Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Absinthe Makes a Comeback

A Liquor of Legend Makes a Comeback

HERBAL Lance Winters makes absinthe at the St. George Spirits distillery in Alameda, Calif.

Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

EARLIER this year, when Lance Winters heard that absinthe was being sold in the United States again for the first time since 1912, he shrugged it off. Then he reconsidered. He’d spent 11 years perfecting an absinthe at St. George Spirits, the distillery where he works in Alameda, Calif., and considered it one of the best things he’d ever made. Why not sell it?

Over the past few months, he must have wished he’d stuck to his first instinct.

The division of the Treasury Department that approves alcohol packaging sent back his label seven times, he said. They thought it looked too much like the British pound note. They wondered why it was called Absinthe Verte when their lab analysis said the liquid inside was amber. Mostly, it seemed to him, they didn’t like the monkey.

“I had the image of a spider monkey beating on a skull with femur bones,” Mr. Winters said. But he said that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau thought the label “implied that there are hallucinogenic, mind-altering or psychotropic qualities” to the product.


also from NYT:
SHAKEN AND STIRRED; Molecular Theory

A Modern Absinthe Experiment
Secrets of Fuel for Creative Fires Unlocked


NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: BENDING ELBOWS; A Beer Hall With Home-Grown Czech Nostalgia

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