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Mar 10, 2008 10:01 AM

Making home-made absinthe

Just wondering if any hounds have made their own. I see a number of "do-it-yourself" kits on e-bay and am tempted to try.

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  1. Impossible to make absinthe at home unless you have a still. Absinthe can't be done as an infusion or by compounding.

    What's with the big deal with absinthe anyway? It's all hype to me... and I will ride the wave and make it if I have to.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      It's that it's been banned for decades and is now available again. Most Americans won't like it due to the overtones of black licorice provided by the anise that plays a big part in the flavor profile.

      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

        I guess these kits make something along the lines of an "absinthe-like" liqueur. I enjoy the licorice flavor in Pernod, etc. I'd like to try it, but it's not available in Michigan yet as far as I know. Guess I'll have to take a road trip to Chicago.

    2. St. George in Alameda, California, the only current domestic maker of Absinthe, uses brandy as a base. I assume you could take some brandy and infuse it with various botanicals such as fennel and anise.

      Of course, you want to be very careful with wormwood as it's poison.

      1. JMF is right; you have to have a still if you intend to make it drinkable. We made it once by soaking 151 rum with all the essential herbs and while it was a lovely olive green, it was VILE in taste. That didn't prevent us from trying to drink an oz or two in hopes of seeing the 'green fairy' and I must say that the dizzy/stoned feeling you get was not remotely worth the evil hangover I had the next morning. The worst hangover in my life--not that I've had all that many but I doubt I could top this one if I tried.

        Not to be daunted, we did more research and tried again. This time we made a fresh batch using distilled alcohol (very high proof although I can't remember exactly what the % was), soaked with all the herbs, and finally distilled it. This of course creates a clean clear liquor (i.e., the green is removed in the distilling process). The flavor was far more refined than the previous tincture and retained the anise very well; it was really quite tasty and intensely flavored. We soaked a couple of mint tea bags in the liquor to give it back a green tint.

        We then ran the original 151-blend through the distiller and it was also tasty and drinkable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TimeMachine

          I did a similar thing by soaking a pound of wormwood I got from a healthfood store in a bottle of Pernod and letting it sit for a couple weeks. Pretty vile, but Pernod is pretty vile to begin with. I don't know how much thujone leached in, but it really wasn't worth drinking. Imagine drinking a glass of bitter licorice. Now imagine drinking it with your head firmly lodged in an elephant's butt.