Three Hour Absinthe & the Power of Hypothetical Distillation
Create an absinthe from scratch in under three hours.
(Without buying a $2,000 rotary evaporator.)
DISCLAIMER: Home distillation is illegal in the United States and this process remains hypothetical. I just know it works and wanted to share.
THE SHORT OF IT….
Using a traditional ISI rapid infusion I can produce a concentrate of fennel, green anise, & wormwood. I will blend that infusion with a bit of wine and water to lower the proof, then “concentrate” that base using das booze master 5000. From there I will take the concentrated blanche absinthe and do a secondary rapid infusion with hyssop, mint, lemon balm, tarragon & basil.
SHORT STORY. LONG…
I’ll be using a technique from Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence that produces a rapid infused orange bitters. Similar to a standard rapid infusion you’ll raise & lower the temperature of the canister to extract more from the infusion. (If you don’t have a copy of Liquid Intelligence you really should.)
Secondly, we will be “concentrating” the infusion with a very simple essential oil still. This is technically illegal and as such this part of my process with have to remain hypothetical until such a time I can travel outside the United States to give it a go. If you have the means and live outside the U.S. a rotary evaporation unit is highly preferable.
Lastly, we will infuse the concentrate with our second round of herbs. This we will create a more nuanced flavor and provide the absinthe with its traditional green color.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENTS
There is a lot that can be improved in this process and I submit to you dear reader as a starting place.
A hydrometer could be used to accurately obtain the ABV of the product.
The distillation technique leaves room for improvement and beyond rotary evaporation, there are better methods.
I borrowed the botanical profile from St George but in reality, any number of herbs could be used. It would be amazing to produce a more terroir-driven product perhaps consult your local herbalist for ideas.
This concept could be adapted to craft some amazing small batch Amari. A new cocktail book Modern Cocktails has some great thoughts on distilling your own spirits for cocktails.