There was once no spirit more notorious than Absinthe. The so-called "Green Muse" was at the height of fashion with the café society of Paris during the early 20th century. Famous artists, writers and poets such as Hemingway, Picasso, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Oscar Wilde all indulged in Absinthe until its production was banned in 1915. With the introduction of Absente, Absinthe Refined, a new era of enlightenment beckons.
The liqueur is distilled in France by Destilleries et Domaines de Provence from a maceration of botanicals. Absente derives its brilliant color and seductive flavor from a botanical mix that includes star anise, angelica, peppermint and wormwood; not the grande variety causing the initial ban, but with a less bitter and decidedly safer Southern wormwood, known as "petite Absinthe." The liqueur is bottled at 110-proof.
Absente, Absinthe Refined is breathtaking. It has a captivating green color and broad bouquet of spicy herbal treats. The dazzling array of aromas is worth the trip alone. The liqueur's initial entry is strong, sizzling and predominantly spicy. The dry anise and mint flavors gradually begin to move forward, remaining on the palate long after the more delicate nuances have faded. Absente is complex and elegant, a classic in the making.
A standard method of preparation is to create a cocktail by slowly pouring water over sugar cubes on a slotted spoon while balancing the spoon on a glass containing equal parts of Absente and water.