Why Absinthia?

19113905_10213171025690691_1755662778418684482_nAbsinthia began making absinthe in 1997, ten years before the ban on absinthe was lifted. She is unique in that she not only makes absinthe but embodies it, serves it, and brings energy to the experience of absinthe.

Her knowledge of the history of absinthe is extensive, as is her understanding of the palate of today’s connoisseur of cocktail culture. She has carefully crafted her absinthe using certified organic and biodynamic grapes from California, and certified herbs – wormwood, anise, fennel, and coriander – from Oregon.

Absinthia absinthe is smooth, drinkable, elegant. Because it is made with fresh wormwood, it has a natural sweetness and is delicious with 2.5 parts cold water, or in a cocktail such as a Sazerac, a Corpse Reviver No 2, or in a glass of Champagne, a Death in the Afternoon. While some have warned her about “giving away the farm,” Absinthia wants to share with you the hundreds of ways to enjoy absinthe in her collection of cocktail recipes that she has been collecting for over a decade.

Absinthia Organic Absinthe is available for distribution in California and is perfect for your bar, restaurant, hotel, or bottle shop. For the home user or to try it at a restaurant or bar, please select Where to BuyPlease find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Traditional Flavor. West Coast Ingredients.

Certified Organic. 100% Woman Owned.

Absinthia Organic Absinthe. Cheers!

Testimonials

Peter Mustacich, owner of Alchemy Bottle Shop: “In a category full of intense, overwhelming flavors, Absinthia really stood out to us for its elegant simplicity. We love that it’s locally made, and the clean, uncomplicated approach really lets you taste the difference that quality ingredients make. This is a great introduction to absinthe, but also something an experienced drinker can appreciate.”

Joe Barwin, Bitters + Bottles“It’s so so so very good, me and the team were all fanning out over it when we sampled last week.”

East Bay Express: “Compared to other absinthes I’ve tried, Absinthia’s Absinthe Superieure Blanche is lighter, cleaner, and exceedingly smooth.”

Justin Sheffey, Bergerac: “One of the best that I have tasted. It is a very fun absinthe to play around with in cocktails and very clean at the same time if you are in the mood to sip on it.”

Scott McDonald, absintheure: “Producing a true organic absinthe has been a dream of hers for quite a few years, and I remember when she began this journey. She stuck to her dream despite the challenges, and did not quit until she accomplished her goal. I admire that…WHEN you buy a bottle to support her as you should, open it and have a glass. Then re-cork it and wait at least a week. I have found it improved greatly over the short time it was opened. I would compare it to Copper and Kings blanche, but without the overpowering brandy base that obscures the herbs. It is correct, and better than many absinthes being made. Let’s rise up to support this vibrant, smart woman who loves the absinthe world so much, as to take on this challenging and time consuming process. BTW, I enjoy this most at 2.5:1 [water:absinthe].”

Paul Nathan of HBO, MTV, and Star Trek Voyager: “One thing that I am super excited about is our new sponsor, Absinthia. Absinthia is the first absinthe I ever tasted. About twenty years ago Scott Levkoff invited me to an absinthe party in a private home.  The only absinthe they had was made by a lady who went by Absinthia.  I loved the taste and the lore and the vibe. That is what sparked my interest in absinthe that later led to the absinthe parties, the only absinthe bust in US history, a website, and a book deal. Absinthia truly changed my life. She recently started producing absinthe in the US legally for the first time.  Her first product is a Swiss Style Blanche, and it’s honestly one of the top five brands I have ever tasted. It’s light but complex, floral but not cloying. She did an amazing job, and I am super stoked to have her as our sponsor.”

 

Where to Buy

Absinthia Organic Absinthe Superieure Locations

Absinthia Hoodies, Tees, and Baby Onesies

Absinthia's Absinthe hoodies, women's tees, and baby onesies
Absinthia’s Absinthe hoodies, women’s tees, and baby onesies

Women's Tee frontAbsinthia’s Bottled Spirits Women’s Tee!
Hand sketched wormwood and a beautiful green fairy adorn these unique black women’s cut tshirts. Art printed on Jerzees Ladies 50/50 t-shirt.
Only a few were made in each size so please don’t hesitate to order for yourself or your absinthe loving friend! Available in small, medium, large, and XL.

Sizes

Hoodie front

Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits Hoodie!
Hand sketched wormwood and a beautiful green fairy adorn these unique black hoodies. Art printed on Jerzees Zip Hoodie.  Only a few were made in each size so please don’t hesitate to order for yourself or your absinthe loving friend! Available in small, medium, large, XL, 2XL, and 3XL.


Sizes



Onesie front

Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits Onesie!
Hand sketched wormwood and a beautiful green fairy adorn these unique onesies. Art printed on Bella Infant One Piece. Only a few were made in each size so please don’t hesitate to order for your baby or your friends baby! Available in 3-6 month, 6-12 month, 12-18 month, and 18-24 month.

Sizes


 

Absinthia’s Story

Absinthia’s Story

proust-funeral-750x834Shortly after my second burn, in November, 1996, I attended a San Francisco Cacophony event, hosted by Miss P, founder of the Burning Man Center Camp Cafe. At the Marcel Proust wake, I had my first taste of absinthe. Something about it pulled me in…I remember seeing this green elixir in a crystal bowl with a ladle, and a pitcher of cool water nearby. I asked what it was and was told, absinthe. OH! I laughed nervously, walked away, and walked back. I had heard of absinthe, and I was intimidated, but it was so pretty, glowing green and fragrant. I served myself my first glass. And then another. Pretty soon, the evening became a magical and enchanted one, full of friends new and old, a giggly chill space, gardenia flowers being passed around, and of course, glasses of green absinthe everywhere. The man who made it, Tom Sheft, gave me the recipe, which claimed to be from a family in the French countryside. I immediately had my doubts, given that the recipe called for everclear, wormwood and anise tinctures (available at a small shop in the Mission), and yellow and green food coloring. And yet, I knew I had to make this stuff.

stock_bixbutlglass_b5I had graduated NYU just a couple years earlier where I had studied photography and art history as an undergrad. I pursued absinthe as an art historian, and learned that absinthe has been called the liquor of aesthetes. It was drunk by – and influenced the art of – Vincent Van Gogh (though not what made him cut off his ear), Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, and in modern times, Marc Stock’s gorgeous, “The Butler’s in Love – Absinthe,” the original hangs in Bix, the San Francisco restaurant. I was hooked. 

I bought all the ingredients and brought them home. I scrapped the labels off the Everclear bottles, followed the recipe, and suddenly I had two bottles of absinthe in front of me. I mean, as close to absinthe as you could get in San Francisco in 1997.

I was working as a photographer for the ACT at the time through a friend at Fairtex, where I was training as a Muay Thai kickboxer. She told me about the costume rental department, and I headed there for a dress to wear to my friends’ Victorian themed bacheror/bachelorette party. 

548367_320373441356962_1018636409_nI descended the steps of the Huntington Hotel on April Fool’s Day, 1997 wearing a green gown with beaded dragon flies, in an ancient hallway with green fabric walls, carrying two bottles of green absinthe. My first two bottles. My friend Hernan Cortez said, “We will call you Absinthia.” I served both bottles of the absinthe, and shenanigans ensued.

I came home and made more. A few months later, I served some at a Burning Man fundraiser – back in the day when Burning Man itself needed fundraisers – and received my first press! Silke Tudor said, “the Absinthe Underground dispenses an evil-looking concoction that contains Everclear and resembles Joy dishwashing liquid. “It tastes a little, um, soapy,” says a man clutching a yellow cocktail in one hand and a Speak-and-Spin barnyard animal toy in the other, “but it packs a punch that is not altogether unpleasant.” 

Reading that, I had my mission. I needed to make a better absinthe – better ingredients, better tasting. Ultimately, I knew it had to be organic, too. 

19113905_10213171025690691_1755662778418684482_nI worked on the flavor as I continued going to Burning Man and serving it at parties at Media Mecca. The event offers a way for its participants to find their role in the community – visionary, builder, gate, ranger, and so on. I was the go to gal for absinthe at Burning Man. I served it at the Lost Horizon Night Market and was featured in a story in NPR. Marian Goodell, CEO of Burning Man, contacted me seeking advice and absinthe for an absinthe pop up bar in First Camp. We brought a giant barrel of my absinthe to it the first year, and served it in a wooden green hut to participants.

1452230_10202463555530629_1687430269_nThrough the Burning Man community, I served absinthe at Anon Salons, Artumnal Gatherings, private parties, even a wedding. I was interviewed in PigDog Journal, poured absinthe for guests at Flaming Lotus Girls fundraisers, was featured in a podcast called Slow Death in the Afternoon, interviewed for the blog Alcohol Enthusiast, and served it at the opening of Burning Man friend Maya Reynold’s menswear store in Downtown LA, Clade

.

Time went on, I continued making my absinthe and working on the recipe, and on March 5, 2007, the ban on absinthe was lifted (add link to article of absinthe always being legal just the ban was lifted), and brands of absinthe started turning up. Absinthe Brasserie and Bar was able to sell actual absinthe and not just wormwood free Pernod!

.

10384926_10204263684852737_658217673524733671_nIt took a few years more for me, but in January 2013, I completed my business plan for Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, LLC through the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, and was awarded Best Business Idea! I launched the LLC and spent the next four years dealing with lawyers, bureaucracy, and on the good days, master recipe development with my distiller, Marian Farms. We ultimately referenced several vintage recipes, combined two that would yield results similar in style to what I was making, and ran test batches using fresh, certified herbs – wormwood, anise, fennel, and coriander – along with the farm’s organic, biodynamic grapes. The copper pot still on the farm is a beautiful work of art.

I was introduced to a wonderful artist, Kate El-Bizri, and we started working on labels. All my friends said, “You have to call this Absinthia™ because that is what it is! This is Absinthia’s absinthe!” Kate designed a label that I loved with all my heart, brand name Absinthia, and I submitted it to the TTB, The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It took a couple of months to learn it was rejected. We created a new brand name and tried again. Rejected. We created another brand name and tried again. Rejected. I hired another lawyer, this one in DC just down the street from the TTB. He suggested we start with the first label and see what happens. He submitted it, and I heard crickets for months. One day he called and told me I was the most patient person on the planet, and that the absinthe labels had passed! He confessed to me that he had submitted the Absinthia label and it was rejected, and forgot to connect with me, so after it passed the deadline, he submitted it again. It was approved! 23 months after the first one was submitted! That’s right, I spent two years working on labels.

There were times I really regretted launching the business. I was too legal to bootleg, and not legal enough to sell. Things seemed to drag on, and I felt like I couldn’t get anywhere. Then, suddenly, everything happened at once, as it does. The absinthe was in barrels, the Feds approved the formula, and my product was ready. I found a bottler. I had approved labels, and suddenly the glass bottles, corks, and capsules were being ordered, the absinthe being shipped from the distiller to the bottler. One of my bottler, Coastal Spirits customers, Martin of Geijer Spirits, offered me his distributors license at no cost, just to help me get my first customers and get the business off the ground. After the first week of sales, ABSINTHIA Absinthe Superieure Blanche is available in five bottle shops in the East Bay, one restaurant bar (Sidebar), and Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco, with many more to come! I’ll keep the Where to Buy updated so you know how to easily track it down.

Thank you for reading my story!


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FAQ

What is absinthe? Why was it illegal for so long?

Is today’s absinthe the same as what they drank in the 1800s?

Absinthe is an anise and wormwood flavored distilled spirit, made from aniseed, fennel and wormwood. Absinthe takes its name from the main adjunct flavoring aside from anise, Artemisia absinthium. The common French name for this species is “grande absinthe”.

Absinthe was so wildly popular and well loved, the French wine industry created lies and criminalized absinthe in order to compete…IN FRANCE. Think about that! 

I’d like to thank The Wormwood Society for clearly explaining absinthe as follows:

  • Most of the absinthes now available in the US are authentic.
  • Absinthe is not a drug or poison and it never was.
  • Thujone is not a hallucinogen, and it’s not related or similar to THC.
  • You can’t make real absinthe at home or in a commercial bar, legally.
  • Flaming absinthe has never been an authentic absinthe tradition.
  • Authentic absinthe isn’t very bitter. Absinthe really is legal

Authentic, pre-ban style absinthe will have these characteristics:

  • Contains Artemisia absinthium wormwood as a primary ingredient.
  • Has a main characteristic flavor of aniseed and absinthium wormwood.
  • Does not contain sugar or other sweeteners. (it will not bear the term “liqueur” on the label)
  • May have a mildly, but not exceptionally bitter taste.
  • Colored by infusion of natural herbs, although there are also clear, uncolored types. Does not contain artificial or FD&C colors.
  • Other traditional absinthe ingredients include petite wormwood (Artemisia pontica), melissa (Melissa officinalis) and hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis).

No laws have changed, and no ban has been lifted. Absinthe has been technically legal since at least the 1960s, possibly as early as the 1930s.  Contrary to claims made by some companies, federal bureaucrats were not pressured into legalizing absinthe, it was merely demonstrated to them that it was already legal.  Due to changes in the understanding of these regulatory issues on the part of both the agencies and the producers, genuine absinthe is once again available legally in the US.  Here’s why:

The law states that all foods and beverages containing Artemisia species must be thujone-free.  However, according to the law, “thujone-free” does not literally mean “zero thujone.” In order to determine thujone content, an official method for thujone analysis was prescribed.  Although the information has been published and accessible since the 1960s, prior to 2007 it was not widely known that the threshold of tolerance—the fudge factor—for this method was ten parts per million, about 10 mg/L.

This effectively legalizes most absinthes, since authentic absinthe contains only minute traces of thujone in the first place. The highest thujone levels so far detected in pre-ban samples is 48.3 mg/L, the lowest was “none detected.”

Many pre-ban era absinthes would be legal in the US today by modern government standards.  Discovering this was a major breakthrough for absinthe in the US. Most of the laws that impact absinthe in the US are out-dated, convoluted, un-evenly enforced, and misunderstood even by those charged with enforcing them.

Want to learn more? Check out this fantastic Absinthe Documentary.

What is the difference between VERTE and BLANCHE absinthe?

Once distilled, absinthe is a gorgeous, brilliant clear. Because of the anise in absinthe, it turns a milky white with a slight blue haze when when water is added. This is called the louche. Blanche is French for white, thought Absinthe is more widely known as a verte, or green, spirit. Traditional absinthes obtain their green color strictly from the chlorophyll of whole herbs, which is extracted from the plants. After distilling, the absinthe that is produced is clear, and that is the Blanche that we bottle. We then take that Blanche Absinthe and steep it in several herbs, resulting in the gorgeous green color of our spirit.

The blanche will taste slightly different than the verte, and the louche will appear quite different. Why not taste them both yourself and see which you prefer?

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Contact Absinthia

Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, LLC

4200 Park Blvd #513

Oakland, California 94602

(510) 435.7051

info@nullabsinthia.com


Sazerac
Sazerac

2 oz rye whiskey
sugar cube
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Dash absinthe
Lemon twist for garnish

Prepare an old-fashioned glass by filling it with ice and dashing Absinthe over the top.
In a separate mixing glass, muddle the sugar cube and Peychaud bitters together until the sugar is dissolved. You may add a drop of water to help this process along, but be conservative.
Add the rye whiskey and ice to the bitters mixture and stir for 20 seconds until cold.
Spin the glass to coat with absinthe and discard the ice.
Strain the whiskey mixture from the mixing glass into the old fashioned glass.
Express the oils from the lemon twist over the glass, and wipe the rim of the glass with the peel yellow side of the peel. You may discard the lemon peel if you wish, or add it to the glass as garnish.

Cheers!

Click here for over 100 delicious Absinthe Cocktail Recipes!

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