At the Bourgeois Pig

Listening to Chopin. Outside it’s rainy and cool. I love classical music on days like this. Last night was amazing! I’m surprised I’m not completely hung over today. The evening was absolutely magical. The drink, the place and the company couldn’t be beat. We were all looking good and showed up ready to drink. Immediately we seized plush comfy velvet seats and lounged. We were greeted by one of the hosts of the event who immediately rushed to serve us our first treat “Clandestine” a swiss blue with a gorgeous milky white louche. Scrumptious appetizers shortly appeared and we began our absinthe induced evening. Decadent.

One of the things I quickly learned: Lucid is no longer my favorite. Having tried at least ten different flavors; all distinctly different, I realize now I prefer less anise and a smoother ride. I also enjoy less sugar with most of the brands I tried. It was really insightful to be able to talk to the founders of these absinthes not just the distributors. All the people in the room, like us, were passionate about Absinthe and happy to discuss this highly social drink. It was lovely to see the fountains along the entire bar,  like sentinels of a bygone era.

I will try to elaborate a bit on why I liked some of these vintages but also give you a little rundown about them. If you love absinthe you can’t go wrong with any of these as they were all a distinct pleasure to the palette. From left to right:

1. Nouvelle-Orleans: Ted, also the founder of Lucid has created this amazing bouquet that has notes not found in Lucid. It is less harsh, more spicy, more flavorful and louches into a gorgeous pale green color. I tried this absinthe towards the end and it really posed stiff competition to the ones that came before it. Absinthe Nouvelle-Orleans is rooted in the heritage that made Sazrac cocktail and the absinthe frappe famous. It’s distillation simulates herbs and tonics of the Belle Eqpoque. Each batch is handcrafted using authentic methods and equipment used over a century ago. Delicious.

2. La Feé: La Feé, wow, what to say? This was definitely among my favorites, if not the overall winner of the taste test for me. It was like love at first drink! The color is amazingly rich, the flavor everything I would imagine Absinthe would be. It’s what I’m drinking in the picture above. Smooth, rich and very, very strong. La Feé definitely packs a serious punch. Definitely absinthe I’d have nurse or be a giggle fest! First chance I get I am getting some of this. Careful maceration in copper pot distillation ensures abundant aromas and concentrated flavor. It’s the only absinthe currently sold in the USA that is authenticated by the Musee de l’ Absinthe in France.

3. St. George: This was truly, truly good. Hands down awesome. As you sip this hidden flavors emerge like lemon peel, pepper, terragon and the usual medley of anise and wormwood. It’s complex and delicious but also refreshing. At 120 proof this goes straight to your brain so don’t be surprised if you see the green fairy! Going to snatch some of this up as well!

4. Obsello: Talking to the maker of Obsello got me excited to try his Absinthe. Can’t say enough about his enthusiasm and joy! Upon tasting Obsello I became an instant convert. I can see why he’s so proud of his baby! It’s heady and light but full of flavor. I tasted small nuances and aromas but it was the smoothness that really made me keep sipping! Plum, grape, vanilla! Absolutely decadently good! Obsello Absinthe Verte is Spain’s most celebrated absinthe, with honors including: GOLD MEDAL 2008-Beverage Testing Institute, 4 STARS Imbibe Magazine, 4 STARS-Wormwood Absinthe Society, and inclusion in Wine Enthusiast’s “Best of 2008” issue. Get some! The price tag on Obsello cannot be beat at around $50.

5. Marteau: Marteau is good but it does change depending on how much it is diluted. While I love the smoothness at 6/1 I don’t like the flavor at say 4/1. I also require lots of sugar with this one (3 cubes) at 6/1 for my perfect recipe. My individual taste buds, however, should not dissuade anyone from trying and drinking this amazing Absinthe. It’s on the herby side but it has a lot of  complex flavor that just jumps out. Marteau is also one of the costliest Absinthes in the market today at nearly $100 a bottle.

5. La Clandestine: This is the first absinthe we tried. The louche on this Swiss blue is nearly pure white. It s lighter than the green absinthes and far more refreshing. Drink liberally on a hot summer day! This absinthe marries the rich flavor of anise and fennel with the slight bitterness of wormwood.