Flying Distiller Jets in From the US to Make Absinthe in France

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Liqueurs de France is claiming a first by flying in a distiller from the USA to make their latest absinthes in France.

Liqueurs de France is claiming a first by flying in a distiller from the USA to make their latest absinthes in France. New Orleans-based chemist and distiller Ted Breaux has spent the past five years analysing an extensive range of vintage French absinthes in order to exactly reproduce the taste that was so popular among the artists of the Belle Époque. Using the latest analytical techniques Breaux has derived recipes for several absinthes that were among the best known and loved in 19th century France. “I was very impressed with Ted’s absinthes as soon as I tasted them, they were light years ahead of anything else I had sampled” said Liqueurs de France’s Managing Director Ian Hutton. “All that was needed was to find him a distillery so that we could scale up production to a commercial level”.

The Combier distillery in Saumur fitted the bill perfectly. Not only did it have a reputation for high quality products, it even had the original old absinthe stills purchased from the Pernod fils distillery before the French absinthe ban in 1916. “When we saw the rows of old stills we couldn’t believe our eyes”, said Hutton. “Even the original iron gallery designed by Gustav Eiffel was still in place.” Distillery owner Franck Choisine was excited by the project and gave Liqueurs de France and Breaux his full support.

Breaux distilled his first batches of absinthe in May of this year using wormwood grown in Pontarlier, the birthplace of French absinthe, and using only wine-based alcohol rather than grain or beet alcohol. The bottles are hand corked and sealed with wax. The initial offerings are Nouvelle-Orleans, a tribute to the style of absinthe formerly drunk in Breaux’s native city, and Suisse Verte a tribute to the style of absinthe produced by the Berger family distillery in Switzerland. Both products set a benchmark for absinthe redefine the taste. “Once you have tasted authentic absinthe you can see why the drink was so popular in the 19th century, it has a fabulous complexity and a taste and bouquet that seem to linger forever,” said Hutton.

Nouvelle Orleans and Suisse Verte are available directly from Liqueurs de France at their website

Liqueurs de France Ltd, based in Esher, Surrey is the exclusive distributor of Jade and other premium French absinthes.

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Ian Hutton
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