Czech Absinth Haters

Prague 1968

The Brave Students of Prague in 1968

Compare this picture with these words posted from Amsterdam in 2007

During the Prague Spring of 1968, absinthe was popular among students and jazz fans. Old Czech jazz musicians still recall all-night, absinthe-fuelled jam sessions during those heady months. When the Soviet tanks rolled into Prague, an unknown student, holed up in a bar and lacking the means to make a petrol bomb, remembered the high alcohol content of a local brand of absinthe. He quickly improvised a Molotov Cocktail from a bottle and a tea towel and hurled it into action against an onrushing Uncle Joe. The tank crew escaped the resulting inferno, but only barely. The flaming sugar cube atop a Czech absinthe is really a homage to the brave unknown student, but foreign tourists don’t care, so bartenders just tell them it’s how the French used to drink it. Absinthe connoisseurs maintain that the best way to serve Czech absinthe is in the original manner. If no enemy tank is handy, the side of a building or a nearby bridge abutment will do. Any method that doesn’t involve drinking the stuff is fine.

This deeply stupid pack of lies, which is allegedly from correspondence with the BBC in London, appears on a web forum called FeeVerte.net. This invented story is also very offensive, as it is a nasty perversion of a real historic event. It seems that nothing is sacred in the minds of the warmongers who spit their poison at this ancient city.

In 5 days time it will be the 39th anniversary of the Soviet invasion, and the end of the Prague Spring.

Prague 1968

Source: Labadie Collection of Social Protest Material

40 responses to “Czech Absinth Haters

  1. Here is another load of disgraceful insults from the same thread, this time aimed at an individual who suffered under the communists:

    I have removed the name & anyone that knows the real story will be horrified. Really shameful.

    The Czech fire ritual? Ah, yes. That DOES have an interesting history!

    You see, back in the 1950’s, *NAME DELETED* father had everything going for him. He was well-in with the Party, so he had a nice home. His good looks and charm helped him along in getting whatever he wanted. Most of all, he wanted to try absinthe. He’d read all about the drink, and read translations of authors who had praised it . . . Hemingway, Wilde, and others.

    Finally, he worked through some Party connections, called in many favors, and imported a bottle at considerable expense. *NAME DELETED* just had to try this concoction so dangerous that half the Continent had banned it!

    Papa approached the bottle with his corkscrew, puffing gently on the Cuban cigar clamped firmly between his teeth.

    Slowly he eased the cork out . . . a bit more . . . just a bit more . . . and then the cat, chased by young *NAME DELETED, darted between his legs. Startled, Papa jerked the cork out, splashing 62% alcohol into his face, onto his clothes, and all over his stacks of papers. Half of his expensive bottle of liquor was on him or on the floor! He opened his mouth to curse the cat, and the cigar fell.

    Papa survived the ensuing blaze, but the burns on his face left him permanently disfigured and a ruined man. Sinking into an anti-social depression, he rapidly fell out of favor with the Party. He’d lost both his looks and his friendly demeanor. He cursed the absinthe that had destroyed his life, and this bitterness rubbed off on his young son.

    Determined to discredit absinthe forever, while still paying homage to his now-deceased Papa, NAME DELETED stewed for decades. Finally in the 1990s, he had a brilliant idea! Why not create a horrible-tasting drink, promote it as “real absinthe” (using the Czech spelling, “absinth”), and encourage people to light it afire?

    The more he thought about it, the more he liked it. After all, people would associate “absinthe” with his horrid concoction. Eventually, someone would light himself or a friend, or maybe even a bar, on fire. Absinthe would be known once again as the vile and hazardous creation that had destroyed his once-proud Papa

  2. Absintheur, I have some sympathy with what you are saying, but I expect many people outside the Czech Republic will not find these stories particularly offensive. Personally I didn’t find them to be funny.

    Why don’t you join Fée Verte so that you can express your views on this? And on other subjects too?

    Incidentally what do you think the Forum owner should do in this position? I’m sure you don’t like censorship (you posted about censorship here once, but ironically removed your own article shortly afterwards!). Should the Forum owner censor the posts you refer to? You may recall that someone posted something offensive about Hill’s once on my MySpace group, and when I became aware of how offended Tom was by it, I asked the poster if he minded if I removed his post. He didn’t, so I removed it.

  3. Actually, I believe absintheur was on Fee Verte:

    http://www.feeverte.net/archive/messages/16/563.html

    It’s an old post, but if I was in his shoes, I’d have left too.

    Sorry, but I can’t resist: Also note Ted’s “history is meaningless” arguments back then and the more recent “we’ve gone back and made everything like it was in the past” arguments now. Nothing is wrong with that but I’m just pointing out that minds can be changed.

  4. That’s ridiculous. From what I can read, the arguments between absintheur and tabreaux sound just like they were having them today.

    Just goes to show, besides the fact that Ted was right then and is right now, that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  5. “As consumers, we prefer to define that which is important to us. To allow the manufacturers to make that choice is akin to allowing the wolves to guard the henhouse. We aren’t so foolish. ” TABreaux

    So Ted should concede, by that rationale, a popular absinthe is a “real absinthe” right? Therefore producing an absinthe that you say is “historically accurate” and that all others are not “absinthe”–would be what? Promoting the manufacturer or the consumer?

    BTW, Ted is what at this point? A manufacturer or a consumer?

  6. Ok, here’s another one…since I’m in a particularly persnickety mood.

    “Like I said 20 times before, who cares about what’s past? That’s past. We are concerned about the present and we choose to get what we expect for our money. Categorizing products by our definition makes it easy for consumers…” TABreaux

    That’s great…as long as you conform to “their” definition. Allowing one person/manufacturer to “define” anything is always a mistake.

    PS. from now on I define beer as anything that contains coca cola. Follow my standards!

  7. This is Kyle’s argument: times have moved on, no more horse hair filters, but modern technology that can deliver a superior product keeping the herbal constituents intact.This is why Reality is such a hit amongst those who have not been subject to FeeVerte / Wormwood indoctrination therapy.

    Here is some more amsuing words from the potty mouth ego, the “elite absinthe enforcer”:

    “Those protocols were crap.”

    “Here I am with just a bachelor’s in microbiology.”

    “You can read a paragraph or two on how to make wine, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to make Chateau Latour,” says Breaux. “What I’ve done is, I’ve made a Chateau Latour.”😯

    “Pour it slowly,” he says. “That’s the secret to making it taste good. If the water’s too warm, it will taste like donkey piss.”

    Source.

  8. You folks are shaping up to be excellent miners of the out-of-context past, aren’t you? Especially you, Mr. Rogers. I thought you were for a kinder, gentler approach?

  9. bosshogg said:

    “Just goes to show, besides the fact that Ted was right then and is right now, that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

    and…

    “You folks are shaping up to be excellent miners of the out-of-context past, aren’t you?”

    The entire reason of me posting that link was to provide an example to Alan of Absintheur not only being on Fee Verte but being treated in a manner that is rather ridiculous (especially by professionals in the craft). So my post was not “out-of-context”. Where we’re at now, howver, is completely out-of-context.

    With you backing Ted up in this matter without any justification as to why he was right and/or why he is allowed to wishwash when no one else can, I felt a little more rebuttal was necessary. And considering all of those quotes are from my previous link–I do believe it stayed within the appropriate sphere.

    Either way, I don’t believe I breached my “kinder, gentler approach” at all, actually. Since all I did was to quote Ted and provide logical conclusions that you should agree with if “ted is right”. Now, if by kinder, gentler we mean that I should just sit by the sidelines, smile, and wave whenever something is said that’s wrong and/or unwarranted. Then yes, I’m not going to be.

    No hard feelings please. Oh, and call me Leif. “Mr. Rogers” sounds too much like…well… “Mr. Rogers”.

    PS. If you still want to hold hands and sing campfire songs, I’m always game.

    PPS. On that note, after having watched Design Star last night and seeing how Sparkle Josh got kicked off…I may not be in the mood to hold hands and sing for a while. I’m too sad.

  10. Leif writes: “The entire reason of me posting that link was to provide an example to Alan of Absintheur not only being on Fee Verte but being treated in a manner that is rather ridiculous (especially by professionals in the craft).”

    I will be amazed if the absintheur on this blog is the same as the Absintheur on Fee Verte. Given the anonymity which our blog writer here prefers, I’d put the chances on that at less than 1 in a 100. Comments, absintheur?

  11. If you want to be amazed you should check out a Seigfried and Roy show, or maybe that new historic theme park “Dicken’s World”

    Talking of history -albeit very recent – here’s a quote from October 2005…less than two years ago:

    “The main criteria of what makes absinthe is the presence of wormwood and that’s in Hill’s.”

    Comments, Alan?

    Whilst you are at it, I hear that your new verte, Angelique, is gaining a reputation as bitter little fella…on account of Mr Bugnon’s use of wormwood in the second maceration? In amongst the unreliable sycophancy, and general waffle, of the Wormwood Society thread on Angelique, I read the following cutting comment by a Czech:

    My concern here is using a process that can be directly likened to the “brown bits” in a bottle of KoS. Some macerater is going to make the argument that they are just doing the same thing that those Swiss chaps are doing (who, in fact, it seems borrowed the idea from their long-standing tradition) and that it proves that their product is every bit as valid to be called absinth(e) as the Swiss stuff is.

    Is it now a case of “it’s the presence of wormwood that defines absinthe and that’s in Angelique” (Version 2007) Comments, Alan?

    I like the bitterness of wormwood, so I look forward to tasting your Angelique “Boheme”

  12. I must say, Angelique does sound interesting–and is on my list. Of course, a lot of stuff is currently on “my list” with time and money (and I suppose the desire to maintain a semi-healthy liver) keeping me from them all.

    However, I do have an art show this weekend in Chicago. Here’s hoping I can strike it rich and make enough to hack through a couple of them.

  13. Since the subject of Hill’s has been raised, this is interesting:

    It appears, according to what the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) say, that Hill’s may have a lot less thujone than most other absinth(e)s, and probably less than Lucid. This is part of a standard email that the LCBO have sent out to customers enquiring about absinthe:

    “In Ontario, the LCBO currently offers three absinthe-style products you may wish to consider. They are:

    Absente has a thujone level of 3.5 ppm. It is offered in a 750-mL bottle and sells for for $59.95 under product code # 981415. Alcohol percent: 55%

    Hill’s Absinth Liqueur has a thujone level of less than 1.0 ppm. It is offered in a 700-mL bottle and sells for $87.35 under product code # 587204. Alcohol percent: 70%

    Pernod Absinthe has a thujone level of 0.7 ppm. It is sold in a 700-mL for $79.95 under product code # 604496. Alcohol percent: 68%.”

    So why, given all absintheur’s criticism of Lucid and insistence on high thujone, doesn’t he look at something closer to home? Or maybe Hill’s have different recipes for different countries?

  14. No idea about that – I assume you know what the thujone level is in Hill’s, as you used that very product to define “absinthe” to the media in 2005.

    What is the thujone level of Angelique? I imagine that it might be on the high side? That is if Mr Bugnon is indeed macerting with artemisia absinthium during the post distillation process? This may account for that lingering wormwood tang that is being reported.

    It’s nice to see that the Val de Traver’s distillers are moving away from the distinctly commercial sweetness of that new breed of USA safe perfume absinthes.

    Bravo! …not everyone likes that cacphony of herbals that is being forced upon us a new defining standard, based upon the syringe and the well oiled machinery of media public relations. Whether or not this herbal riot, in some new breed absinthe, is the product of young hands on old recipes, created without regard for the quality, harvesting and storage of that noble herb – wormwood – is an interesting question.

    Is Mr Bugnon using artemisia absinthium in post distillation maceration, Alan? Is this another of his aunt Charlotte’s recipes from 1930s, or earlier?

  15. “No idea about that.”

    So if you have no idea on the thujone content of Hill’s, why do you spend so much time criticising Lucid for its low/no thujone content (or however you describe it), when the thujone content of Hill’s is probably much lower. It is ironic that you focus so much on thujone when the flagship of Czech “absinth” seems to have virtually none.

    The thujone content of Angélique? It’s not relevant here. We never quote our thujone levels publicly, since it’s not how we define absinthe quality.

    I have already confirmed that there is a very small amount of A A as well as A Pontica used in the colouring step of Angélique, along with several other plants from the Val-de-Travers region.

  16. Who says Hill’s is a flagship? It was the first to be sold in the UK by your former company, BBH Ltd., is that what you mean, Alan?

    I do not know what the thujone content of Hill’s is – I am not involved in the manufacture or sale of Hill’s. You were – so why don’t you know?

    Thujone content is an important marker of the quality of artemisia absinthium. You know that I drink Bairnsfather Reality with thujone >32mg and a unique process which captures the strong herbal quality of wormwood.

    It’s a pity that wormwood rich absinth like Bairnsfather or Cami – and perhaps Angelique – will have the door closed on them by the bizzare US regulations. What a pity people didn’t spend their time getting these laws repealed rather than trying to outwit them, eh?

  17. “Who says Hill’s is a flagship?”

    On 11 May, your blog wrote

    “Hills Absinth – Spirit of Freedom!

    Mr Hill is rightly proud of the acheivements (sic) of his family. The Czech Embassy in Washington serve Hill’s Absinth at absinth themed cultural functions.”

    The rest is lost which is ironic because the article you wrote complained about censorship and yet you removed it a few hours after you posted it! Why the self-censorship?

    As I have said before, my involvement with Hill’s was very, very brief. BBH were launching La Fee Bohemian when I joined, so Hill’s was never a priority. I think my only actions on Hill’s were to sell a few cases of miniatures once and to talk for 5 minutes to the Bloomberg’s journalist who was looking for anyone to talk about Hill’s (I explained I knew very little about it, but he couldn’t get hold of anyone from Hill’s).

    Why should I ever have known about the thujone content of Hill’s? It’s only people like yourself who are obsessed with it. In retrospect, and given its ultra-low thujone content, it’s not surprising that Hill’s kept the information quiet.

    “What a pity people didn’t spend their time getting these laws repealed rather than trying to outwit them, eh?”

    Why should Viridian or anyone else spend their time getting the laws repealed to help other companies? Why should one company slow things down to help their competitors? That is not how business works. You should be complaining about the fact that the Czech companies have not spent time trying to get the US laws repealed. I wonder why not …

  18. it’s not surprising that Hill’s kept the information quiet

    Do they? That’s your allegation – the thujone may be 35mg for all I know.

    Czech companies have not spent time trying to get the US laws repealed. I wonder why not …

    Why not? Because with the exception of one manufacturer their English isn’t that good? Also the US may not be their main market?

    I saw Ari writing about Staro sales recently on Leif’s blog with a “inside knowledge” that is astonishing!

    You comfortable with your office chit chat being used to justify this:

    It is sometimes claimed that this ritual is old and traditional; however, this is false. This method of preparing absinth was in fact first observed by Czech manufacturers in the late 1990s[15] and incorporated into its history as the classic method,

    (15) Origin of the fire ritual Alan Moss explains the origins of the Czech ritual at Feeverte.net Retrieved 11 May 2006.

    Late 1990s – are you sure about that, Alan? False is quite a strong word, isn’t it? Are you sure that there wasn’t a tradition?🙂 What was it based upon then? or are you saying that someone made it up? If so, who?

  19. “it’s not surprising that Hill’s kept the information quiet … Do they? That’s your allegation – the thujone may be 35mg for all I know.”

    I’m pleased that Hill’s don’t hype thujone like other Czech “absinths” do. In fact the statement about Hill’s containing less than 1 ppm of thujone is not my allegation. It’s a direct quote from an email from the Ontario Liquor Board, the largest liquor buyer in the world. I assume they should know.

    “Because with the exception of one manufacturer their English isn’t that good?”

    Poor language skills shouldn’t stand in the way of exporting, should it? The French sell a lot of cognac in China, but I’ve only met a couple of French people who can speak Mandarin or Cantonese.

    Re. the Wikipedia quote: I agree that I should not be quoted as a reference for this. Indeed I wrote elsewhere on Wikipedia:

    “I’m not sure that I am the best source on this. All I say is that “we have no evidence that the Bohemian fire ritual existed before the 1990’s. George Rowley lived in Prague in the early 1990’s and did not observe this then; it was only in 1998 that he and his partners observed the burning ritual in a bar in Prague for the first time.” Using my lack of evidence as something that “explains the origins” seems a step too far to me.”

  20. Yes it’s quite interesting.

    absintheur said, “I do not know what the thujone content of Hill’s is – I am not involved in the manufacture or sale of Hill’s. You were – so why don’t you know?”

    •You didn’t (and don’t) know the thujone content of Lucid either, yet that didn’t stop you from attacking it.

    •You have attacked articles about absinthe for making mistakes but let czech absinth producers slip by when they provide false information about their products.

    •False claims in your own blog are apparently acceptable.

    I get the feeling you see conspiracy and bias everywhere because of your own bias.

    You did strike on something interesting,
    absintheur said, “will have the door closed on them by the bizzare US regulations. What a pity people didn’t spend their time getting these laws repealed rather than trying to outwit them, eh?”

    Who says people haven’t tried to get them repealed? Have you ever dealt with the FDA? Their public commenst suggest they still believe thujone in absinthe is a dangerous hallucinogenic poison. A position that is part of the marketing of a number of czech absinth (and bohemian style) producers. If you want the FDA to change it’s mind, perhaps you should talk to the companies that are still pushing these false beliefs.

    absintheur said, “I saw Ari writing about Staro sales recently on Leif’s blog with a “inside knowledge” that is astonishing!”
    Again you confuse *inside knowledge* with actually reading articles about absinth. Perhaps you should actually read about the things you post about.

  21. Their public commenst suggest they still believe thujone in absinthe is a dangerous hallucinogenic poison.

    What comments? These were made recently?

  22. “You didn’t (and don’t) know the thujone content of Lucid either, yet that didn’t stop you from attacking it.”

    Even the “theoretical” nonexistence of thujone in Lucid was posted on Oxy’s blog early on. Personally, I think everyone should have some leeway in matters of Lucid since it was terribly marketed and talked about from the get go–leaving pretty much everyone with out any substantial and/or provable information. Hell, even now that it’s not confusing it’s still terribly annoying.

    But that’s not why I’m here right now…

    Found this while doing my whole “straight from my horses mouth” series (from <a href=”http://www.bairnsfather.net/en/pelynek.htm” Bairnsfather’s site).

    “Many brands of so-called “absinth” lack any traces of thujone, or contain the minutest trace amounts, we know this because we have had them tested.”

    Now, I don’t know what absinths they’re talking about but now that Hill’s is in the conversation, it makes a bit of sense.

    Of course, even with that said, I can’t find Hill’s website talk about thujone levels and most places selling it seem quiet about Hill’s thujone content…with this (and possibly more but I can’t possibly check them all tonight…) <a href=”http://www.absinth24.net/shop/product_info.php/products_id/64″exception.

    Which would lead me to these wild conclusions:

    A. People assume all Czech Absinths have or are supposed to have high thujone levels, solely based on them being absinth.

    B. It does seem logical that Hill’s could have recipes based off of different countries. I know Wild Turkey has many different products some available here, some elsewhere, some everywhere. So the same could go for them but that’s just speculation.

    On that note it seems the mention of Hill’s that kicked this debate off only talked about “the presence of wormwood” in Hill’s, not thujone or its amount. Ironically, thujone got brought up this time by the anti-thujone crowd. Now I assume you can have wormwood bitterness in an absinth without a high thujone content, but again, those are just my wild ideas…correct me if I’m wrong.

  23. d’oh…

    Looks like the links went to hell.

    The first was from Bairnsfathers site (look at the wormwood page)

    The other was from absinthe24, just search for hill’s.

  24. Leif,

    1. You were incorrect (I believe) in your assumption that Absintheur on Fee Verte and absintheur here are the same person.

    2. You are also incorrect in calling me a member of the anti-thujone crowd. I – and others such as Oxy – are not anti-thujone; we ARE against the marketing of thujone with drug overtones etc. That’s one of the key differences between us here, as a read of the other discussions were will illustrate.

    3. Interesting that you speculate that Hill’s may have different recipes in different countries. If that is so, and if Hill’s decided to go for a less than 1 ppm recipe in Canada to get round the rules there, then absintheur should be asking them the same question as he asked of Lucid:

    “What a pity people didn’t spend their time getting these laws repealed rather than trying to outwit them, eh?”

    4. Finally you state: “Personally, I think everyone should have some leeway in matters of Lucid.” Does “everyone” in this instance include those responsible for Lucid? Or are you just making excuses for absintheur’s repeated criticism of the brand? In fact, some of the main confusion on Lucid has come from this site, with absintheur adding 2 and 2 to make 5 or more often 6.

  25. Leif said, “Even the “theoretical” nonexistence of thujone in Lucid was posted on Oxy’s blog early on.”
    Sure, and since then we have learned more. However if a blog attacks one product for not having thujone I would assume it would attack others, unless the other products get a pass for some reason.

    Leif said, “Of course, even with that said, I can’t find Hill’s website talk about thujone levels and most places selling it seem quiet about Hill’s thujone content…”
    Yep, as it appears Hills doesn’t market using thujone. A good thing.

    Leif said, “Ironically, thujone got brought up this time by the anti-thujone crowd.”
    In this case you can call it the anti-hypocritical bias crowd. Why does one brand get attacked for lacking x but another brand doesn’t?

  26. Why don’t we just all order a few bottles of “Thujone Delirium” from these guys in that well known Czech city, Barcelona.

  27. Great name (I believe I’ve made fun of it before 😀 )

    I’m not saying hype, false advertising, taking advantage of the consumer, etc. is a czech only thing, on the contrary, a number of Czech companies have been doing more than some non-czech companies to better their marketing.

    The point being, why bash Lucid and not Hills for the exact same thing?

  28. Ari, your question is easily answered:

    “Hill’s absinth is enjoyed by locals here in Prague, and also by drinkers around the globe; it is a famous Czech brand.”

    Source: absintheur May 11th, 2007 from the blog article that he/she deleted later that day.

    Note: I am not criticising Hill’s, neither is Ari. It is great that they neither hype thujone, nor do they feature in their advertising ladies who are so poor that they cannot afford underwear (that must be cold in Prague in the winter). We are both wondering why Lucid gets criticised here, but Hill’s gets glorified.

  29. for the exact same thing

    Haven’t read Radomil Hill cussing, and carrying on like a peacock on heat, to any hack that will listen.

    Bash Lucid? I have pointed out that there is a highly “convenient” marriage between tests carried out on pre-ban bottles of absinthe, and this new “authentic” USA safe absinthe produced by a “scientist” who spends his days mouthing platitudes and four letter words to the media.

    Persons who style themselves “scientists” on the basis of a major? That’s rather like Alan calling himself a politican, or a philsopoher, if he read PPE at Oxford.

    Hill’s is a beverage that was being produced for the local market before John Moore discovered it.

    It was first produced at the private request of an inn owner for his personal consumption, then enjoyed by the Sklep theatre troupe, Bjork etcetera..The idea that Hill’s somehow lowered the thujone content to jive with foreign legislation is not correct.

    Foreign buyers came to Mr Hill – not the other way round.

    Lest we forget here is the issue in a nutshell:

    We do not trust the CADs (Commercial Absinthe Distillers) or their groupies as far as the content of thujone in traditional absinthe.

    They want to sell absinthe. Not in the past, but now. We want the truth.

    dr_ordinaire (Jun 12 2007) FeeVerte.net

  30. So Lucid is a “thujone-lite faux absinthe ” Yet Hills isn’t a “thujone-lite faux absinthe ” even though we know it doesn’t contain much thujone. Hmm.

    “We do not trust the CADs (Commercial Absinthe Distillers) or their groupies as far as the content of thujone in traditional absinthe.
    They want to sell absinthe. Not in the past, but now. We want the truth.”

    Does this include the czech companies you have constantly allowed to slide? Why why not?

  31. “The idea that Hill’s somehow lowered the thujone content to jive with foreign legislation is not correct.”

    I’m glad that you have been able to clarify that (previously you said you had no idea). Assuming the LCBO are telling the truth, this means that it always has less than 1 ppm. Suggesting that for Hill’s, at least, thujone content is not an important issue.

  32. I thought you told us that Hill’s was an absinth, Ari?

    I don’t see any Czechs running around in lab coats with syringes trying to convince everyone that they have “cracked it” – that the only true absinthE is a distilled liquor based upon the suspect papers of two tricky Swiss maids!

    Do you think that distillation defines absinthe, gentlemen?

  33. “I thought you told us that Hill’s was an absinth, Ari?”
    Again. Why is one a faux product because of its low thujone and the other not?

    “Do you think that distillation defines absinthe, gentlemen?”
    Yes, when talking about the liquor first created/marketed by Pernod Fils, that became famous in the 19th century, nick named the “green fairy” and was drank by famous artists, distillation whether alcohol or steam is one of the key parts to defining the liquor.

  34. “Cussing, and carrying on like a peacock on heat, to any hack that will listen.”

    Of course, it should not be forgotten that a member of the Hill family is quite happy to talk to the press to knock every other supplier in the market:

    “One man who doesn’t encourage buying absinthe online for a number of reasons is Canadian importer, Dan Hill.

    “I wouldn’t buy anything from the internet,” says Hill, who has been importing Hill’s Absinth (spelt the Czech way without the “e”) to Canada since 2002. “First of all, you might not get it because of Customs. And (more importantly), a lot of these (sellers) are admitting to kind of making it in there own homes. If a seller doesn’t know how to mix alcohol properly…you could wind up blind or it could have adverse effects,” Hill warns. ”

    http://www.journalism.ryerson.ca/online/scribe/boss/crichardson.htm

  35. Your last post with the joke about ladies in winter time without underwear got lost, Alan. I do not know why – damn! That was a funny one too. If you use words like sex, or some others, that bloody Askimet thing grabs them.

    Very annoying…no doubt you will repeat your obsessional line about Hill’s…that was also there.

  36. Alan,

    I base my opinion that both absintheurs are the same off of people’s desire to maintain one handle. This, of course, could be wrong but many a computer forum from back in my college days has given me enough evidence that I think this is right.

    Also, I really should have specified better. By “anti thujone” crowd I was not trying to imply that you folks were against thujone proper but were instead against thujone marketing. Sorry, that was my fault for not making it clearer.

    And yes, “everyone” talking about Lucid includes everyone. I’m still a bit upset about my run in with that topic, I took my posts down for pretty much this exact reason. However, I will defend absintheurs right to say what he wants about it.

    Ari said, “The point being, why bash Lucid and not Hills for the exact same thing?”

    First, I think we have to remember–we’re blogs, not Fox news. We don’t need to maintain a “fair and balanced” stance on things, but I think the Lucid bashing came in because of how much talk there was about thujone and how much speculation (from all sides of the board) about it. With that much talk going on you’re going to have people weighing in on what they think. But on that note, as far as I can tell, since Hill’s never mentioned there thujone content there’s no reason to talk about it…until now.

    Regardless. What I think would be a decent course of action now is to get absinth24 and other sites to stop listing mythical thujone levels on Hill’s and (now that these sites are more than suspect for me) any other absinth(e) out there.

  37. My post did not say “s**,” although it did say “underwear.”

    I am concerned about those poor ladies. It can be very cold in Prague in winter (the first time I was there was in November 2004) and it must be very drafty. Of course Scottish men don’t wear underwear either, so they are always ready for any “action.”

    And the Scots make pretty good whisky, so lack of underwear is not a liability for a distiller.

  38. distillation whether alcohol or steam is one of the key parts to defining the liquor.

    Ari.

    Absinthe can be made by direct distillation of herbs in alcohol. It can also be made by mixing distilled essences of herbs in alcohol. Both methods were widely used in the Belle Epoque, and both are equally entitled to the name absinthe.

    Guess who?

  39. Leif said, “First, I think we have to remember–we’re blogs, not Fox news. We don’t need to maintain a “fair and balanced” stance on things”

    Well of course not, this blog can be as biased as it wants, and if so I am quite happy in pointing that out for people who come here under the impression that the blog is not biased. It also brings into question the reason for running a biased blog.

    Leif said, “absinth24 and other sites to stop listing mythical thujone levels on Hill’s and (now that these sites are more than suspect for me)”
    While getting off topic, absinth24 is specifically quite suspect to me as in another forum Andy (the owner) outright lied to me claiming he no longer works for absinth24 (while he was still filling orders, and he still works there to this day) to get out of answering some hard questions.

    absintheur said, ” [quoting] Absinthe can be made by direct distillation of herbs in alcohol. It can also be made by mixing distilled essences of herbs in alcohol. ”

    Yes I agree, “Distilled essences” is steam distillation. Thus fitting well with “distillation whether alcohol or steam”

  40. Did you know Ari, that I have some evidence of Prague businesses selling “essences” to add to wine and spirits. My hunch is that this was imported from Germany – I wonder if there was a booming clandestine industry (post ban) selling DIY absinthe? or maybe this was a commercial source selling to distillers. Bet Oxy knows😦

    “Batri Janouskove Praha” circa 1941 according to my source. It could be that the absinth (absint) enjoyed during the German occupation was made up using these essences. If it was imported from Germany, that means the Reich might have been manufacturing absinth essence! Speculation at this stage, but rather interesting.

    There is also a company dating from as early as the 1880s called “Steuer & Friedlander” in Prague 2 selling these commercial absinth essences and – get this…absinth colouring.

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