Many Absinthe aficionados wish to know more details on
the drink of the Green Fairy as well as its history. So, let’s find out where is the birthplace of Absinthe.
Legend has it that Absinthe was created by Dr Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor in the Swiss Val de Travers area of Couvet. Ordinaire produced Absinthe as being an elixir or tonic for his patients and it was believed to have extraordinary results on his patients.
The key ingredient of Ordinaire’s elixir was the herb worwmood, artemisia absinthium, a plant named after the goddess Artemis. Wormwood has been used for thousands of years in medicine so it was a good choice for Ordinaire’s tonic. Wormwood contains a substance called thujone and it was this chemical substance that induced the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. Thujone was reported to be psychoactive also to lead to psychedelic effecs similar to THC in cannabis. We now know that thujone isn’t like THC and, although it can effect the GABA receptors in the brain, a person needs to ingest considerable amounts of thujone for this to happen and Absinthe only is made up of very small amounts.
Couvet is in the Swiss canton of Neuchatel in the Val de Travers region. It is famous for being the homeland of Absinthe and for being home to the distillery of bootleg Absinthe distiller and also artisan, Claude-Alain Bugnon. Bugnon was given 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 very own bootleg clandestine Absinthe in 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 raised and Bugnon can legally distill his Absinthes and La Clandestine was placed on sale.
Bugnon’s distillery “C A Bugnon Artemisia Distillerie Artisanale” now distills his excellent selection of Absinthes making use of the best classic Absinthe herbs and alpine plants. His range includes:-
La Clandestine Originale – This was the very first Absinthe to get distilled by the Artemisia distillery in 2005. It is created from 10 distinct herbs, which includes wormwood and anise (or anisÃ©) and it is a winner of a gold medal during 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 similar to La Clandestine but is created using wine alcohol which has been used by Pernod in the 19th century but is not a conventional base for Swiss clandestine Absinthes. Bugnon explains this Absinthe as supplying a “roundness in the mouth”.
La Capricieuse – This Absinthe is a tougher Absinthe with a higher alcohol content (72% abv, 144 proof). It is based on the recipe for La Clandestine though with a greater alcohol content.
Recette Marianne – Bugnon made this absinthe because he wished to be in the Absinthiades in Pontarlier, France. France still have stringent rules regulating Absinthe – Absinthe drinks can not be labeled Absinthe and as well as complying to EU regulation concerning thujone, they likewise have to have low fenchone levels. Fenchone is definitely the substance seen in fennel, a classic Absinthe ingredient. Bugnon developed this low fenchone Absinthe particularly for the French market plus it won the Golden Spoon award at the Absinthiades in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It has an abv of 55% (110 proof).
Angelique Verte Suisse – It is a classic Swiss verte, or green, style Absinthe and is produced using 12 herbs including wormwood and angelica. It features an abv of 72% (144 proof) and was launched by Bugnon in 2007.
Bugnon’s Absinthes are available to buy on many sites including his own absinthe-suisse.com.
You could make your own Swiss style La Bleue by utilizing the Absinthe Clear essence coming from AbsintheKit.com. This essence may 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 produced by distilling natural Absinthe herbs and you simply have to mix the essence with vodka or everclear to create a true wormwood Absinthe.
So, where is the birthplace of Absinthe? Couvet is definitely the birthplace of Absinthe and is particularly the location of some great current day Absinthes.