Amidst the flutter of green fairies, a smoking absinth punch and titillating burlesque performances, Green Fairy Supérieur launched in Sydney last week . “The Beautiful Madness” was held in a freaky tiki setting of 5 Eliza Bar at the Fringe Festival in Newtown.
Hosted by Southtrade International and presented by Geraint David, the launch was also a celebration of ten years of Green Fairy Absinth in Australia.
Holly J’aDoll, Burlesque Performer
Green Fairy Absinth
The Green Fairies
Green Fairy is a Czech absinth, a brand with playful marketing that sends the message that the spirit is more than a mere rinse in classic cocktails and can be used as a base spirit in mixed drinks, cocktails and punches. Green Fairy Absinth is made in one of Europe’s oldest distilleries, The House of the Green Tree which has been producing spirits since 1518.
Brief History of Absinthe
Geraint David, National Training Manager
Absinth derives its name fromartemisia absinthium, or wormwood, an ancient herb that came from ancient Egypt and Greece and was used prolifically throughout the history of medicine. Brewed by witches and prescribed by physicians, the mystical herb has enjoyed a chequered journey.
Around 1792, Dr Pierre Ordinaire who fled France during the French revolution and crossed the border into Switzerland, obtained a recipe from the Henriod sisters from which he created absinthe. In 1797, Major Daniel-Henri Dubied purchased the recipe from him and later, he met Henri-Louis Pernod who built a distillery in Pontarlier, France and became the first mass producer of absinthe. The traditional and authentic French recipe became known as “the holy trinity” which consists of wormwood, anise and fennel.
In 1831, the consumption of absinthe spread to the French foreign legion who used it to ward off malaria and dysentery and by 1860, “L’heure verte”, the green hour at 5.00pm was popular in the cafés and cabarets of Paris. At the time, it was an expensive drink favoured by the bourgeoisie, the intellectual and the city’s artistic culture but when the price of alcohol came down in the 1880s, absinthe became the drink of France ultimately threatening the wine industry.
Absinthe’s popularity was cut short when a Swiss labourer, Jean Lanfray, drank himself to madness in 1905 and murdered his pregnant wife and two children. It was later proven that he had only consumed two drinks of absinthe but copious amounts of wine and brandy. Studies were then conducted to prove that absinthe caused convulsions and death in laboratory rats which eventually it led to its ban by 1915.
Kacy with the Green Fairy Punch
The production of Bohemian or Czech absinth was never banned. Czech Absinth began as a potion that was descended from witchcraft. It was later developed into an elixir before the recipe spread throughout Bohemia Moravia (now the Czech Republic) and became known as Czech absinth.
Czech Absinth employs different methods and recipes for making the spirit. It is low in anise flavour due to the use of star anise and as a result, it lacks the louche effect, which turns the spirit cloudy when cold water is added.
Koruna Bohemian Absinth
The Green Fairy range
Koruna Bohemian Absinth is crafted from a recipe that dates back over 100 years. Meaning “crown”, which is the Czech currency, the spirit is made using star anise which has less natural sweetness and employs no green anise or fennel.
Koruna (73% ABV) is pale green-yellow in colour and has wormwood and other as sediment in the bottle. It is the only compound absinth where the herbs continue to macerate. The anise flavour is mild and soft with a herbal character and a touch of bitterness.
Green Fairy Supérieur
Green Fairy Supérieur is a Czech absinthe crafted by Master Distiller, Martin Zufanek but made in the traditional French style. The spirit is distilled from natural ingredients and made using artisanal methods using herbs grown in his private estate.
Green Fairy Supérieur is macerated for 48 hours then distilled once before it undergoes a second maceration which gives it a clear and deep olive colour. Made using natural ingredients and herbs, its Holy Trinity has grande wormwood, anise (imported from Egypt) and fennel (imported from Provence).
The spirit louches when cold water is added releasing a flavour profile that is lighter in anise and less bitter than most French absinthes.
The Absinthe Ritual
Pontarlier bubble-reservoir glass,
When it comes to serving absinthe, a ritual is part of the experience. Whether it is absinthe fountains that drip cold water over a perforated spoon with a sugar cube resting on top of a glass, or poured into a Pontarlier bubble-reservoir glass which hold the correct measure of spirit, theatrics are part of the enjoyment.
But the ultimate pleasure comes from sipping the diluted Green Fairy Supérieur through an absinthe pipe.
Let the beautiful madness begin!
Some photographs of the event below:
L-R: Koruna, Green Fairy Supérieur absinthe pipe, Green Fairy punch
Green Fairy Sorbet
Holly J’aDoll, Second Act
The Green Fairy Supérieur Launch was held at 5 Eliza Bar in Newtown on Monday 10 September 2012. Gourmantic attended the event as media guests.
Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.
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