Switzerland's First Female Absinthe Distiller Goes International

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Forget the image of a grizzled 80-year-old Swiss farmer so often eluded to as the only 'real' clandestine absinthe distiller, Gaudentia Persoz is young, blond and passionate about absinthe.

Liqueurs de France has become distributors of absinthe produced by the first ex-clandestine Swiss 'lady-distiller.' "We were charmed by 'distillatrice' Gaudentia Persoz and her husband Jean-Michel, while under the rustic spell of the famous Swiss fondue chalet Le Soliat," said Liqueurs de France's director Peter Schaf. "She is not your 'garden variety' 80-year-old Swiss farmer, often said to be the only keepers of the ancient absinthe secrets and eluded to as the only 'real' la Bleue absinthe distillers."

In fact Gaudentia is young, blond and passionate about absinthe. She distills with a vintage 1898, 12-plant recipe that was found, along with a small alambic, in a dusty basement corner when she and her husband purchased their house in Couvet, Switzerland. To keep up the ever-growing demand, Gaudentia now uses a 50-liter alambic that was hand-made for her by her husband and the recipe has been updated and modified in la Bleue style to please more modern tastes. It is called 'La Ptite Absinthe du Val-du-Travers' (the 'e' has been left out of the spelling of 'Petite' - it was once one of the 'code-names' that Swiss locals used to be served an illegal absinthe in a bar without attracting un-due attention from the authorities).

We tasted her absinthe with a very discerning crowd of absintheurs from the USA, England, France and Switzerland, and as we watched the positive reactions to its quality and taste, LDF quickly decided to place an order to share this recent discovery with our loyal customers and to support the development of a rising star in the absinthe world. Gaudentia Persoz's 'La Ptite' is a classic, satisfying la Bleue, with fresh aromas of wormwood, anise and mint and draws to mind the heady Swiss mountain atmosphere that we had been enjoying so much near the Creux-du-Van cliffs.

La Ptite will be available directly from Liqueurs de France in 70cl and 20 cl formats. Please visit http://www.absintheonline.com/ for ordering details.

Liqueurs de France Ltd, based in Esher, Surrey is the UK’s leading distributor of premium French and Swiss absinthes.

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Ian Hutton