When water is added the Absinthe turns a lovely cloudy color.

Homegrown Absinthe

Perhaps no other spirit is more shrouded in mystery than Absinthe.  To many, Absinthe conjures a romantic image of smoky Parisian bars filled with artist-types and misanthropes drinking small glasses of this harsh, mind-bending elixir.  While this may have been the case in the 1890s, today we have access to many artisanal Absinthes including the fantastic products made by Cheryl Lins at Delaware Phoenix distillery.  But before we talk about her, and an exciting new Absinthe project, we should review what Absinthe is, and what Absinthe isn’t.  Absinthe takes its name from Artemisia absinthium , otherwise known as “Wormwood.”  The bitter flavor of the wormwood is tempered with Aniseed and Fennel to create a complex aperitif.  These three herbs provide the foundation of Absinthe’s flavor, but individual distillers add other botanicals for flavor and color.   Absinthe is often bottled at a very high proof, and then diluted slowly with 4-5 parts ice cold water when served to create a beautiful cream cloud as the botanical oils become visible.  This effect is referred to as the “louche,” and releases an intoxicating bouquet of herbal aromas.  Some also may choose to use Absinthe for classic cocktails like the Sazerac, but high quality Absinthe deserves to be louched and savored on its own.  Absinthe is not illegal, is not a drug, and is not hallucinogenic.  Most of these accusations are made on the grounds that Absinthe includes wormwood, which contains the chemical compound: Thujone.  Thujone does have toxic effects in extremely high levels, but one would succumb to alcohol poisoning before the effects of Thujone would be apparent by drinking Absinthe.  Thujone is not hallucinogenic, and any visions of green fairies should be blamed on over-indulgence in a very high-proof spirit.

Our newsletter recipients may recognize Cheryl Lins’ Delaware Phoenix distillery from our love of her whiskies.  Her amazing Absinthes were actually our first introduction to her, by way of savvy natural wine writer/enthusiast Alice Feiring.  Alice reported for the New York Times that Sheryl read an article about Absinthe, and was immediately smitten with the history and production of Absinthe.  So much so that she went from being a teetotaler to purchasing a miniature still that had to be sent from Portugal.  In the last 10 years or so, the United States had relaxed its ban on wormwood spirits, and New York State had become a hospitable environment for upstart craft distillers.  This created the perfect environment for New York’s own small-production Absinthe.  Cheryl sources many of the herbs and botanicals needed for her spirits from organic New York growers, and uses local Walton, New York water to bring the alcohol down to the still robust 68%.  There are two flagship Absinthes with a slightly different herbal recipe.  Both have Grand and Roman wormwood, green anise, fennel, hyssop, and lemon balm, but the “Meadow of Love” has added violets for a more floral flavor.  We are also very pleased to have received a few cases of a limited run Absinthe collaboration between Cheryl and some of her fellow Absinthe enthusiasts.  The recipe is different than Cheryl’s regular releases, and the flavor seems to have more punchy Fennel tones. While none of the Absinthes are inexpensive, they are bottled at such a high proof that they should last a while open. JR

Delaware Phoenix Walton Waters Absinthe Superieure

Delaware Phoenix is the passion-driven distillery owned and operated by Cheryl Lins.  She started making the first traditional Absinthes in New York in the town of Walton on a tiny pot still.  The results are superb, and compare favorably with Europe's best.  The "Walton Waters" bottling is distilled with the classic herbs: Grand wormwood, Anise, Florence Fennel, Roman wormwood, Lemon balm, and Lemon Thyme.  The spirits are high proof (136) and should be diluted with three to five parts ice cold water.  JR

  • herb liqueur
  • 10 in stock
  • no discount
  • $74.99

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Delaware Phoenix Blues Cat Absinthe Superieure

Blues Cat is a collaborative effort by four absinthe enthusiasts who met online. The quartet has a deep knowledge of absinthe production, uses homegrown herbs, and distills in Cheryl Lins’ still in Walton, New York. They came up with a rich absinthe bottled at 136 proof with a beautiful green tint. Compared to other Delaware Phoenix products, Blues Cat has a stronger fennel flavor and also a pleasant tongue-numbing spiciness. This may be a single run, so if you are interested, please act fast!  JR

***UPDATE***

Cheryl has made another run! We're happy to have Blues Cat back in stock—for now...

  • Out of Stock
  • herb liqueur
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $74.99

Delaware Phoenix Meadow of Love Absinthe Superieure

Delaware Phoenix is the passion-driven distillery owned and operated by Cheryl Lins. She started making the first traditional absinthes in New York in the town of Walton in a tiny pot still. The results are superb, and compare favorably with Europe's best. The "Meadow of Love" adds violet to the classic herbal cocktail, and has a drier profile than many other absinthes.  JR

  • Out of Stock
  • herb liqueur
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $74.99