Absinthe recipe

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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby Acrolein » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:45 am

kayabunga wrote:One person on this site had stated that they use hyssop in both the maceration and the coloring process . . . "Dick's" recipe calls for it in the maceration whereas Pontarlier calls for it in the coloring . . . anyone like to give their two cents on this? Aside from the seizure causing posibilites (again, I am SURE this is in high dosages only), it is also known in ancient scriptures as the ‘holy herb’. “"Purge me with hyssop," the Bible records, "and I will be clean." Hyssop has been used for millennia as a holy herb, consecrated for cleaning holy places. It has also been considered an aphrodisiac when combined with ginger, thyme and pepper. (thought you’d all like that little tidbit of info. :D) So, hyssop in BOTH maceration and coloring or what?

I have seen other recipes that call for Calamus/sweet rush in the maceration . . . Walt Whitman wrote 39 poems about this herb in "Leave of Grass" and the ancient Chinese and Indian philosophies tout this herb as being a "rejuvenator of the brain and nervous systems" . . . anyone use this in their mix? Just wondering.

I know most of you have posted that you only macerate for 12-24 hours (at 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit) prior to distillation. "Dick's" recipe recommends 2-3 days (but that could be due to the VAT of macerate in which they are making). I did read a post on this thread that said to macerate 7-10 days without heat . . . other places on the internet said anywhere from 2 weeks to just shy of 2 months! Thanks to you, I know that I just have to kind of 'wait and see' . . . take a small amount, slowly add pure, chilled water and look for louching, right? One idea I had was to steep the fennel, anise, and any other herbs that I decide to add to the original maceration for a couple of weeks and THEN add the Artemisia absinthium a day or so right before distillation . . . what do you think?

I've always used Dale Pendell's Swiss style http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/absinthe/absinthe_recipe1.shtml which calls for both hyssop and calamus. I use a handle of cheap vodka (filtered with charcoal) instead of pure alcohol. I've cut the maceration time in half and it was still good but inferior.

There's still much speculation about the effects of absinthe or if there are any. I think there's a mild effect but homemade absinthe has a greater thujone level than American store bought. There certainly are other potentially active herbs in the mix and calamus is one of the most interesting as it contains beta-asarone. While not itself illegal, beta-asarone is a mild stimulant/hallucinogen and a precursor used by various chemical entrepreneurs to make less reputable products. Thus the FDA heartily encourages most stores not stock/sell the asarone-free varieties. Does calamus add to the absinthe magic? What happens to beta-asarone when you distill it? No idea, but it adds some lovely depth to the flavor. There are numerous other plants in absinthe that are suspected of having some psychedelic effect (hyssop included I think) but none are more dangerous than ethanol.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby Hammck » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:28 am

by kiwistiller » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:14 pm

sbeghan, do you have an NZ source for pontica and archangelica? Gary.Angie and I have been scouring around for them (pontica mostly) but are not doing very well...


Looking for that myself, came across this site today. Now it's spring, time to plant..!
http://www.marshwoodgardens.co.nz/view_ ... =ARTGM4GW1

About to order
“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”
-- Hunter S Thompson
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby astronomical » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:35 pm

I've been growing my wormwood for years. Last year it grew 6 feet tall and flowered. Does anyone have experience using the flowers in the recipe (little yellow "buds"). I thought they had a great smell and I enjoyed them in my spirit. They didnt flourish so well this year but I'd expect them to grow abnormally tall again this coming summer. As for all this "drug" garbage, i've always thought the herbs wre supposed to combine into a perfect storm. Wormwood alone wouldn't do much, but, alltogether there is definately more happening than just alcohol. I grow my hyssop, lemon balm, anise, etc etc. I still don't always have a great louche and I'm considering using the blanc like backset in my next run. :thumbup:
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby Prole » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:15 pm

You should harvest your wormwood when the flowers are just beginning to turn yellow or the seeds may discolor your distillate. It sounds like you're on the right track. As for the louche, I don't know your recipe but you might want to use more anise and fennel. Adding water is vital as anise oils are hydrophobic. You should have at least half as much water as macerate and probably more. If your louche is still weak, clean out your pot and throw in back in with your collected tails, water and recook it.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby astronomical » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:35 am

i dislike anise and fennel and often use little to none.... I guess my spirit is often more and Eau De Absinthium.... Ill post some pics of the buggers tomorrow.. They are quite large..


As far as harvesting, I aim for silverleaf. Sparrows swoop down and start stealing leaves when its optimal. It's one of those cool things in nature. I don't get flowers every year, I don't think thats normal. Perhaps my plants just hadn't fully matured yet. Well see if they flower again this year. IM not worried about color because I distill after masceration. I often keep my absinthe clear. I dont give a flying fuck if its green or not :)
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby astronomical » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:05 pm

IMAG0478.jpg
Wormwood about 5' tall
IMAG0479.jpg
2 big plants and a small offshoot that I replanted this year...
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby johnny108 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:41 am

Just a quick note for the maceration stage: do NOT use plastic at this point! Oxygen will get into the batch, and make the herbs stale- this "stale" flavor will be noticable in the final absinthe- NOT GOOD!
(I soak 50 grams of anise seed, 50 grams sweet fennel, 25grams wormwood, 10grams star anise, 3.5 grams coriander in 2 litres of 40%abv neutral for 2+days, then redistill it (on the solids) into just about 1 liter of finished spirit. Then color it with about 5ml (not grams) of dried mint leaves.- yummy).
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby sparky marky » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:51 am

johnny108 wrote:Just a quick note for the maceration stage: do NOT use plastic at this point! Oxygen will get into the batch, and make the herbs stale- this "stale" flavor will be noticable in the final absinthe- NOT GOOD!
(I soak 50 grams of anise seed, 50 grams sweet fennel, 25grams wormwood, 10grams star anise, 3.5 grams coriander in 2 litres of 40%abv neutral for 2+days, then redistill it (on the solids) into just about 1 liter of finished spirit. Then color it with about 5ml (not grams) of dried mint leaves.- yummy).


I think most people in the forum try to avoid plastic touching alcohol over 20%abv at ANY stage of any distillation process. it should not be specific to absinthe maceration, it's just safe stillin :thumbup:
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby marco » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:31 am

I refined absynt yesterday, alcohol by me, plants by my wife! My wife really does't like sweet anise, so we used fennel seed and star anise only.

I macerated and re-distilled with the whole plants in the pot, obtaining a really fine pale yellow spirit 60% abv . Now I try making it a little green with melissa and mint... anyway after a tasting as it is, seems really good.

I noticed some secondary effect indeed! It' seem s to be very digestive! :D ( I knew about Absynt as an ingredient in Pelincovac, a croatian bitter)

I believe allucinations may occurr if you abuse of every 60% ABV liquor sweetened, and lightly toxic, as whatever herbs bitter is!

If you want to get high, even a Pint of iced Jaeger mixed half and half with 90% spirit and sugar, could do the job! :crazy:
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby Gorebyss » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:53 pm

you may want to try mine:

25 ml Absolut Citron
12.5 ml Drambuie
12.5 ml Absinthe Original
Top up with Merlins

Garnish with lime and serve on ice.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby rad14701 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:59 am

Gorebyss wrote:you may want to try mine:

25 ml Absolut Citron
12.5 ml Drambuie
12.5 ml Absinthe Original
Top up with Merlins

Garnish with lime and serve on ice.

Ummm... This isn't an "Absinthe" recipe for making real Absinthe, which is what this topic is about - not a topic about what to do with Absinthe... This topic is about duplicating real Absinthe using specific measurements of the appropriate ingredients if you have information to share...
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby Angoth » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:11 am

Ok ... i'm pretty new here and I see this thread goes back to january 2006, but nevertheless i would like to share my recipe for absinthe.
I've been drinking all kinds of absinthe since i was 18 (and that was about 28 years ago), but it was only 2 years ago that i decided to make my own absinthe. Being a bit stuborn I refused to follow the known recipes and started experimenting with all kind of mixtures (but always kept in mind the holy trinity wormwood, fennel, anise). After 2 years of distilling I finally have found the taste i'm looking for, but still looking for some improvement on the 'looks' of my favorite drink. OK ... here we go

Take 750ml self distilled neutral alcohol (I take 70% alcohol - you may ask why 70% and not 90+% - i'll explain later)
Add :
30gr wormwood
30gr fennel seeds
60gr anise seeds
5gr liquorice
3gr calamus
2gr coriander
(i do not use fresh herbs, only dried)

The reason why i don't take 90+% alcohol is because sugar doesn't dissolve very well in pure alcohol. The fennel and anise have some natural sugars which will dissolve more easily in the 70% distillate, adding some sweetness (in balance to the bitterness of the wormwood) to the absinthe.

So i macerate this for about 2 to 3 days, shaking the jar with the mixture about once every half a day.

The mixture should have a deep brown color now.

Throw everything in the alembic. Add about 1l of water. Heat & get the absint. After throwing away the heads (feel free to keep it if you can use it somewhere else) you should have about 750ml of clear absinth at 65%-70% (depending how effective you distill - mine is 65%). For the coloration, use 5gr of lemon balm and 5 gr of mint. Let it macerate for 24 hours and it will have a nice green color. Filter and your absinthe is ready.

Still having some questions about the 'look' of my absinthe when adding icewater. The 'louche' which is typical for anise-based drinks is not that 'rich' as i want to have. Is there anybody out there who knows how to get a 'rich', 'dense' louche ?

This is how my absinthe looks like :
Absinthe.jpg
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby Still Life » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:23 am

Thank you, Angoth!
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby artooks » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:58 am

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for a good proven Absint Recipe, which one do you recommend ?
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby kiwi Bruce » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:23 am

Hi Art, If you don't have a copy already, online you can find A Bedel's " Practical Treatises on the Fabrication of Liqueurs " print the Absinthe pages for yourself. That said...These are guide line recipes, an example :-
Swiss Absinthe of Pontarlier. ( converted to ounces )
Grand Wormwood dried and stripped...1 ounce
Fennel of Florence...1 3/4 ounces
Green Anise...1 3/4 ounces
let this soak in 25 Fl oz's of 95 proof Alcohol for 12 hours, dilute with one pint of water (If you can, use cheap white wine, it greatly improves the flavor) then run..using a double boiler. Collect 30 Fl oz's and color with..
Petite Wormwood 1/3 ounce
Hyssop 1/3 ounce
Lemon Balm 1/3 ounce
Very simple, but as I said this is a guide line recipe, Pontarlier had over 90 Absinthe distilleries in the 1880's...each with it's own variation of the recipe.
I prefer this one...
Swiss Absinthe of Montpellier this recipe is from P. Duplais treatise of 1871. You can also download this...
Grand Wormwood 1 ozs
Green Anise seed 2 ozs
Fennel seed 2 ozs
THE OTHER FLAVOR HERBS
Coriander seed 1 tsp
Angelica root 1 tsp
*Powdered Ginger 1 tsp
If Angelica is unavailable
Again...let this soak in 25 Fl oz's of 95 proof Alcohol for 12 hours, dilute with one pint of water ( Again...If you can, use cheap white wine) then run..using a double boiler. Collect 30 Fl oz's and color with..
Petite (Small) Wormwood 1 level tsp
(if you cannot find Petite use common wormwood)
Dried Melissa (lemon balm) 1 tsp
Dried Hyssop 1 tsp
(if you cannot find hyssop used dried mint)
Use these as a bench mark They will give you a great starting point for any further development our your own style and preferences.
DO! Let us know how it goes... Kiwi Bruce
Last edited by kiwi Bruce on Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby kiwi Bruce » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:29 am

My Tasting Notes on The Montpellier Absinthe recipe from P. Duplais treatise of 1871.

Nose :- Strong fennel sweetness

Sip straight :- Overpowering Alcohol

Dilute, no sugar :- Medium to strong louche that retains a light lime green color. Taste :- Hard heads-up bitter dominates the flavors.

Dilute, two sugar cubes :- The wormwood/artemisia note acts as a floral in a balance with the aniseed/fennel, nether dominating the other. As the initial tastes fade the bitterness of the wormwood and the slightly earthy/sweet tones of the Angelica/coriander remain in the mouth, slowly fading to the lingering bitterness one would expect from a well crafted American I.P.A.

Conclusion :- The simplicity of the ingredient list and the subtlety of the taste profile let me imagine how it could have been possible to have so many different brands, each with their own unique taste. A flavor like citrus or even vanilla would not be over-powered by the aniseed/fennel.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby artooks » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:41 am

Thank you Kiwi Bruce, As this will be my first Absinth, from what I read up until now the maceration of herbs is on thing and the coloration is another so it looks like it has a two step production.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby kiwi Bruce » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:50 am

Yes and no...Oden recommends a long (5 week rest in the fridge) that really does greatly improve the end product. So if you follow this regiment it's really a three step process. Kiwi
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby artooks » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:32 am

Hi Kiwi Bruce from what I understand we will macerate all the herbs in 750ml 95ABV alcohol for 12 hours, but in some recipes they call for 2 weeks maceration, do you think this is a short time, do we also add all the herbs in the boiler after this ? and start distillation, and we add 500ml and start distillation and we collect 850 ml and then we add the other herbs for collocations for coloration how long do we macerate ? and what will be the ABV of the end product ? do we dilute any further ?
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby kiwi Bruce » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:48 am

The 10 to 12 hours Herb Bath is an economic practicality and the time limits were set only by a profit driven trade, probably to give the best results in as little time possible, time being money. I have read, but never tested, that a prolonged maceration of the wormwood produced a wash that, after distillation, was so bitter it could not be sold. The ABV is a different story. The strength seems to accompany the quality. Top spirit was sold at 65% while "Ordinare" could by as low as 53%. "Legendre" from New Orleans was 60%. The distilleries let the wash run to the very end and collected the distilled water that came over, as this is sweet. (called "Sweet Water") and was used in the cut of the Top brands, the rest just used water. Kiwi
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby Angoth » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:33 pm

kiwi Bruce wrote:I have read, but never tested, that a prolonged maceration of the wormwood produced a wash that, after distillation, was so bitter it could not be sold.

Out of experience i can say that this is not true. A few weeks ago I had to go abroad for my job and I forgot about the absinthe macerate I made the day earlier. When I came back home after 6 days, my wife asked me what to do with 'the brown liquid' in the storage room :think: . I assumed the absint would be lost but nevertheless I distilled it. There was no additional wormwood-bitterness compared to the 24-hour macerate. However, there was a stronger fennel and anise flavor present, which wasn't bad, but made the absint taste more like a pastis.
I drank it anyway ...
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby artooks » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:42 am

Hi, I have a few questions about the Montpellier Swiss Absinthe.

1) During the 24 hour macerations before we add the herbs in the %85 Alcohol do we use mortar and pestle ?
2) After 24 hour maceration, from what I undertand some parts needs to be collected in heads so how should we perform the cuts, how much to throw how much to collect as heads is it like usual %3 Foreshots + %17 Heads %60 Hearts and %20 tails ?
3) After the cut how much we will use from the original recipe it says that for 1 liter recipe it uses %85 ABV of 950 ml Alcohol + 450ml water and collects 950 so this should be X amount of heads + Y amount of Hearts how do we combine them and do we dilute this to %72 ABV ?
4) For coloration how long do we keep the distilled spirit in the her bath ? should we already add the alcohol already diluted to %72 ABV or we do this after the coloration ?

I appreciate if you help me with these questions
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby artooks » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:44 am

This is the converted recipe is this correct could you please check the amounts ?

MONTPELLIER SWISS ABSINTHE
(for 1 liters)

Grand wormwood ...... ........... .......... ........... .......... 25 Grams
Green anise ..... .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... 50 Grams
Florence fennel .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... 50 Grams
Coriander ........ .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... 5 Grams
Angelica seeds or Powdered Ginger .......... ........... 4 Grams
Alcohol at 85% .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... 950 ml

Macerate in the still for 24 hours with the alcohol, add 450 ml of water at the time of distillation, proceed with the distillation and collect 950 ml of scented spirit. For the phlegms, proceed as we have already described.

Coloration:
Petite wormwood ....... ........... .......... ........... .......... 10 Grams
Dried hyssop flowers. or dried mint. .......... ........... 7.5 Grams
Dried melissa .. .......... ........... .......... ........... .......... 7.5 Grams
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby kiwi Bruce » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:27 am

artooks wrote:Hi, I have a few questions about the Montpellier Swiss Absinthe.

1) During the 24 hour macerations before we add the herbs in the %85 Alcohol do we use mortar and pestle ?
2) After 24 hour maceration, from what I undertand some parts needs to be collected in heads so how should we perform the cuts, how much to throw how much to collect as heads is it like usual %3 Foreshots + %17 Heads %60 Hearts and %20 tails ?
3) After the cut how much we will use from the original recipe it says that for 1 liter recipe it uses %85 ABV of 950 ml Alcohol + 450ml water and collects 950 so this should be X amount of heads + Y amount of Hearts how do we combine them and do we dilute this to %72 ABV ?
4) For coloration how long do we keep the distilled spirit in the her bath ? should we already add the alcohol already diluted to %72 ABV or we do this after the coloration ?


1) Grind the seeds in a grinder...I use a pepper grinder for the Aniseed, it won't grind in my electric coffee mill.
2) No cuts...you should be using high test, like a clean sugar wash. The cuts would be made making that.
3) Again...No cuts. There is nothing left in a well made high ABV alcohol, that needs to be removed...that's already been done.
4) I cut mine to 65% and color the whole batch, you can tell by looking when you color is getting there...2 to 3 hours in warm spirit... 1 to 2 days in the fridge.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby kiwi Bruce » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:37 am

The MONTPELLIER SWISS ABSINTHE your numbers look correct.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby artooks » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:29 am

Thank you very much kiwi Bruce, Yes I will be using my All Bran wash for that but from what I have read about absinthe it is mainly said that the tails should be removed otherwise it will ruin the batch, maybe I misunderstood one point, but is there anything at least I need to be careful about tails even if I use the ready wash that all the cuts has been made.

So I only have to use a grinder, I thought I could use mortar and pestle because I used it in gin ? I do not have a grinder, does it make a huge difference using grinder vs mortar and pestle ?

I could not find Angelica seeds so instead will use powdered ginger and also could not find hyssop I wll use mint so is that ok also ? the amounts are also the same for these substitutes ?
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby NZChris » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:05 pm

I chop my herbs, rather than grind, so that they stay in the gin basket, then run very slow, taking about five hours.

Chopped is fine enough for coloration and makes filtering easy.

I stop when I start getting oil coming over, shoot 200ml of water into the boiler, then turn the heat up and quickly collect 200ml. This is included in the tails saved for the next batch.
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby skow69 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:51 pm

Angoth wrote:Ok ... i'm pretty new here and I see this thread goes back to january 2006, but nevertheless i would like to share my recipe for absinthe.
I've been drinking all kinds of absinthe since i was 18 (and that was about 28 years ago), but it was only 2 years ago that i decided to make my own absinthe. Being a bit stuborn I refused to follow the known recipes and started experimenting with all kind of mixtures (but always kept in mind the holy trinity wormwood, fennel, anise). After 2 years of distilling I finally have found the taste i'm looking for, but still looking for some improvement on the 'looks' of my favorite drink. OK ... here we go

Take 750ml self distilled neutral alcohol (I take 70% alcohol - you may ask why 70% and not 90+% - i'll explain later)
Add :
30gr wormwood
30gr fennel seeds
60gr anise seeds
5gr liquorice
3gr calamus
2gr coriander
(i do not use fresh herbs, only dried)

The reason why i don't take 90+% alcohol is because sugar doesn't dissolve very well in pure alcohol. The fennel and anise have some natural sugars which will dissolve more easily in the 70% distillate, adding some sweetness (in balance to the bitterness of the wormwood) to the absinthe.

So i macerate this for about 2 to 3 days, shaking the jar with the mixture about once every half a day.

The mixture should have a deep brown color now.

Throw everything in the alembic. Add about 1l of water. Heat & get the absint. After throwing away the heads (feel free to keep it if you can use it somewhere else) you should have about 750ml of clear absinth at 65%-70% (depending how effective you distill - mine is 65%). For the coloration, use 5gr of lemon balm and 5 gr of mint. Let it macerate for 24 hours and it will have a nice green color. Filter and your absinthe is ready.

Still having some questions about the 'look' of my absinthe when adding icewater. The 'louche' which is typical for anise-based drinks is not that 'rich' as i want to have. Is there anybody out there who knows how to get a 'rich', 'dense' louche ?

This is how my absinthe looks like
Absinthe.jpg
Absinthe.jpg (15.14 KiB) Viewed 1065 times




Angoth, it looks like we forgot all about your question.

I think the louche is all about anise, so if you want more louche, bump up the anise and grind it as fine as possible. Add some extra fennel also to mellow the piquant sweetness of the anise. If you think the anise flavor is too dominant, then bump your other ingredients until you reach a balance. It is the absolute amount of anise that counts, not the proportion. (I use a very large herb bill.)

Resist the temptation to include star anise. IMHO that taste is just unpleasant compared to green anise seed, and it becomes overbearing very quickly. Absinthe is all about balance. And it shouldn't taste like pastis. If you like that flavor, drink pastis, it's cheap. Absinthe is a completely different creature, more complex and subtle.

The other thing to do is to practice better management of the tails. That is what they are talking about in the belle epoch recipes when they refer to the "phlegms".

Here is what mine looks like.

IMG_20170613_133227.jpg
neat


IMG_20170613_133713.jpg
louched


P.S. You know to store it in brown bottles to preserve the color, right?
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby skow69 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:11 pm

Angoth,

28 years! That's pretty impressive. You must remember horrible things like Hill's and King of Spirits. Har!

Those were days when you had to go HG because the COs were a real challenge. Lucid and Kubler were a real treat.
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
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Re: Absinthe recipe

Postby kiwi Bruce » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:19 pm

The thing here Art is don't over think this...Absinthe is a relatively simple beverage...pick a play date and throw same herbs in a big jar of good clean high test and make a batch. You can grind it in a mortar and pestle, and you can make any herb substitutions, within reason, that you need to make. You won't get a good grip on the process until you have one batch under your belt. So go for it! (I'm not saying don't ask lots of questions...that's normal in the beginning) but get your feet wet ( no...don't splash absinthe on your tootsies) make a batch! and good luck... Kiwi Bruce.
I'll just sit quietly in the corner over here, with a tall glass of something special.
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