Many Absinthe aficionados want to know more about
the drink of the Green Fairy as well as its history. So, let’s determine where is the birthplace of Absinthe.
Legend has it that Absinthe was created by Dr Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor within the Swiss Val de Travers area of Couvet. Ordinaire created Absinthe as being an elixir or tonic for his patients and it was believed to have remarkable effects on his patients.
The essential ingredient of Ordinaire’s elixir was the natural herb worwmood, artemisia absinthium, a plant named after the goddess Artemis. Wormwood has been used for thousands of years in medicine so it was obviously a good option for Ordinaire’s tonic. Wormwood has a chemical known as thujone and it was this substance that triggered the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. Thujone was reported to be psychoactive also to cause psychedelic effecs just like THC in cannabis. We now know that thujone is just not like THC and, though it can effect the GABA receptors inside the brain, one needs to ingest considerable amounts of thujone to do this and Absinthe only contains very small amounts.
Couvet is within the Swiss canton of Neuchatel within the Val de Travers region. It is renowned for being the birthplace of Absinthe as well as for being home of the distillery of bootleg Absinthe distiller and also artisan, Claude-Alain Bugnon. Bugnon was presented with an Absinthe recipe by a friend that his aunt, distiller Charlotte Vaucher, has been using since 1935. Bugnon chose to use the recipe to distill his personal bootleg clandestine Absinthe during the Absinthe ban. He was the first Absinthe distiller to inquire about the Swiss government for a license to distill Absinthe in 2004. In March 2005, the Absinthe ban was raised and Bugnon could legally distill his Absinthes as well as La Clandestine was put on sale.
Bugnon’s distillery “C A Bugnon Artemisia Distillerie Artisanale” now distills his highest rated variety of Absinthes making use of the best standard Absinthe herbs and also alpine plants. His selection includes:-
La Clandestine Originale – This was the initial Absinthe to get distilled by the Artemisia distillery in 2005. It is made out of 10 various herbs, including wormwood and anise (or anisÃ©) and is a winner of a gold medal in the Concours Nationale des Spiritueux Suisses. La Clandestine is 53% abv or 106 proof. La Clandestine is actually a classic Swiss La Bleue (clear) Absinthe.
La Clandestine with wine alcohol base – This is just like La Clandestine but is made using wine alcohol which was utilized by Pernod in the nineteenth century but is not a conventional base for Swiss clandestine Absinthes. Bugnon identifies this Absinthe as giving a “roundness in the mouth”.
La Capricieuse – This Absinthe is a tougher Absinthe which has a higher alcohol content (72% abv, 144 proof). It is based on the recipe for La Clandestine though with a higher alcohol content.
Recette Marianne – Bugnon made this absinthe as he wished to participate in the Absinthiades in Pontarlier, France. France still have rigid rules governing Absinthe – Absinthe drinks can not be labeled Absinthe as well as complying to EU regulation concerning thujone, they also have to have low fenchone levels. Fenchone is the compound found in fennel, a classic Absinthe ingredient. Bugnon created this low fenchone Absinthe particularly for the French market and it won the Golden Spoon award at the Absinthiades in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It features an abv of 55% (110 proof).
Angelique Verte Suisse – This is a classic Swiss verte, or green, style Absinthe and it’s made using 12 herbs such as wormwood and angelica. It features an abv of 72% (144 proof) and was released by Bugnon in 2007.
Bugnon’s Absinthes are obtainable to buy on some websites including his own absinthe-suisse.com.
You could make your own personal Swiss style La Bleue by utilizing the Absinthe Clear essence coming from AbsintheKit.com. This essence could be ordered online for $3.95 for 20ml that produces one 750ml bottle of Absinthe or as part of a kit to create 14 bottle of Absinthe for $29. AbsintheKit’s essences are manufactured by distilling natural Absinthe herbs and you simply need to mix the essence with vodka or everclear to manufacture a real wormwood Absinthe.
So, where is the birthplace of Absinthe? Couvet is definitely the birthplace of Absinthe and is also the location of some great present-day Absinthes.