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Jun 08, 2022 View:

how to turn absinthe green

What is used to give absinthe that green color?


Reply:

Post-distillation maceration. Not all absinthe is green, or even colored, but traditional green absinthe uses one set of herbs for distillation and a second (different) herb load to color; most importantly, Roman wormwood. Other typical coloration herbs include various species of mint and hyssop.

GStone can speak volumes on the topic but the Wormwood Society pages he runs are a good start.


Reply:Post-distillation maceration. Not all absinthe is green, or even colored, but traditional green absinthe uses one set of herbs for distillation and a second (different) herb load to color; most importantly, Roman wormwood. Other typical coloration herbs include various species of mint and hyssop.

GStone can speak volumes on the topic but the Wormwood Society pages he runs are a good start.


Reply:

For the post distillation coloring you add Roman wormwood, Hyssop, and Lemon Balm. Add them to about half of what you collected and heat the macerate to between 50-60 degrees C, filter, and add back to the main distillate.


Reply:

What he said. It's important also to keep the proof up over 68% or so, higher is better. Chlorophyll is unstable at lower proof and degrades very quickly in light.

If all you get is yellow, you're either using the wrong herbs or stale, improperly stored ones where the chlorophyll has already degraded. What herbs are you using?

If you have good fresh (but dried) herbs that have been stored out of the light, you should get a brilliant emerald green which will slowly change into a beautiful amber color over time.


Reply:What he said. It's important also to keep the proof up over 68% or so, higher is better. Chlorophyll is unstable at lower proof and degrades very quickly in light.

If all you get is yellow, you're either using the wrong herbs or stale, improperly stored ones where the chlorophyll has already degraded. What herbs are you using?

If you have good fresh (but dried) herbs that have been stored out of the light, you should get a brilliant emerald green which will slowly change into a beautiful amber color over time.


Reply:

Out of curiosity, what flowers are used to color rouges? Neither Google nor a scan of recipes show a quick answer, and I'm utterly clueless about natural coloring agents.


Reply:

Most use hibiscus.


Reply:

Ah! That's very cool. Thank you.


Reply:

And there are others who'll tell you hibiscus should never be used to make a red absinthe.

Just so you know.


Reply:

I'd seen the term "beetlejuice" mentioned; it was humorous but seemed apocryphal. Was cochineal really used?

I'm not making the stuff, I'm just overly curious about most things.


Reply:

Cochineal is/was used to color Serpis, a very unusual tasting Spanish absinthe. There's only one historically-attested rouge absinthe from pre-ban era, and all we know about it is that it existed and its name was Rosinette; and that's from an antique poster.

Hibiscus works, but just like the green, it fades with time to a yellowish orange.

this started out more green than yellow, but changed over a couple of days, but the proof was 95. I think that coupled with herbs not being fresh enough caused it.
Reply:proof was 95
Reply:Was cochineal really used?
Reply:

21 CFR 73.100 are the appropriate FDA regulations concerning use of cochineal and carmine. Interesting that they think the traditional methods of drying the insects is insufficient and that it must be pasteurized to prevent the presence of viable Salmonella. Only relevant if your dry your own bugs.

An interesting article here on The Creation of Color in 18th century Europe. Discusses the techniques of Jean-Baptiste Pont in reducing the amount of cochineal necessary to produce a color.

http://www.gutenberg-e.org/lowengard/C_Chap20.html

Sensient Technologies looks like a manufacturer for the pharmaceutical industry. Looks like they have shades of carmine in the pink to purple range and cochineal extract in the orange to magenta red range.

http://www.sensient-tech.com/pharma_sku_tablets/carmine.htm

DD Williamson has lots of food grade colorants, but not carmine or cochineal.


Reply:

Purple!

If you made a limited run of purple cochineal absinthe, I'd buy one. Pinkie swear.

I might be the only taker, but a clear purple to a lavender louche would be lovely. (And it's still traditional, kinda, in a way, if you look at it sideways).