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Hello everyone ;-)

Hi, I have been kindly invited to join the community by @Lloyd and @SDeurope as they thought I would fit well here. I have been monitoring the boards since quite some time now, and to be honest the friendly spirit that reigns here helped me take the leap. Well, AD is also nice and resourcefull.

So, as I know a little about you guys by reading your posts here and there, it's fair enough to give you some background about me. I have been interrested/involved in traditional absinthe since over a decade, in the early 2000's when the first drinkable products reached the market and were quite decent (or so we all thought at the time). This spirit had a lot of myth attached to it, mainly beccause of the fact that it was forbidden for over 70 years. It took the distilleries quite some time after 1988 (when it was legalized again in the EU) to get an interest in developping and putting on the market the "early days" products. At that time basically no one had an idea of what the drink should taste like, since only a handfull of people actually tasted pre-ban absinthe.

Then in 2004 the market took a turn thanks to the involvement of one very talented chemist, and the first scientifically-reverse-engineered replica of a genuine century old brand changed my/our perception of the legendary drink. The complexity, the intensity, the lenght of what he made surpassed all the existing products by far, and I was hooked for good. After a carreer change in 2007 I joined the newly established first "100% dedicated to absinthe" shop, and have been managing it for 7 years now. As I was an absinthe drinker (you'd be surprised of the amount of pros in this field who actually don't drink / don't like their products...) I eventually pushed to expand our line of products, and we developped 9 brands of our own to this day, along with some glassware. This was motivated by a 2 years period when the top shelf products became.... not as good as we wanted them to be (it's been fixed, and they are awesome again)

So I do have some oversight about what's on the market right now, what's hot and what's not, as well as an insider's point of view regarding what we all value the most here, i.e. how it's made by the big guys (well, we can't really call them big in this field, as the biggest single order for an export brand was only around 10,000 liters if memory serves right). But honestly it's a very simple drink to make, all of the regional styles recipes are out in the open thanks to the internet, the only problematic part for the hobbyist (and the pros from time to time) is to have access to quality botanicals with superior organoleptic qualities, beccause at the end of the day, it is what really makes the difference.

Please feel free to contact/ask me if you have any questions you think I could have an answer to, I'd be happy to hear from you :-h



  • Welcome to our community, @Zuliero, and feel right at home here. Absinthe brings us to a mystical place, stories about secret rituals and the forbidden booze. Quite exciting, makes me want to try some of it right now! :)

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  • Very nice introduction.

    Thank you for joining and we do hope you can find time in your schedule so that we may enjoy more of your company.


    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Thanks, @Moonshine, I am sure I will ! You are perfectly right, there is nothing like the forbidden fruit, and I am certain it greatly emphasized the curiosity of many during the 20th century. Some of them were lucky enough to have access to a quality product, as a small production remained in Spain (Tarragonna) where Pernod moved their operation after the ban was in effect in France and Switzerland, the largest producers / consumers at the time. Alas everything stopped for good in the early 70's. The preparation ritual adds to the "magic" of the drink, but is also the key to enjoy it to it's full aromatic potential. Sadly it is overlooked by many, as it is sometimes hard for a first-timer to accept this blindly, thinking this is unnecessary folklore. Reality is that the drink tastes different if prepared the right way, or the sloppy way. Even arround the absintheurs community and their forums, I am amazed to discover the number of people who deprive themselves of a world of flavors, judging a slow drip leans the same result as a generous pour of ice cold water....

  • Sounds like you fit in just right...unlike me... I have been demoted to "Gilligan" :D

  • Welcome mate.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Welcome @Zuliero :)

    It is nice to have someone with knowledge on absinthe.

    I have tried doing absinthe without even knowing what the commercials ones taste like. When finally I got a bottle to taste was happy to see that mine tasted alike.

    I would like to try again when I have more understanding of it.


  • So very glad you are here @Zuliero. Welcome!

  • @Zuliero: Wow, Absinthe! I have to admit, that I have not tried many, but I did not find one, I liked, yet. I always wondered, why there is such a big hype about it. But it is not easy to get good stuff here, if you don't know, what the good stuff is. If even the producers don't like their products themselves, that shines a new light on it. Could you point out some brands, that are worth drinking? Or better, what is your brand - and where can I get it?

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

  • I also looked here, so many to choose from and ranges from $20 to over $100 a bottle.
    No idea what the good stuff is.

  • I tasted a few good ones at the ADI conference, but I normally don't really care for it.. This one from Corsair is pretty good


    207 x 475 - 20K
  • Thanks you guys, gal, and... Gilligan :D don't worry I am sure you'll be promoted back soon enough!

    I figured you tried your hands on absinthe @Sadi with your love of raki. By the way, do you have any historical background on raki? Like, when was it invented? I have verry little knowledge on the other medditerranean anise drinks...

    @Sunshine, maybe I wasn't really clear in my statement so I'll explain it better. I was refering to a few employees of some of the 4 historical distilleries still producing it the traditionale way here. A lot of these people like the drink and promote it right! You have to understand something when it comes to absinthe, that will shed light on your bad experiences with it. To this day, anybody can put whatever they want in a bottle, and brand it as absinthe here in EU. This practice dates from the early days on the legalization of absinthe, in the 1990's. The traditional producers as I have explained were not to quick to the draw, and it let room on the market for thieves, mainly from Czech Republic and Spain, for them to put out some really nasty products made by adding some essential oils to neutral and artificially coloring it. As these wrong products didn't contain much anise essential oils (some not at all), the century old ritual of slow dillution with ice cold water had no effect, no louche, no clouding. To promote their product they invented a show for nightclubs, the infamous "czech ritual" burning sugar - which has since then been widespread by the hollywood industry (as flame looks much cooler on camera than a 4 minutes drip of water). Basically, you probably haven't tried a good brand yet, beccause knowing that you like raki, there is no way you would not love absinthe. Even the brand made in Austria is not quite on par with the recent market but I still carry it as it is an entry level product. There is an attempt to regulate this spirit category by the EU, but everyone is trying to impose their version and so far it has been unsuccessfull. It should, in theory, inform the consummer so he can differenciate a crappy product from a traditional one, some kind of AOC if you like.

    To answer your questions, I am not here to promote the shop nor my line of products Vs some other one. Simply beccause I don't like reading forums were people do that, even though it has become the norm nowadays. So with that in mind, I can tell you and @Lloyd about the distilleries that are worth a try in France, you have Combier, Paul Devoille and Les fils d'emile Pernot. These are the main actors, and each one carries a vertical line of products. Sorry it takes so long to reply but I keep being interrupted....

  • @CothermanDistilling, I haven't ried this one since it's quite difficult to put our hands on american products from our side of the pond, but he is without a doubt an interesting guy and I enjoyed Darek's book a lot. The technical problem that we have with red absinthe (natural) is that the color fades faster than the green ones, a matter of months and they turn "salmon". Still taste great, but not looking as pretty. So @ 56% it's a bottle you need to drink pretty fast... which is good for this time of the year, it's quite refreshing! On the US ground you can be interrested by Vilya spirits in montana, Delaware Phoenix on the east cost and the Marteau line made by Gwydion.

  • Do you do any consulting?

  • @grim, currently no I don't, but that might change in the near future if I manage to gain more free time... Feel free to contact me in private should you have any needs, I would be happy to help!

  • Welcome. Very interesting, I like Absinthe but have very little experience making it.

  • Thanks @heartcut ! It is much more interesting to make some if you harvest your wormwood from your own garden!

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