Clandestine Absinthe is bootleg Absinthe that has been distributed over the Black Market during the time of Absinthe prohibition.
Absinthe was forbidden and made illegal in France, Switzerland and lots of other countries in th early 1900s after being a popular liquor since its creation on the turn of the nineteenth century.
Absinthe ended up being especially favored by the Bohemian art set in the Montmartre part of Paris. Artists and writers such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway happen to be all enthusiasts of the Green Fairy, as Absinthe is commonly known.
Anti-alcohol campaigners started to paint a negative picture of Absinthe in the late nineteenth century and early 20th century, blaming it for France's growing issues with alcoholism and claiming that the substance thujone (from wormwood) was psychoactive and was having psychedelic consequences. Many said that if Absinthe wasn't banned then France has got to be nation of mad, insane people. Absinthe was even held responsible for an alcoholic murdering his family despite the fact that he had been drinking other spirits right after the Absinthe. Absinthe was banned and prohibition began.
Clandestine Absinthe in Switzerland
During prohibition, there was obviously still a niche for Absinthe and in Switzerland bootleg distillers still made and sold Absinthe. Switzerland was the house of Absinthe. It is claimed that Absinthe was made by a doctor, Pierre Ordinaire, as being a tonic for his patients in 1789 in the Swiss area of Couvet in the Val de Travers, the Swiss Jura. Over time, Couvet took over as the Swiss capital of Absinthe production and was obviously badly impacted by prohibition. One distiller, Claude-Alain Bugnon, is said to have persisted distilling Absinthe and distilled it with a recipe of another bootleg distiller Charlotte Vaucher. The Val de Travers was recognized for its fantastic bootleg Absinthe.
Absinthe was legalized in lots of countries in the 1990s but legalization in Switzerland didn't happen until 2005. Claude-Alain Bugnon immediately requested for a license to promote Absinthe and was the first distiller to be awarded a license for Absinthe manufacturing in Switzerland.
Claude-Alain Bugnon's business, Artemisia-Bugnon distilleries now produce different styles of Absinthe:-
- The famous La Clandestine Originale - This Absinthe is an excellent premium La Bleue, 53% ABV (alcohol by volume). It's actually a clear Absinthe in a blue bottle and a few people say that it got its name from the blue reflections noticed when the Absinthe louches.
- La Capricieuse - This Absinthe was developed to meet the flavour for pre-prohibition stronger Absinthe and contains an ABV of 72%.
- Recette Marianne - This Absinthe was developed to be distributed to the French market that has strict Fenchone regulations and does not allow bottles labeled Absinthe to be marketed. Fenchone is the essential oil of fennel and is considered to be psychoactive. This liquor is 55% ABV and won the renowned Golden Spoon Award in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
- La Clandestine Originale Alcool du Vin - A distillation of La Clandestine Originale having a wine base.
- Angelique Verte Suisse - Produced for many who want their Absinthe to be a little more bitter and also to have the traditional green color. The stunning label on this bottle is usually like antique labels depicting the Green Fairy.
The Artemisia-Bugnon utilizes herbs grown in the region like grande and petite Artemisia Absinthium (wormwood), hyssop and lemon balm to flavor its anise flavored liquor. No man-made colors or additives are utilized and many discuss about the Absinthes having a "bouquet" of Alpine meadows, of honey and flowers.
The Clandestine Absinthe of the Artemisia-Bugnon distillery is accessible to buy on their web shop but if you wish to try your hand at producing your own Absinthe that contains wormwood then you can make use of the essences from AbsintheKit.com to produce your very own premium Absinthe.