An elixir commonly used to relieve migraines and menstrual pains, absinthe became a very popular drink in the memorable Parisian scene of the late 19th century. It was well appreciated by artists and writers such as Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Paul Gauguin, Baudelaire, Picasso, Degas, Hemingway, Rimbaud, and Erik Satie, among others.
For decades, absinthe was banned and almost forgotten because of its high alcohol content. However, this bohemian spirit is currently experiencing a worldwide resurgence and fashionable nightspots in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities now offer a wide variety of beverages and cocktails made with absinthe. The elixir is produced by brands as prestigious as the German Red Chilli Head, the French La Fée, and the Spanish Lehmann.
A subtle spiciness
Produced by the German company Cannax, this is one of the rarest and most original absinthes in the market. This is due to one extravagant ingredient—a spicy chili— that gives it a distinctive and contrasting red color, and also because of its unusual bottle takes the shape of a human skull. As you open a bottle of Red Chilli Head, you perceive absinthe’s usual anise aroma. In the mouth, you’ll taste the typical flavors of anise, artemisia leaves, sweet fennel and other herbs, ending with a persistent spiciness that remains happily on the palate, strengthening all its flavors.
A natural wonder
The French company La Fée produces delicate absinthes, including its praiseworthy flagship product: La Fée Absinthe Parisienne. It is a collaboration between George Rowley, the owner of the brand, and Marie-Claude Delahaye, historian and founder of the Museum of Absinthe in Auvers-Sur-Oise, northwest of Paris, France. This liquor is made from an all-natural recipe that follows the canons of absinthe preparation from the 19th century. Therefore, the level of absinthe has been increased by 60 percent, and the star anise has been slightly tempered, which ensures that the aroma and flavor of fennel, coriander, and hyssop remain stable and latent. La Fée Absinthe Parisienne comes in bottles with protection against ultraviolet rays, which can quickly damage the flavor of a liquid that is as prized as it is flavorsome.
The elegance of yore
The Lehmann wineries and breweries were founded in 1870 in Tortosa, Spain. Since then they have been producing delicate spirits and a broad range of absinthes, including the Absinta Lehmann Antiqua Formula 1895. With its trademark olive green color and herbaceous aromas, this absinthe is elegant, tasty, and intense. In the palate, it is creamy and smooth, with an excellent balance of sweet and bitter flavors. With a long, balanced and persistent finish, it is especially delicious alone, and always slightly cold. ■