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Episode 50: Lucid Absinthe
Episode 509th April 2021 • Liquor and Liqueur Connoisseur • Matt Birchard
00:00:00 00:30:04

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Episode 50 features Lucid Absinthe Superior, the first legal absinthe sold in the United States after a 95 year ban. The bottle for the tasting is 375mL at 62% ABV, or 124 proof.

Enjoy this episode with some Lucid Absinthe, and be sure to dilute with cold water to experience the "louche" or spontaneous emulsification that turns the drink cloudy.

Lucid's official website: http://www.drinklucid.com/

Brief Historical Timeline:

  • 1780s - Absinthe is created by French ex-pat Dr. Pierre Ordinaire in Couvet, Switzerland
  • 1797 - The recipe is sold to Major Henri Dubied who produces it with his son in law Henri-Louis Pernod
  • 1805 - Henri-Louis Pernod sets up a distillery in Pontarlier, France to make absinthe, creating the first commercially available brand: Pernod Absinthe, and providing the genesis for global spirits conglomerate Pernod Ricard
  • Early 1800s - Absinthe grows in popularity, influencing the original name for French happy hour, l'heure verte, or the green hour
  • 1860s - Phylloxera insects ravage the French wine industry, driving up wine prices and spurring consumption of absinthe
  • 1880s - The French were drinking 36 million liters of absinthe a year
  • Early 1900s - Absinthe has fallen out of favor due to dubious health claims, inferior products, wine industry lobbying, a growing temperance movement, and governments scapegoating it for social ills
  • 1910 - Switzerland bans absinthe
  • 1912 - France bans absinthe
  • 1915 - United States of America bans absinthe
  • Early 1990s - Non-traditional artificially colored and flavored "absinthe" begins to be produced in the Czech republic
  • 2004 - T.A. Breaux, or Ted Breaux, a research scientist an absinthe historian, begins distilling absinthe at the Combier Distillery in France
  • 2007 - Ted Breaux and his business partner convince the US government to lift the ban on absinthe, making Lucid the first to be legally sold in 95 years
  • 2013 - Hood River Distillers purchases Lucid for an undisclosed sum

Key Cocktails:

Absinthe is featured in more than 100 recipes in the landmark 1930 Savoy Cocktail book, so take your pick of the classics that call for it.

Absinthe is perhaps best enjoyed with cold water to experience the louche. A sugar cube is optional.

References:

Hood Rivier Distillers

A Bar Above Seminar on Embracing Absinthe, featuring Ted Breaux

Wikipedia Article on Absinthe

The Little Green Book of Absinthe by Paul Owens & Paul Nathan

A Spirited Guide to Vermouth by Jack Adair Bevan

Contact Information:

Official show website is: www.liquorandliqueurconnoisseur.com

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Twitter: @LLConnoisseur

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