According to legend, absinthe was initially an herbal remedy known for its healing powers. However, at the beginning of the 19th Century it set sail on a voyage from medicinal elixir to a taste of pure indulgence… An herbal liqueur that had become a myth from both the mysterious aura it has inherited from the intellectual and cultural profusion surrounding it and from its complete prohibition in 1915.
An anise based liqueur with a complex nose and powerful notes of licorice, absinthe is traditionally mixed with ice-cold water resulting in a cloudy mixture. The Belle-Epoque consumers added delicately a sugar cube on a perforated spoon, on which the water was then drippred to slowly be dissolved into the absinthe. In modern society, the availability of mixers enables combinations of absinthe-based cocktails only limited by the imagination…
Keep in mind that highly alcoholic (74% ABV / 148 proof), Abyss absinthe should always be consumed responsibly.
ABYSS, the Authentic Superior Absinthe, carefully hand-crafted in the purest tradition of its original region, Franche-Comte, is designed after an authentificated recipe elaborated in 1811, and transmitted since then from generation to generation.
A fine selection of natural herbs is used to produce ABYSS including wormwood, roman wormwood, anise, fennel, gentian, mugwort, hyssop, star anise, peppermint and coriander among others.
Very light but intense golden color.
Complex and herbaceous to the nose with hints of caramel and mint offering vanilla flavors. Peppery spices dominance. Very powerful to the palate. Rich notes of Wormwood offering bitterness to a long and elegant finish.
Enjoy cold as a shot drink, or add water, or mix it as a cocktail (see cocktails suggestions).
The subsequent distillation process remains to this day an ancestral art requiring tremendous care. Our distillery prides itself on producing the finest and the strongest absinthe, maintaining a consistent level of the utmost quality for almost two centuries. In practice, extracting the true essences of a plant and concentrating it in a liqueur is no mean feat.
Carefully selected, the herbs (wormwood, roman wormwood, hyssop, lemon balm, green anise) are usually harvested at the end of the month of July and stored and dried for 2 to 3 months until maceration. Dried herbes are then left to soak in alambics with ethanol up to 48 hours in order to extract all natural oils from the vegetal cells. Following the maceration process comes the distilling stage, which takes place in a copper still.
To produce ABYSS, more than 10 plants were meticulously selected and distilled: Wormwood, Roman Wormwood, Green Anise, Star Anise, Fennel, Gentian, Mugwort, Hyssop, Peppermint and Coriander among others.
What is ABYSS?
ABYSS is an authentificated superior absinthe, an authentic French recipe from 1811 now available in the USA.
What makes ABYSS “Authentic”?
ABYSS’ first formulation was elaborated in 1811 in Fougerolles. Its formula is still prepared with the same care, using the same natural herbs.
What defines a “Superior” absinthe?
Absinthe is a non-sugared alcohol obtained by the distillation of full essential plant oils at a variable alcohol content. This is directly linked to product quality. A higher content of alcohol and dissolved essential oils will give a more aromatic product.
ABYSS is a 74% alcohol by volume, a superior absinthe.
Different qualities of absinthe have been distinguished:
- Superior absinthes (65 to 74% alc/vol)
– Semi-Fine absinthes (60 to 65% alc/vol)
– Fine absinthes (50 to 65% alc/vol)
– Ordinary absinthes (40 to 50% alc/vol)
Is ABYSS legal in the USA?
The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau re-authorized the introduction of absinthe in the US market in December 2007 mandating that any finished food or beverage tests less than 10ppm (equal to 10mg/L) thujone in order to be considered legal pursuant to 21 CFR 172.510. ABYSS formula was first approved in December 2008 and was granted a COLA (Certificate of Label Approval) in the United States in May 2009 obtaining the right for legal distribution in the US for the first time since 1811.
Did you have to change the formula to obtain US approval for ABYSS?
The formula has NOT been modified to be in accordance with US standards. ABYSS is what it was. The amount of thujone is exactly the same as it used to be, less than 10mg/L. None of the Grande Wormwood or other ingredients have been reduced or eliminated. ABYSS is an authentic recipe.
What is Wormwood? Thujone?
Wormwood is a herbaceous plant that grows naturally in the mountains. It belongs to the genus artemisia, a group consisting of 300 species. Silky leaves, greenish grey colour and a whitist colour on top, wormwood is extremely aromatic with a bitter taste even after desiccation. Often used to treat numerous illnesses it is known for healing serious digestive complications and fever. It is equally a vermifuge, an antiseptic, a tonic and a stimulant. A plant of many virtues, Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is at the crossroads of ambiguity symbolizing both the troubles and sorrows of life, as in “Life, this drop of milk and absinthe” (Lacordaire, 1860). It is also referred to in the Holy Scriptures when Solomon opposes it to the sweetness of honey. Reputed for its beneficial therapeutic properties since Antiquity, nevertheless wormwood must be handled with caution as it is a neurotoxin if abused due to its complex composition. The most active part is called the thujone, held responsible for toxic phenomena, an oil described with a similar structure as THC, an active component in tetrahydrocannabinol. The thujone is the main element incriminated in the toxicity of absinthe.
Is Wormwood responsible for hallucinations or is this just a myth?
Wormwood and more precisely its thujone was blamed by economists and hygienists for most of the problems in society (diseases, crime, overflow in hospitals, mental asylums) and remained the symbol of alcoholism, symbol of a disturbed population. Compared with the effects of wine, absinthe turned into a witch in the early 1900′s. It is historically accurate to be a myth. In any event, if you consume ABYSS responsibly and in moderation, there should be no unusual effects.
Why was absinthe prohibited then re-authorized?
By 1870, absinthe had become in France the “national drink”, in both consumption and production.
300 millions liters sold in 1912. Advertising was at its climax, focusing mainly on social success and female eroticism. As the demand increased, so did the numbers of alcoholics. Faced with alcoholism and worried about the quality and the future of the society, the National League Against Alcoholism was created in 1901 by the very powerful winemakers union. They did everything possible to demonstrate that absinthe is toxic compared to wine. This virulent atmosphere created by the anti-alcoholic campaign brought about an event which would incite the government to take measures, the viticulture crisis in 1907 due to overproduction. France was already famous for its wines. January 7th 1915, absinthe and similar drinks were prohibited in France, the last country to eradicate the absinthe; the US banned it in 1912.
With the re-introduction of the thujone in the food/drink consumption, the US authorities have simply acknowledged that the thujone was not as destructive to human brains as it was to wine business owners…
Is ABYSS safe to consume?
As well as all alcoholic beverages, ABYSS should be consumed in moderation, especially because it contains 74% alcohol by volume. Nothing about ABYSS is less safe than any other alcoholic beverage. We always encourage our customers to drink responsibly.
How should ABYSS be prepared?
Although there are many cocktail preparations available on our website, we suggest you first try ABYSS in the traditional French manner: pour 1.5 oz of ABYSS into an appropriate glass. Then pour directly 4 oz of iced cold water into the glass. The cold water causes ABYSS absinthe to louche into a shady cloud.
Or you can also try with a sugar cube atop a flat perforated spoon that rests on the rim of the glass. Slowly drip 4 oz of ice-cold water on top of the sugar cube, which slowly dissolves into the absinthe.
Note that the sugar and the spoon are optional as ABYSS has a subtle, natural sweetness without adding sugar.
When adding water, why does ABYSS turn cloudy?
Pouring cold water into the glass releases essential oils from the mixture, which unlocks the bouquet of flavors found in ABYSS and causes the absinthe to louche, to cloud into an opalescent emerald green color. Also, the opal cloudiness of absinthe with water reveals a good quality of absinthe, a superior absinthe..
What does ABYSS refer to?
ABYSS refers to deepness, profoundness and mystic…symbols of absinthe…