Some friends and I just finished a batch of Absinthe. It came out pretty good, and it definitely has enough Wormwood or enough of something to give a nice effect, beyond the basic alcohol buzz. I guess it’s similar to doing a tiny bit of cocaine. It’s a slight stimulant feeling along with a relaxed, un-anxiousness. It’s pleasant for sitting around and chatting with a few friends.
The taste OK. Wormwood is very bitter and this stuff tastes a lot better when you add a little piece of lemon peel. To serve, you add 1 shot of this stuff to 5 shots of ice-cold water. The next batch we make will have a few revisions, mainly the introduction of Citron, Increased amount of Anise and or Fennel and the removal of White Sage altogether. The White Sage is too strong and its presence is offensive to my two friends more than it is to me. I’m fine with letting it go.
Here’s the recipe as we made it, and the instructions after.
- 750 ml bottle of EverClear 151 Proof
- 1 oz Grande Wormwood
- 1 Tablespoon Anise Seed
- 1 Tablespoon Fennel Seed
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Balm
- 1 Teaspoon White Sage :(
- 1/4 Teaspoon Nettle Leaf
- 1/4 Teaspoon Corriander Seeds
- 1/4 Teaspoon Caroway Seeds
- 1/4 Teaspoon Licorice Root
- 1/8 Teaspoon Calamus
- 5 Cardamon Pods
- 2 Large Fresh Spear Mint Leaves
- 1 Large Fresh Basil Leaf
- 2 Large Stars, Star Anise
- Put one Ounce of Wormwood in a bottle of 151 Proof Everclear. Store in a dark place for one week (7 full days). Shake the bottle at least once every day. By the 7th day, practically all the Wormwood should have stopped floating. The liquid will be very dark green.
- Strain the Wormwood out of the liquid with a coffee filter and throw it away (or use it to start a fire in your fireplace). At this point you might want to taste the non-flavored, Wormwood-only liquor. This will help you to get a sense of what the Wormwood does to the flavor. It’s bitter. You’ve been warned. To taste mix 1:5 with water.
- Add all the herbs to the liquid. We ground them with a coffee grinder, but I think the 151 alcohol is strong enough to penetrate the various seeds and leaves to extract the flavorings, even without grinding.
- Return the bottle to a dark place for 2 more whole days, shaking whenever you remember to.
- Strain out the herbs.
To serve, pour 5 parts ice-cold water over a sugar cube on a slotted spoon into 1 part Absinthe. The drink will be about as strong as wine, alcohol-wise. After you try it, notice how much better it tastes with a piece of lemon peel added. 1-2 Glasses definitely does something special. All and all, this recipe is a success. We will tinker with it and then eventually consider moving on to a filtering and or distilling process to improve the product.
- Remove White Sage
- Increase Anise (or Fennel or Licorice Root or some combination of all)
- Add Citron (or possibly Lemon Peel at flavoring stage)