Even though Absinthe is now legal in many countries, some people still find it hard to get hold of quality Absinthe which contains wormwood. These people either get Absinthe shipped from abroad or they want to learn how to make it at home. However you make Absinthe, whether you distill it, steep herbs in alcohol or use Absinthe kits, you will need to use an alcohol base. So, what alcohol is use in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod, who first distilled commercial Absinthe in the early 19th century in Pontarlier, France, used a wine alcohol base. He distilled the alcohol with herbs such as wormwood, fennel, aniseed, hyssop, angelica, lemon balm, star anise, juniper, veronica, dittany and nutmeg. Wine is the traditional base for Absinthe but some distillers use other types of alcohol.
If you look for Absinthe recipes online, you will see that most of them involve steeping blends of herbs in liquor like Everclear, white rum or vodka.
How Do You Make Absinthe at home?
Although some recipes online are for distilling Absinthe, distillation of liquor without a license is illegal in many countries and also you need the right equipment and you need to know what you are doing. So, are there any other ways of making Absinthe?
– Steeping and Filtering – This usually involves steeping herbs such as wormwood, fennel, aniseed, calamus root, star anise, mint, coriander seeds, cloves etc. for a few days or even a couple of weeks in the neutral alcohol base and then filtering. Only distillation will give you a true Absinthe, this will just give you an Absinthe flavored vodka.
– Using an Absinthe Kit – Most of the kits available online, like the ones from Green Devil, are just steeping kits. They are easier than finding and preparing your own herbs but you are just steeping the herbs in vodka again and making a flavored vodka.
– Using an Absinthe kit form AbsintheKit.com is a much easier and better way to make Absinthe at home. AbsintheKit.com produce essences for the Absinthe industry and the essences are produced by distilling traditional Absinthe herbs in alcohol. The distillation is done for you and all you have to do is mix the essence with vodka or Everclear and you have a true Absinthe drink.
The essences come in four different varieties:-
– Classic Green Essence to make a classic “verte” Absinthe with a thujone content of 35mg per bottle.
– Clear Absinthe Essence to make a clandestine La Bleue style Absinthe. This also has a thujone content of 35mg.
– Orange Essence to make Absinthe with a twist. This essence will make a yellow-orange colored Absinthe with a natural orange flavor and a thujone content of 35mg.
– Strong 55 Essence will make an Absinthe with a higher thujone content (55mg) and a more bitter wormwood flavor.
You can either buy a 20ml bottle of essence for $3.95 to make one 750ml bottle of Absinthe or buy a kit for $29 to make 14 bottles of Absinthe. A kit also includes a handy plastic measure and 14 artistic bottle labels. All you need to supply is the neutral alcohol base. Just remember that the alcohol content of your Absinthe will depend on your alcohol base. Be careful, drink Absinthe in moderation because it is a much stronger beverage than other spirits and fermented drinks.
What alcohol is use in Absinthe? A wine alcohol base or a neutral alcohol which does not have a strong taste of its own – Everclear, vodka or 151 rum.