a couple miles away,to get me a couple cigars,and I had mentioned that all the absinthe I've tasted was crap and asked her to just look to see if they carried any absinthes .It just opened a month or so ago,so I haven't really checked it out,I came home to a liter of Lucid for $66...not too bad.Thanks for the tips Jerolin.....And,gettin a bit of a buzz
Cheers,Brewzz

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:07 am

So Jerolin,What is your final recipe that tastes fantastic.I am ready to make a 1 liter batch.I just finished my alembic and want to run with this....
Cheers,Brewzz

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:22 pm

Ok Guys,I have read,read,read,ALL the posts on this board multiple times,and would like a tried and true recipe from some of the posters that are very satisfied with their results...I have built a 2000ml alembic still and have all the herbs ,I think,that are needed.I want to try a few 1 liter batches until I come up with something to be proud of...some of the posts are quite old and I want something up to date.I really like REAL Absinthe,and am Not looking for any F,ing green fairiesor massive amounts of Thugone.I have tried Lucid and Kubler to date,and some crappy euro copies.So you guys,I'm an experienced distiller(been doing it for 8-9 years) and know the Absinthe process,Just need the herb amounts....Thanks in advance,and all info will be greatly appreciated...Hope to hear from someone soon..
Cheers,Brewzz
Texas,U.S.A.

Zman
Novice
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Post by Zman » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:35 pm

A good basic Pontarlier-style recipe amounts for one liter could go something like this:
20-25 grams A.absinthium
50-70 grams green anise seed
50-70 grams Florence fennel
Coloration herbs:
2-5 grams Roman wormwood (NOT absinthium)
2-5 grams hyssop (flowers & leaves only, no stems)
1-3 grams lemon balm leaves (aka melissa)

Scale up accordingly.

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:40 am

Thanks Zman,
You are one of the people that I wanted to hear from...
I also have some Angelica root,but not knowing what kinda flavor it adds,I'm not sure if I should add it....Any tips on that?I know some add it to the maceration.....
Cheers,Brewzz

Zman
Novice
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Post by Zman » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:39 pm

If you're going to use angelica root, I would start in the 1-3 gram per liter range. FWIW, angelic seed provides a much more delicate and floral aroma and flavor as opposed to the root. If you can get your hands on some angelica seed try playing with it in the 3-5 gram per liter range.

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:09 pm

I did a trial run with my 2000ml alembic today.I started with 500ml of some heads I had,added 250ml of water,and tried it thru a number of settings on my kitchen stove.I have alot of data points I kept notes on.I feel comfortable with running a liter of Absinthe thru it.I am going to infuse 1100ml with the herb amounts you gave me and give it a go...this s**t is fun!I was going to put the flask on the warm and hold spot on my range and set it as low as it will go.I will seal it well so no evaporation.How long for the maceration step do you think?It will probably be @ 100 deg.,so I will let it warm up,take it off and put it back on later,trying just to keep it in the warm range.So a couple days,12hours or what.The other option is to leave it @ ambient and let sit.I added the extra 100ml for losses,foreshots,tails.I lost only about 50ml on my run today,and that was just what was left in the still...just wasn't worth the effort and elec to continue...Thanks SO much for your help ZMAN....Brewzz
P.S. I can post some pics of my little setup if I can figure out how to,if anyone is interested
Cheers,Brewzz

Marionette
Novice
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:49 pm

Post by Marionette » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:20 pm

I wouldn't macerate with a heat source. Just seal the herb and alcohol mixture in your still or enamelled bucket and leave it for around 24 hours.

You may want to use less than 1100ml of alcohol if you only have a 2L still: If you were to add the same quantity of water again before distilling, then it will be greater than the capacity of your still. As for foreshots and so on, assuming your spirit is pure then there should be no need for removing foreshots. Start watching for tails at some point before you have collected the same quantity of distillate as spirit you used in the first place.

I hope that is useful. What's the still like then?

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:29 pm

So,I need to add more that about 500ml of water to distill?Ok then I'll cut back on the 1100ml.The still is a 2000ml boiling flask in a large pot with a false bottom about 1" of the bottom of the pot.I have a cover with a hole in the center and an inverted S.S. large funnel on top.The still head goes thru 2 gum rubber stoppers,one on the top of the flask and one on the top of the funnel.I have a worm in a bucket for a condenser...I'll try to post a couple pics later...
Cheers,Brewzz

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:27 pm

Cheers,Brewzz

Jerolin
Novice
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Texarkana

Post by Jerolin » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:55 pm

well it seems you're getting into it pretty solid. The pictures of your set up look pretty cool as well!

My recipe is finally ironed out, and it tastes really good (to me of course)

Green Anise seed - 70 Grams
A.a - 15 Grams
Fennel - 60 Grams
Star Anise - 17 Grams
Coriander - 7 Grams
Angelica seed- 4 Grams
Angelica Root - 1 Grams
1 liter of 85%ABV Grape based Alcohol

Coloration herbs:
Lemon Balm - 6 Grams
Cardomon - 4 pods
Hyssop - 7 Grams
Pontica - 4 Grams

I lower the alcohol content to 70%ABV. The alcohol content is a little stout to some who have tasted my stuff, but I like to have a fuller flavor profile.

Cardomon is also entirely optional...it's definitely not to everyone's liking. Some people say it gives it a medicinal flavor, but I enjoy it.[/img]

brewzz
Novice
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Post by brewzz » Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:39 pm

Well,I did my first effort today.I followed Zmans recipe and found I really need a 3000ml flask,LOL.It was puking into my collection jar and I had to distill it twice to get rid of the green,,,only to recolor it green again with the coloration herbs.I tried some of the blanc first and it louched GREAT!It tasted very good as well.I was quite suprised.I colored it and I will try that tomorrow as one glass seems to put me to sleep kinda early....I will have to try some of the other herbs you use Jerolin,but I need to get them first.But for a first effort,I'm hooked.I'll have to post a pic or tow of the louch...
Cheers,Brewzz

leedsfan
Novice
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:27 pm

Post by leedsfan » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:53 pm

I have made several batches of absinthe using red wine, white wine and sugar wash. I have been using just sugar lately because it is cheaper and I am still fine tuning a recipe. I have also been freezing whatever wine happens to be left over when I have friends over. If I start off with a sugar wash and distill it up to 85% and I wanted a bit of the wine flavor to come through in the final product when would it be best to add my wine scraps? Should I add it in the final run to get my base alcohol up to 85% or should I add it to the run after the first herb maceration? Would it make any difference? I can usually get about 3 bottles of wine scraps between batches and I usually distill 4-5 gallons at a time.
brewzz wrote:I would like to try to grow my own Pontica,but can't find a source for seeds
Try companion plants in Ohio. http://www.companionplants.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Zman
Novice
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Post by Zman » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:05 am

Unfortunately what Companion Plants is selling is NOT Roman Wormwood. There is no such plant as "Artemesia pontica-nana." It is a plant that looks very similar to Roman wormwood, but is not the true plant. The plant appears to be of the Artemisia genus, but not the pontica species. I purchased the plant from them some time ago and was quite disappointed when it arrived. I even contacted them to let them know what they were selling was not Roman wormwood and the possibility of a refund, but they never even bothered to reply to me.

leedsfan
Novice
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:27 pm

Post by leedsfan » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:10 pm

how similar is their "roman wormwood" to the real thing? could it be used in the coloring stage?

Zman
Novice
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Post by Zman » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:29 am

I have no idea as to what this plant actually is. By the looks of it it appears to be of the Artemisia genus, but I'm not certain. I definitely wouldn't use something that may have toxic properties. Play it safe.

dancatalyst
Novice
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:31 pm
Location: the hills

Post by dancatalyst » Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:18 pm

my last post got lost,so sorry if its a repost.
about using the hydrangea as colouring,mentioned on pg. 2


**WARNING ABOUT THE HYDRANGEA**i would not recomend consuming the hydrangea plant or using it for colour.from the web:
Horticultural Society Encyclopedia.
It says "All parts of hydrangeas may cause mild stomach upset if ingested; contact with the foliage may aggravate skin allergies".

i know it is a mild allergent, but the upset stomach part worries me. i have a horticulture degree and will look up the best flower to use for its blue colour and post later.
my great grandfathers great grandfather was sir henry morgan but i run a reflux still.

EuroStiller
Swill Maker
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Italy

Post by EuroStiller » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:32 am

You guys are all killing yourselves over this topic of the A. Pontica. It contains only a minimal amount of thujone. It's used in the second stage, after distillation for coloring. It has an immense amount of chlorophyll, like Melissa (Lemon Balm), and Mint, that give absinthe it's notorious green color. To be honest, I prefer Swiss absinthe, which is clear and will still louche nicely when water is dripped into it.
Italian absinthe, at least most homemade varieties generally tend to be sweetened. They contain the basics of absinthe: Wormwood, Anise seed, Fennel Seed, Star Anise, Coriander Seed, Calamus Root, Angelica Root and Seeds, Peppermint, and Hyssop. Here is where they vary: We (Italians) add some of the following based on our preferences/ regions/ and even down to the town level (talk about micro-absinthe!). Bitter Almonds, Apricot Kernels, Licorice root, Citron Peel, Bitter Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Chamomile, Cloves, Nutmeg, Cardamom, and Tonka Beans (higher in thujone than wormwood and they smell like vanilla, but very bitter). Moreover, a lot of the Italian recipes are based on maceration, since many people no longer distill spirits. Even though you are allowed to distill up to 3 liters annually. In certain mountainous areas, which shall not be disclosed, we/ they continue the tradition of making grappa and other distillati (distilled products). Don't use anything but a pot still or alembic for Absinthe. You have to go old school with this classic. We tend to use grappa as a base that is at least 60%abv. It seems that using grain ethanol strips a lot of flavor out of the botanicals, which is what you don’t want to do when making absinthe. So don’t use a reflux still either. If push comes to shove and you want a high ABV, macerate your botanicals in a lower abv spirit for a few weeks. After that you can fortify it with neutral spirits. I've been making absinthe for over 16 years now, so I like to think that I have just a small amount of knowledge about this.

P.S. BOYCOTT GREENDEVIL. THAT STUFF IS JUST NASTY!!

If you need a simple recipe, I’ll give you one and tell you where in the USA you can get everything you need from!!

EuroStiller- The Doctor

Zman
Novice
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Post by Zman » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:43 pm

Yes, but the hype about thujone is just that, hype. Thujone has little, if any, bearing of the quality or authenticity if an absinthe is truly an absinthe. If you are looking to make a true absinthe verte, according to the flavor profile of old absinthe, then A. pontica is essential. I completely disagree about grain alcohol "stripping" flavor out of the botanicals. I've made plenty of quality absinthe and have never, never experienced that.The only drawbacks to using grain over grape is you are missing out on the flavor profile added by grape, and if you are using sub-standard botanicals, then there is no grape/brandy flavor to hide it.

EuroStiller
Swill Maker
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Italy

Post by EuroStiller » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:38 pm

So are your following the infamous 1855 Pontarlier formula thats on the web:

Macerate 2.5 kilograms of dried wormwood, 5 kilograms of anise and 5 kilograms of fennel in 95 liters of 85 percent ethanol by volume. Let the mixture steep for at least 12 hours in the pot of a double boiler. Add 45 liters of water and apply heat; collect 95 liters of distillate. To 40 liters of the distillate, add 1 kilogram of Roman wormwood, 1 kilogram of hyssop and 500 grams of lemon balm, all of which have been dried and finely divided. Extract at a moderate temperature, then siphon off the liquor, filter, and reunite it with the remaining 55 liters of distillate. Dilute with water to produce approximately 100 liters of absinthe with a final alcohol concentration of 74 percent by volume.

As you can see it is in the second stage and is responsible for coloring, along with the lemon balm, which is like green ink if you soak it in alcohol, and hyssop for color and to balance flavor.

I don't mean to argue this but I've worked with these plants, I know their properties well. A. Pontica contributes very little flavor. If you must you can always substitute Artemisia abrotanum. It will color you final product and give you a very similar taste.

My Credentials:
I was fortunate enough to be home schooled, since my mother used to be a teacher, until the age of 16. At 16 I went back to Italy, and started my college level courses. I have a Laurea, 3 years, (B.S.) in Biology, a Laurea Specialistica, 2 more years, (M.S.) in Organic Chemistry and a concurrent Laurea Magistrale, 3 integrated years, (M.S.) in Pharmacology, and finally my Dottore in Medicina i Churigia, 6 more years (3 in rotation), (M.D.) in Medicine and Surgery. I earned My J.D. (Not Jack Daniel's, Juris Doctor, Lawyer) here in America in 2 years time! So I'm a Doctor of Internal Medicine, Surgeon, Doctor of Pharmacy, and a Lawyer, technically a Ph.D.

I tell you this not to "toot my ow horn", but to say, I know what I'm talking about. May family hase been making liqour and wine for centuries. I have tomes from my ancestors with so much knowledge it's frightning. So no more arguing Z! you make your Absinthe your way, and I'll make mine my way, as it should be. I've knocked back a few Hemmingway's as I write this to you. You know, Absinthe and champagne. I was too lazy to louche, LOL Like my grandma says: "Thats nice, no fight, no yell"

Keep in touch. Share some formulas!! :twisted:

EuroStiller- The Doctor

Zman
Novice
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:08 pm

Post by Zman » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:51 pm

With regards to Roman wormwood, I guess I strongly disagree with you. It contributes a substantial impact on the final flavor of the finished product. I have several bottles of pre-ban absinthe where the flavor and aroma of the Roman wormwood is secondary to the anise, and predominates the absinthium. I haven't worked with abrotanum, but I have been growing my own absinthe herbs (including pontica) for over a decade now. As for following the Duplais Pontarlier recipe, yes, I have done that one and many others from Duplais, Roret, DeBrevans, Fritsch, etc. Those volumes have a place of honor in my library.

vajravarahi
Bootlegger
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: An old village

Post by vajravarahi » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:47 am

I'd agree with Zman as far as A. pontica being capable of contributing importantly to the flavor profile. How much flavor it contributes will depend on many factors: quantity used, quality of the herb, coloring process, and relative quantities of other herbs.

It's unfortunate that it is almost unavailable in the US.

EuroStiller
Swill Maker
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Italy

Post by EuroStiller » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:54 am

I'm letting this go and removing the link for thread reply notifications. This entire topic is futile since there are so many variations on Absinthe. I'll just come back and read when I want :D

Grazie a tutti, Ciao

EuroStiller- The Doctor

dsjunk
Novice
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:24 am

Re: Absinthe recipe

Post by dsjunk » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:25 am

I'm confused about the collection of tails discussed here. If you start with 1 liter of 85% and add 400-500 ml water, then collect 1 liter of absinthe, wouldn't collecting 500 ml in tails run your still dry? (consequently scorching herbs)

Post Reply