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Absinthe Recipe

Kupka “Great Nude” 1909

Josef Archleb (1843 – 1913) founded a famous liquor distillery in Dobruška (a small town in the Hradec Králové Region of the Czech Republic) in 1865. He was the patron of several artists, including Frantisek Kupka, the pioneer of the early abstract art movement and orphic cubism. The painting above is Kupka’s Planes by Colours or Great Nude, circa 1909. Below you will find the Dobruška absinthe recipe.

1. Base

Grande Wormwood : 6 750 g
Pure alcohol 96% : 50 000 ccm
Water : 35 000 ccm

2. Distillate

Anise seed : 9 600 g
Star anise : 400 g
Cinammon :135 g
Grande Wormwood : 1 070 g
Hyssop : 3 210 g
Mace : 67 g
Pure alcohol 96% : 3 000 ccm
Water : 10 000 ccm

Then it is distilled

3. To make absinthe

Base as per point 1 : 60 000 ccm
This much of distillate as 2 : 4 000 ccm
Pure alcohol 96% : 30 000 ccm
Water : 8 000 ccm
Sugar syrup : 2 000 ccm

To be coloured for a light green colour.

Josef Archleb

Purl & Absinthe Beer

William Hogarth


Roman Wormwood, two dozen,
Gentian root: 6 lb,
Sweetflag root: 2 lb,
Galanga root: 1-2 lb,
Horseradish: 1 bunch,
Dried orange peel from the Indies: 2 lb,
Juniper berries: 2 lb,
Seville orange seeds, dried: 2 lb,

Cut and bruise all the ingredients, put in a butt, top up with pale or mild ale. Store for one season.

Source: Thomas Threale’s The complete family-brewer, or, The best method of brewing or making any quantity of good strong ale & small-beer.London (1802)

Purl- Royal is a a wine infusion & there is some historical confusion over the terms. Here is the recipe for Purl-Royal:

Take cyder and order it as directed, but colour it not; put a gallon to 20 of right white or Rhenish wine; then strip a pound of Roman wormwood clean from the stalks; when it is well dryed, put it in a canvas bag, and by a thread let in hang in the liquid to the middle 12 or 14 days; and by such an infusion it will give it a pleasing colour and taste, so that it will add a curious flavour to such wines as it shall be mixed withal; but if you want worm-wood wine, and are in a haste for it, get some chymical drops of spirit of worm-wood, and 3 or 4 in a quart is sufficient, striking or shaking the pot or bottle, that it may kindly mix.

Accomplish’d Female Instructor (1710)

An interesting home brew for absinthe beer can be found on Scotty’s latest blog post here. I think this would make a great winter drink or how about serving it for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Leif’s wormwood ale will feature later, hopefully with some clarification of the history of purl. If anyone has any information please post in the comments section.

International Bloggers’ Day for Burma

Free Burma

“We as Czech people need to care about other things going on in the world. They are risking their lives out there on the streets. It’s incredible.” Jan Liška (People in Need)


Národní street

Approximately 300 people attended a candlelight vigil on September 28th at the Národní street memorial in support of the oppressed people of Burma. The significance of this place is that it was here that the Velvet Revolution began: it was at this spot that the student protestors were beaten in November 1989, and the news caused brave Czechoslovak men and women to take to the streets. Humanity prevailed and the old regime fell. Sadly, evil and murder prevail in Burma today, as criminals dressed in uniforms choke the struggling masses.

The International Bloggers’ Day for Burma is organised by

Please also visit:

Burma (a.k.a. Myanmar): Murdering Freedom in 2007


This small and insignificant piece of cyberspace salutes the brave oppressed people of Burma (*). Whilst the people of the Czech Republic enjoyed a Velvet Revolution in 1989, others are not so lucky on this day in 2007. The disgraceful and sickening violence of this evil dictatorship is a stain on the very soul of Asia. This is not a political or a current affairs blog, but it is a personal blog – and so I make no apology for using it this day to publish to my readership an image that fills me with horror, anger and a deep sense of compassion.

To the brave people that march and to the journalists that continue to risk their lives in Rangoon: yours is the noblest form of human behaviour. Let us hope that you prevail, and that your sacrifice is not in vain.

(*) Also many refer to Burma as Myanmar nowadays, including the major news networks, it must be noted that this is a name that was given to the country by the criminal regime that has for years terrorised “Myanmar’s” population; Burma’s people had no say in the name-change matter. Where some argue that “Myanmar” is the legally recognised name and so the country should be referred to as such, I argue that the obvious illegitimacy of the current Burmese administration denies any of their actions or decisions such a recognition.