Many Absinthe aficionados wish to know more details on the drink of the Green Fairy and its particular history. So, let’s discover
where is the birthplace of Absinthe.
Legend has it that Absinthe was made by Dr Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor in the Swiss Val de Travers town of Couvet. Ordinaire made Absinthe being an elixir or tonic for his patients and it was thought to have remarkable benefits on his patients.
The important ingredient of Ordinaire’s elixir was the plant worwmood, artemisia absinthium, a plant named after the goddess Artemis. Wormwood has been used since ancient times in medicine so it was a good option for Ordinaire’s tonic. Wormwood has a substance known as thujone and it was this chemical that triggered the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. Thujone was reported to be psychoactive and also to cause psychedelic effecs just like THC in cannabis. We now know that thujone isn’t like THC and, even though it can effect the GABA receptors within the brain, one needs to ingest considerable amounts of thujone to do this and Absinthe only is made up of really small amounts.
Couvet is in the Swiss canton of Neuchatel in the Val de Travers region. It is actually renowned for being the birth place of Absinthe and for being home of the distillery of bootleg Absinthe distiller as well as 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 made a decision to make use of the recipe to distill his personal bootleg clandestine Absinthe during the Absinthe ban. He was the first Absinthe distiller to ask the Swiss government for a license to distill Absinthe in 2004. In March 2005, the Absinthe ban was removed and Bugnon was able to legally distill his Absinthes as well as La Clandestine was placed on sale.
Bugnon’s distillery “C A Bugnon Artemisia Distillerie Artisanale” now distills his award winning variety of Absinthes making use of the best traditional Absinthe herbs and also alpine plants. His assortment includes:-
La Clandestine Originale – This was the very first Absinthe to be distilled by the Artemisia distillery in 2005. It is produced from 10 different herbs, which includes wormwood and anise (or anisÃ©) and is a winner of a gold medal within 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 along with wine alcohol base – This is simply like La Clandestine but is manufactured using wine alcohol that was made use of by Pernod in the 19th century but is not a traditional base for Swiss clandestine Absinthes. Bugnon describes this Absinthe as offering a “roundness in the mouth”.
La Capricieuse – This Absinthe is a stronger Absinthe having a higher alcohol content (72% abv, 144 proof). It is in accordance with the recipe for La Clandestine however with a greater alcohol content.
Recette Marianne – Bugnon developed this absinthe since he desired to be in the Absinthiades in Pontarlier, France. France continue to have rigid rules regulating Absinthe – Absinthe drinks can not be labeled Absinthe as well as complying to EU legislation relating to thujone, they also have to have low fenchone levels. Fenchone is the chemical seen in fennel, a classic Absinthe ingredient. Bugnon developed this low fenchone Absinthe particularly for the French market also it won the Golden Spoon award at the Absinthiades in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It has got an abv of 55% (110 proof).
Angelique Verte Suisse – This is a classic Swiss verte, or green, style Absinthe and it is made using 12 herbs such as wormwood and angelica. It has an abv of 72% (144 proof) and was launched by Bugnon in 2007.
Bugnon’s Absinthes are available to buy on many websites including his very own absinthe-suisse.com.
You can create your own personal Swiss style La Bleue by utilizing the Absinthe Clear essence coming from AbsintheKit.com. This essence can be ordered online for $3.95 for 20ml that makes one 750ml bottle of Absinthe or as part of a kit to create 14 bottle of Absinthe for $29. AbsintheKit’s essences are made by distilling natural Absinthe herbs and you just need to mix the essence with vodka or everclear to make a real wormwood Absinthe.
So, where is the birthplace of Absinthe? Couvet is definitely the birthplace of Absinthe as well as being home to some good modern day Absinthes.