« My Best Northwest Wines of 2008 | Main | Apologies »

December 29, 2008


Gwydion Stone

Thank you Cole, for your very kind remarks about Marteau. I'm glad you liked it.

I'd like to clarify that while Marteau is produced at House Spirits by arrangement with them, it's not a House Spirits brand. I actually distill it personally under my own company, Gnostalgic Spirits, Ltd., similar to Sub Rosa Spirits and Ransom Spirits: four different companies producing under the same roof.

I'm sorry you tried it straight! Absinthe should be thought of as an extract, or concentrate. It was usually labeled "Extrait d'Absinthe" and it was always tempered with between 3 to 5 parts water, just like pastis (which was developed to take the place of absinthe during the ban). One seen drinking absinthe straight would have been looked upon pretty much the way we do when we see someone drinking whiskey from a bottle in a bag.

My preference with Marteau is 5 parts water to 1 of Marteau, and sweetened. One can use the sugar cube drip method, simple syrup, or for a nice variation, Cointreau or Maraschino.

While I'm on the topic, I may as well mention that flame is not and should not be used in serving absinthe (save that for your café brulôt) This was not done before 1998, and is akin to boiling coffee or tea, keeping your Macallan 25 in the freezer, or sabering a bottle of Mouton Rothschild 1895: it's just wrong for a number of reasons. This isn't a snob thing; this is a please-don't-make-my-absinthe-taste-like-burnt-marshmallows thing.

There is a section on absinthe service on the Marteau site, and a collection of marvelous paintings by belle époque painter, Jean-Georges Béraud, showing how absinthe was drunk in a typical café setting.

~ Gwydion Stone

Owner/Distiller, Gnostalgic Spirits, Ltd.


Hm... so the Marteau was superior to the Taboo? Ah well... probably worth trying both, and comparing. :)

Are there any good organic spirits being produced in the northwest? I did a piece for Ecoble.com on the top 10 organic spirits, but didn't find much in our region...

The comments to this entry are closed.