Many Absinthe aficionados need to know a little more about
the drink of the Green Fairy and its history. So, let’s learn where is the birthplace of Absinthe.
Legend has it that Absinthe was developed by Dr Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor in the Swiss Val de Travers town of Couvet. Ordinaire created Absinthe being an elixir or tonic for his patients and it was believed to have remarkable effects on his patients.
The crucial ingredient of Ordinaire’s elixir was the plant worwmood, artemisia absinthium, a plant titled after the goddess Artemis. Wormwood has been used since ancient times in medicine so it was a good choice for Ordinaire’s tonic. Wormwood posesses a chemical called thujone and it was this substance that caused the banning of Absinthe during the early 1900s. Thujone was claimed to be psychoactive and to trigger psychedelic effecs like THC in cannabis. We now know that thujone is just not like THC and, although it can effect the GABA receptors inside the brain, a person needs to ingest considerable amounts of thujone to do this and Absinthe only consists of very small amounts.
Couvet is within the Swiss canton of Neuchatel inside the Val de Travers region. It’s renowned for being the birth place of Absinthe as well as for being the home of 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, had been using since 1935. Bugnon chose to make use of the recipe to distill his personal bootleg clandestine Absinthe during the Absinthe ban. He was the first Absinthe distiller to ask the Swiss government to get a license to distill Absinthe in 2004. In March 2005, the Absinthe ban was raised and Bugnon could legally distill his Absinthes and La Clandestine was placed on sale.
Bugnon’s distillery “C A Bugnon Artemisia Distillerie Artisanale” now distills his best rated array of Absinthes making use of the best classic Absinthe herbs and alpine plants. His variety includes:-
La Clandestine Originale – This was the very first Absinthe to become distilled by the Artemisia distillery in 2005. It is made out of 10 different herbs, which includes wormwood and anise (or anisÃ©) and it is a winner of a gold medal within 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 with wine alcohol base – This is just like La Clandestine but is created using wine alcohol which was made use of by Pernod in the nineteenth century but is not a conventional base for Swiss clandestine Absinthes. Bugnon identifies this Absinthe as giving a “roundness in the mouth”.
La Capricieuse – This Absinthe is a more powerful Absinthe having a higher alcohol content (72% abv, 144 proof). It is based on the recipe for La Clandestine however with a greater alcohol content.
Recette Marianne – Bugnon developed this absinthe since he desired to participate in the Absinthiades in Pontarlier, France. France still have rigorous rules governing Absinthe – Absinthe drinks cannot be labeled Absinthe and as well as complying to EU legislation concerning thujone, they also have to possess low fenchone levels. Fenchone is the substance present in fennel, a classic Absinthe ingredient. Bugnon created this low fenchone Absinthe particularly for the French market also it won the Golden Spoon award at the Absinthiades in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It features 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 has an abv of 72% (144 proof) and was released by Bugnon in 2007.
Bugnon’s Absinthes are available to buy on many websites including his very own absinthe-suisse.com.
You can create your personal Swiss style La Bleue by using the Absinthe Clear essence coming from AbsintheKit.com. This essence could be ordered online for $3.95 for 20ml that makes one 750ml bottle of Absinthe or as part of a kit to make 14 bottle of Absinthe for $29. AbsintheKit’s essences are made by distilling natural Absinthe herbs and you just have to mix the essence with vodka or everclear to produce a genuine wormwood Absinthe.
So, where is the birthplace of Absinthe? Couvet is the birthplace of Absinthe and is particularly the location of some great current day Absinthes.