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Absinthe (makes the heart grow fonder) January 10, 2011

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Drinks.

Apologies for the delay in posts! We moved house just after New Year’s Day, and everything has been in an uproar. I’ve generally got the kitchen sorted out, and will be discovering the joys of using a different oven. In the meantime, here’s something I carefully packed during our move.

Among the many awesome food-related gifts I received for Christmas, one of my friends gave me a DIY Absinthe kit. That is, all the spices and herbs one needs to make Absinthe, and all I was required to do was find a base spirit and mix everything up!

I wasted no time in getting some vodka and starting the process! According to the recipe provided, I had to first add wormwood, leave that steep for two days and then strain it and add the other spices. Here’s what it looked like when I first added the wormwood, and two days later.

The chlorophyll in the wormwood is apparently what is meant to give absinthe its characteristic green colour – and as you can see mine didn’t look very green….nevertheless I decided to press on. I filtered out the wormwood and crushed anise, coriander pods, fennel and other spices in my mortar & pestle and added them to the bottle. I also added angelica root. I was instructed to leave this steep for a week – here again is a shot of when I just added the spices and a week after.

To filter it, I ran it once through a tea strainer to get the big pieces out and then filtered it again using coffee machine filters to remove the finer herbs left. I must admit that even after I filtered it looked kinda brown. But it smelt like absinthe!

To serve, I poured a small amount into a glass and added sugar syrup to sweeten it. And the result? It’s fair to say it was a little….rougher….than proper absinthes I’ve tried. It tasted very strongly of anise, so I’m not sure if I ended up making actual absinthe or more like an anise-infused vodka.

I think next time (and since I have all the ingredients now, there will be a next time!) I’ll add more wormwood and possibly reduce the time the second group of spices is steeped for, just so they don’t overwhelm the wormwood.

Nero Wolfe is far too sensible to try to make his own absinthe – and of course mainly sticks to beer – but I could see Fritz attempting his own brewing, infusing and distilling. And as a housewarming present to ourselves it was certainly invigorating!



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