Archive for June 21st, 2008

U.S. Prohibition Of Absinthe Finally Over

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

My great-grandfather, Antoine Borel\'s beloved Château GorgierI first tasted Absinthe at my family’s Château de Gorgier, situated in the small village of Gorgier, Switzerland not far from Neuchâtel, in the mid seventies. My mother’s cousin was making it in one of the cellars, I presume, illegally. I remember it tasting similar to Pastis with a slightly different note. We had a glass or two before going to lunch at a restaurant on the lake and it gave quite a quick buzz.

Lucid Absinthe logo all rights owned by Vinidian SpiritsA chemist by the name of Ted Breaux has spent years perfecting absinthe making in Europe based on the original pre-ban recipes. He has meticulously recreated genuine Absinthe as is it is meant to be. In so doing he also managed to refine it to the point where the Thujone (the harmful element in wormwood) was virtually non-existent. Thujone is the ingredient that is banned in the U.S. and many other countries. The ban was lifted because this ingredient has been removed from the product. According to Ted, that is the way it was in the 1800’s. However, they have balanced the herbs differently in an effort to make it less pungent for the American market. I believe that the Spanish or Swiss Absinthe would be preferable.

Poster and all copyrights owned by Pernod Fils, FranceLucid Absinthe is an American product, which started production in 2006 and is distilled by Viridian Spirits in Manhasset, New York and was founded in 2006. According to Viridian’s president, the first thing the company did was to contact Ted Breaux, a chemist known for his detailed analyses of vintage absinthes.

According to records Absinthe was created in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland. Since 1915, it was prohibited in a number of European countries and the United States.
Absinthe was available in five different grades: “ordinaire”,”demi-fine”,”fine”,”supérieure” and “Suisse” (this title does not refer to the country), in order of increasing alcoholic strength and quality. A “supérieure” and “Suisse” would always be naturally colored and distilled. “Ordinaire” and “demi-fine” might be artificially colored and made from oil extracts.

absinthe paintingMan drinking absinthe and eventually the “green fairy” appears

V9 Wine Bar-Restaurant – Bangkok

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

The colorful bar at V9 at Sofitel Silmon Bangkok

V9 Bar & Restaurant
Sofitel Silom Bangkok
188 Silom Road,
Bangrak,10500 Bangkok
Tel.02 238 1991
Opening Hours: 5pm-2am nightly
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate

An interesting concept for a bar where the customer can buy their bottles at retail from a selection in wooden wine boxes stacked up by the entrance. All the wines are supplied from one source, the mainly retail distributor Wine Connection with wine shops around Bangkok and also in Vietnam and Singapore. The vibrant bar delivers all the expected exotic cocktails along with a good selection of wines by the glass. The Bar-Manager, Neungrutai Chaiya (nickname: Belle) and she definitely is V9’s “La Belle”, ask to talk to her she is a charmer, who incidentally, has been working there since the opening six years ago.

It is basically a wine bar surrounded by a restaurant, and that is not to demean the restaurant in the least, it serves new, original French cuisine with a panoramic view of the city lights from the 37th floor of the Sofitel Silom Bangkok. They also feature live performances by various musicians and and now on is an exhibition of paintings, oil and acrylic, of mainly Chinese faces that are very interesting and well-conceived and, which I quite fancy, interspersed about the restaurant. The Belgian artist, Christian Develter email: who is based in Bangkok at least for the present.