Ah, Absinthe! What mysteries are associated with this drink? The myths and legends of driving people to madness prompted a near world-wide ban on the drink.
Now some might ask what does absinthe have to do with the Celtic world. Well the use of worm wood was well known and even dates back to ancient Egypt. In addition, the Greeks who had trade with Celts would produce a wine tinctured with wormwood (absinthites oinos). So, it is possible that the ancient Celts would be familiar with such a drink.
It was experiments in 1864 that blamed thujone found in European wormwood for the effects. Later research has now indicated that one would have long passed out from the alcohol content before even getting close to the toxic effects of the thujone.
Instead most of the blame must be put down to just excessive drinking and a smear campaign by the growing temperance movement of the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. Now it must be noted that without loaching, that is diluting the absinthe with cold water the potency can be something to behold. One such absinthe which I enjoy without loaching is produced by Jade Liquers of France. This particular bottle out of the fine absinthes they produced is Espirt Edouward 72 and the 72 in the title is the alcohol content by percentage.
More on the fine liquor in a moment but I think knowing a bit about the company is quite intriguing. Jade Liquers was founded by a chemist T.A. Breaux. He went on a quest to find remaining unopened bottles of 19th century absinthe’s and old recipes that survived and then begin to reverse engineer to recreate the absinthes of La Belle Epoch.
Now Espirit Edouard is a reproduction of the highest standard of the House of Edouard Pernod which was considered some of the finest absinthe in the world of that time. This absinthe has a fine green tint and is delightfully aromatic. Undiluted the taste has that high alcohol burn that you would expect but the taste to the palette is still delightful with its strong anise taste and aroma. Loaching and/or adding sugar produces a still delightful anise taste with just a bit of loss of the texture and ‘bite’ of less undiluted liquor.
Will you dance with the Green Fairy after a good glass of this fine liquor? Perhaps, but it will be a dance well worth having.