Absinthe Mata Hari Comes to America

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Absinthe has only become legalized in the U.S. since October 2007 ending a nearly century-long ban. Mata Hari is an original recipe dating back 1881 and its Bohemian-style is ideal for mixing Absinthe in cocktails.

We have launched many spirit brands in the U.S., but we've rarely seen the level of interest, excitement and acceptance of a product like we have seen on Mata Hari. The trade really sees the need for authentic brands that offer a true value to their customers. Mata Hari, as the first Bohemian Style Absinthe, offers a way to extend the fast growing category.

The first real "Bohemian-style" Absinthe is launching in the American market and by August should be available coast to coast - in over 20 states. Mata Hari brand Absinthe boasts an impressive pedigree with a Mata Hari formula dating back to 1881, and five continuous generations later is still being produced by the same family.

"What sets Mata Hari apart is its mixability and its strength," said Gerry Fischer, master distiller and great great-grandson of the distillery's founder. Absinthe has historically been produced in two styles, the French style typified by a heavy licorice taste, and the Bohemian style with a more balanced taste that allows for perfect cocktails. "Our family has been marketing Absinthe in Europe since 1881 and has found consumers have embraced the Bohemian style because of its mixability." Mr. Fischer also noted "Mata Hari is known as one of the strongest Absinthes in Europe -- again coming from the Bohemian style where the level of thujone is higher than in the French Style."

There are three critical components that distinguish Mata Hari and other authentic Absinthes:

•Made with Grand Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) which is the source of thujone, the component which was the basis of controversy in the early 1900's leading to the ban
•Natural herbal green color - not the neon green like some of the modern styles finding their way to market
•Its ability to generate the "louche" or clouding effect when mixed slowly with cold water

According to Dave Stringfellow, President of Beacon Beverage Imports who will be representing the brand in the U.S. "We looked all over Europe to find an authentic Absinthe to bring to the U.S. and found it in Mata Hari. Not only does it have a 127 year heritage, but it is unique in that the mixable style is one that will fuel the creativity of mixologists, bartenders and consumers. Further, we are gaining immediate acceptance at the distributor level - they love the product, its taste and its authenticity."

Mata Hari's introduction into the U.S. will be supported by Brand Action Team, a beverage alcohol marketing company headquartered in Avon, CT. Steve Raye, Managing Partner says "We have launched many spirit brands in the U.S., but we've rarely seen the level of interest, excitement and acceptance of a product like we have seen on Mata Hari. The trade really sees the need for authentic brands that offer a true value to their customers. Mata Hari, as the first Bohemian Style Absinthe, offers a way to extend the fast growing category."

Absinthe Fast Facts
•Made in…. Absinthe was "invented" in Switzerland and at the turn of the 19th century was being produced all over Europe, including Austria, Czech, France, Switzerland and other countries.
•The Myth … Made famous by artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Toulouse Lautrec, Edgar Ellen Poe, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway…and their personal stories about Absinthe.
•"Louche"effect….Occurs when cold water is poured into Absinthe and reacts with the essential oils of the herbs creating a cloudy, opalescent color.
•Green… Authentic Absinthe has a natural green color which comes from the herbal ingredients. If it's neon green, it's not real Absinthe.
•Belle Époque…When phylloxera devastated Europe's vineyards in the late 1800's, wine became very expensive, so folks looked around for an alternative alcohol source…and found Absinthe filled the bill. That's why Absinthe is commonly associated with the Fin de Siecle (turn of the century late 1800's-early 1900's ) community of artists and writers when it reached its height of popularity.
•Rituals…there are two, the fire ritual and the traditional.
oFire Ritual: a sugar cube is placed on a slotted spoon and Absinthe is poured over the sugar. The remaining undiluted sugar is lit on fire and caramelizes into the glass. But before the flame starts to drop, it is extingusished with ice cold water creating the louche effect.
oTraditional ritual: Ice cold water is poured over a slotted spoon or from a fountain (broullieur) so that the water SLOWLY drips into the glass, creating the louche effect.
•Legality… It was only made legal (again) in the U.S in October 2007, after nearly 90 years of being banned.
Recipes

Here are some very easy-to-follow recipes to use when enjoying Mata Hari

DESIRE
1 oz Absinthe Mata Hari
1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 oz. lemon juice

Shake well and pour into cocktail glass.

TRAFFIC LIGHT
2 oz of cranberry juice
1 oz of orange juice
1 oz of Absinthe Mata Hari

Pour carefully into a cocktail glass half filled with ice.

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
1 shot Absinthe Mata Hari
1 shot vodka
1 can Red Bull

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into ice filled collins glass.

GREEN TEAR
1 oz of Absinthe Mata Hari
2 oz of cranberry juice
1 oz of tonic water
1 slice of lemon

Shake well and pour into a cocktail glass.

ABSINTHE FIZZ
1 & 1/2 shots Absinthe Mata Hari
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg white
seltzer

Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass and fill with seltzer.

WHARF RAT
1 oz of white rum
1 oz of Grenadine
1 oz of Absinthe Mata Hari
1 oz of Apricot brandy
3 oz of orange juice

ABSINTHE EYE
1/3 Peppermint Schnapps
2/3 Absinthe Mata Hari

Stir and pour into cocktail glass.

HEMINGWAY
1 shot Absinthe Mata Hari
Champagne

Pour Absinthe into flute glass over ice. Top up with Champagne.

SOUND OF MUSIC
1 shot Creme de Mure
1 shot Absolut Mandrin
1 shot champagne
1 shot Absinthe Mata Hari

Pour carefully into a cocktail glass half filled with ice.

ABSINTHE FLIP
1/2 oz Absinthe Mata Hari
1/2 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
1 tsp sugar
nutmeg

Shake ingredients well with ice. Strain into a pre-chilled whisky glass. Sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Brand Action Team is a marketing consulting company specializing in helping foreign spirit, wine and beer suppliers bring their brands to the U.S. market. For details on the company, clients and management, visit http://www.thebrandactionteam.com.

Old Vienna Schnapsmuseum is the fifth continuous generation of the Fischer family producing spirits including a range of Absinthes as well as specialty liqueurs and spirits. The company is headquartered in Vienna Austria. Visit http://www.fischerschnapps.com for more information.

Beacon Beverage Imports is a sales company specializing in the U.S. Drinks industry and represents clients including Mata Hari Absinthe, Oval Vodka and 1921 Tequila. For more information visit http://www.beaconbev.com.

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Steve Raye

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