Saturday, April 19, 2008

Q: Where to Find Legal Absinthe in Indianapolis

A reader raised this question in a thread below, and it made me wonder. Lucid -- one of the four or so absinthes tested and determined legal last fall -- is readily available at better liquor stores. (I'm fairly sure I've seen it at Kahn's.) To refresh your memories, a New Orleans chemist found a way of testing for thujone, the chemical compound in wormwood thought to be harmful. Turns out most commericially made absinthe falls well within government guidelines and is legal after all. As the government tests and clears more of these liquor brands, we've seen a resurgence of absinthe in the marketplace (although I've yet to see anyone serving it the traditional way with a tall glass, ice cold water and sugar cube on a slotted absinthe spoon.) The four liquors tested and cleared by the government last fall were: Lucid, Green Moon from France, and two Swiss absinthes both made by Kubler.

Are there any others to try? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting information- absinthe is legal to possess and consume in the US. The sale of it has however has been prohibited.. making points 1 & 2 kind of irrelevant. Thujone is also found in other herbs, some of which we use regularly. A few absinthes that are undoubtedly hard to find, but domestically avail- incl. one that is domestically distilled- St. George Absinthe Verte, and Absinto Camargo. I've never tried either, and some reviews are iffy. I have always ordered, and never had any shipping issues with Liqueurs de France. They sell only the better absinthes that are produced worldwide, and also an interesting selection on liqueurs and high end rum. I truly wish absinthe hadn't gotten so "in vogue," it's annoying hearing and being asked which one gives you the best "effects". It's a wonderfully complex aromatic, herbaceous spirit, but that's all. Any effects you feel are from imbibing what is a high proof spirit. Most are 68-80 percent alcohol by volume and even after diluting it is still a potent tasty beverage. BTW, I have found a light absinthe helps with an upset stomach.. so you can always claim that afternoon nip is medicinal.

Anonymous said...

Leave out the sugar. If you have a good absinthe it's unnecessary.

John said...

I happened to be at Kahn's tonight, and Mr. Kahn (? - the owner) was there, getting ready to repaint the floors.

He said they're getting their first Lucid shipment in on Tuesday, of several cases worth, and he plans to charge $49.99 per bottle. I think what you might have seen at Kahn's is a similarly "green" bottle of "absinthe," but one that was probably czech. ?? Maybe?

Huzzah?

Lance said...

I truly wish absinthe hadn't gotten so "in vogue," it's annoying hearing and being asked which one gives you the best "effects".

Hi Anonymous! Which one has the best effects? It's the stuff with high thujone levels isn't it?

Or should I be buying something with a real nice fancy label and French words on it?

braingirl said...

John, thanks for checking at Kahn's. The owner there who you probably talked to is Jim Arnold.

bk said...

St George Distillers in CA became the first American commercial producer since 1912. Availability for Absinthe Verte is very limited and the product is expensive ($70 retail). I had a chance to try it last month and it is very rich, intense, and strong. It actually took quite a bit of dilution. It is my hope that there will be a little bit for IN by fall. Some interesting background at two sites

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/05/MNQJTO9FM.DTL

and

www.stgeorgespirits.com/absintheVertemovie.htm

WYA! said...

There is a very interesting interview with Lance Winters of St. George spirits(maker of absinthe) during Hour 2 of the March 16th Food Talk show.It is very interesting and really whet our appetite for it.

http://wor710.com/pages/48777.php?

John said...

I forgot to mention that Kahn's just had an absinthe tasting about a week ago, with (and the title escapes me) someone with expertise in absinthe serving. Perhaps they'll do something like that again with the Lucid.

Anonymous said...

I have been unable to find any info that Kahn's had an absinthe tasting.. they had an Anise (Licorice) Liqueurs tasting on the 18th. That would be things like Sambuca and Ouzo. Absinthe isn't a liqueur.. does anyone know if they actually had Absinthes?? Which ones, or was that bad info?

Anonymous said...

Picked up Lucid at Kahn's, screened glass label design is pretty bad. I'd much rather have a fancy French label than the ugly green eyes! Comparing it to Jade Liqueurs selections, it's good for the money. Not nearly as complex as the Jades, but nice for an easily available absinthe. At least this way you can try it to see if you like the anise-fennel heavy spirit, before plunking down cash for the higher-end ones. T. A. Breaux was consulted to create Lucid for Viridian Spirits so the similarity is there.