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Do I need sugar, a spoon, and a fountain to drink absinthe?

While it is traditional to drink absinthe with sugar through a spoon and under a traditional water fountain, also known as an absinthe fountain, it is absolutely not necessary.

Because of the high quality grape ethanol that we use, our absinthe doesn’t need sugar! While many people like adding sugar, we have made our absinthe with the highest quality ingredients to ensure a well crafted and delicious absinthe. There is no bitter harsh flavor that you will need to mask with sugar.

Our absinthe is naturally smooth and sweet, with no artificial flavors or colors, and it is entirely gluten and sugar free! It is even vegan!

We have over 100 absinthe cocktail recipes here.

Is Absinthia Organic Absinthe Gluten Free?

Yes, Absinthia Organic Absinthe is gluten free!

We start with the best grapes, biodynamic and organic, create a clear high proof ethanol, and let our organic botanicals – artemesia absinthium (grande wormwood), anise, fennel, and coriander – rest in them. Then we distill. We bottle that as our blanche. For our verte, the distilled clear absinthe is soaked in herbs and strained and bottled.

That is it! No sugar, no gluten, no grains, nothing not grown organically. In fact, this absinthe is not only organic but vegan, if that is important to you.

Will wormwood make me blind?

It has been said that absinthe makes people go mad, blind, epileptic, and apparently it could even infect you with tuberculosis or turn you into a criminal.

This is all nonsense, of course, but there has to be a reason why that many people believe in those myths. Absinthe was very popular in the 1800s. There was a broad range of different absinthes available – some where sincere, honest products, some were cheap, badly made products that shouldn’t even have entered the market. They were made with methanol and were seriously dangerous for the human body. A similar problem was caused in the United States during Prohibition. Unregulated and untested alcohol can lead to serious problems when people take advantage of the situation for profit.

Determining between toxic, cheap and often dangerous copies of absinthe and true absinthe must have been extremely difficult for both the society and the government of the 19th Century. However, real absinthe, consumed moderately of course, is only as harmful as any other alcoholic spirit.

Absinthe herbs

In order to be a true absinthe, it must contain grande wormwood, anise, and fennel. It must also be distilled, not artificially colored or sweetened, and not have any herbs floating. Absinthia Organic Absinthe meets these requirements. Our blanche simply uses grande wormwood, anise, fennel, and coriander, based on vintage Swiss recipes.

Below is a list of common herbs that can be used to make absinthe. The principal herbs or botanicals are grande wormwood, green anise, and fennel. Botanicals such as petite wormwood, hyssop and melissa give absinthe its green color. Many of the herbs used to make absinthe can be cultivated in climates that are similar to that of the Mediterranean.

Wormwood
Latin: Artemisia absinthium. It is a member of the daisy family Compositae (Asteraceae).
Is is also called grande wormwood or common wormwood.
Use: Source of thujone and absinthe’s bitterness.
Green Anise
Latin: Pimpinella anisum. It is a member of the Apiaceae family.
It is also called aniseed.
Use: Gives absinthe its licorice flavor. Counters absinthe bitterness. Helps to promote the absinthe louche.
Fennel
Latin: Foeniculum vulgare. It is a member of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family.
Use: Give absinthe its fennel and licorice flavor. Helps to counters absinthe bitterness. Helps promote the absinthe louche.
Coriander
Latin: Coriandrum sativum – It is an annual herb in the Apiaceae family.
Use: Gives absinthe a citrus spiciness.
Angelica
Latin: Angelica archangelica (or A. litoralis) It is a member of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family.
Use: Counters absinthe bitterness.
Hyssop
Latin: Hyssopus officinalis – It is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family.
Use: Adds freshness, and produces the green color common in most absinthe.
Star Anise
Latin: Illicuim verum (also Illicuim floridanum and several other species) – It is a member of the magnolia family, Magnoiliaceae (also Illiaceae).
Use: Counters absinthe bitterness, enhances the louche.
Peppermint
Latin: Mentha x piperita – It is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family.
Use: Adds minty freshness, and produces a vibrant green color if used to color absinthe.
Very easy groundcover to cultivate. It can become quite invasive in the garden if left alone.
Elecampane
Latin: Inula Heleniumis – It is a perennial composite plant common in many parts of Great Britain. It is also called horse-heal or marchalan.
Use: It adds a camphoraceous aroma and adds a pungent and bitter taste to adsinthe.
Dittany
Latin: Origanum dictamnus – It is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family
Use: Provides a sweet-herbal taste with hints of sage and peppermint.
Easy to grow, the same genus as oregano.
Petite Wormwood
Latin: Artemisia pontica.
Also known as Roman Wormwood or small wormwood.
Use: Wormwood aromatic, mild bitterness and for coloring absinthe green.
Hyssop
Latin: Hyssopus officinalis – It is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family.
Use: Adds freshness. Typically used for coloring absinthe green.
Lemon Balm
Latin: Melissa officinalis – It is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family.
Use: Used to add a lemon/citrus flavor and for coloring absinthe green.

Grape Phylloxera & Absinthe

In the late 1800s, grape stock prices reached an all-time high, and wine was in short supply. The poor and the middle-class turned to absinthe as a cheaper alternative. Some might even say that the wide spread outbreak of phylloxera and its devastation of the French grape vines is responsible for the success of absinthe….and ultimately it’s criminalization.

Phylloxera was without a doubt the greatest threat to vineyards. Inadvertently imported to England and France on nursery stock between 1854 and 1860, the insects quickly invaded nonresistant Vitis vinifera grape wines throughout Europe. By the end of the 19th century, grape phylloxera had destroyed two-thirds of the vineyards on the continent. When it was discovered, it was called Phylloxera vastatrix – “the devastating louse”.

During the Algier War (1844-1847), the French Army made use of the medical effects of absinthe and provided the soldiers with regular rations of the liquor. When the soldiers return home to France after the war, wine was scarce and expensive due to the devastating effect of phylloxera. The veterans who had survived the war had a taste for absinthe and production had to be increased to keep up with the demand. Absinthe distilleries started to spread all over France like mushrooms.

Grape phylloxera is a tiny aphidlike insect that feeds on Vitis vinifera grape roots, stunting growth of vines or killing them. Grape phylloxera damage the root systems of grapevines by feeding on the root, either on growing rootlets, which then swell and turn yellowish, or on mature hardened roots where the swellings are often hard to see. The majority of grape phylloxera adults are wingless females. They are generally oval shaped, but egg layers are pear shaped. They are small (0.04 inch long and 0.02 inch wide) and vary in color from yellow, yellowish green, olive green, to light brown, brown, or orange. Newly deposited eggs are yellow, oval, and about twice as long as wide. Nymphs resemble adults except they are smaller. The losses suffered in France as a result of the phylloxera invasion in the 1860s was considered being greater than the total cost to the French of the Franco-Prussian war. Over 2000 hectares of vineyard were wiped out in France before the reconstruction on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks began.

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