Clandestine Absinthe is bootleg Absinthe which was distributed over the Black Market during Absinthe prohibition.
Absinthe was forbidden and made outlawed in France, Switzerland and many other countries in th early 1900s after being a popular liquor since its creation at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Absinthe had been especially well-liked by the Bohemian art set in the Montmartre part of Paris. Artists and writers which includes Van Gogh, Gauguin, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway have been all fans of the Green Fairy, as Absinthe is commonly known.
Anti-alcohol campaigners did start to paint a poor picture of Absinthe in the late 19th century and early twentieth century, blaming it for France’s growing problems with alcoholism and declaring that the substance thujone (from wormwood) was psychoactive and was having psychedelic consequences. Many declared that if Absinthe was not banned then France has got to be nation of mad, insane people. Absinthe was even blamed for an alcoholic murdering his family even though he had been drinking other spirits following the Absinthe. Absinthe was banned and prohibition began.
Clandestine Absinthe in Switzerland
During prohibition, there was obviously still an industry for Absinthe and in Switzerland bootleg distillers still produced and sold Absinthe. Switzerland was the house of Absinthe. It’s claimed that Absinthe was created by a doctor, Pierre Ordinaire, being a tonic for his patients in 1789 in the Swiss area of Couvet within the Val de Travers, the Swiss Jura. In time, Couvet took over as the Swiss capital of Absinthe creation and was obviously badly troubled by prohibition. One distiller, Claude-Alain Bugnon, is claimed to have carried on distilling Absinthe and distilled it with a recipe of another bootleg distiller Charlotte Vaucher. The Val de Travers was popular for its fantastic bootleg Absinthe.
Absinthe was legalized in many countries in the 1990s but legalization in Switzerland didn’t happen until 2005. Claude-Alain Bugnon immediately requested for a license to sell Absinthe and was the first distiller to be given a license for Absinthe production in Switzerland.
Claude-Alain Bugnon’s firm, Artemisia-Bugnon distilleries now produce many different types of Absinthe:-
– The well-known La Clandestine Originale – This Absinthe is an award winning premium La Bleue, 53% ABV (alcohol by volume). It’s actually a clear Absinthe inside a blue bottle and several people point out that it took its name from the blue reflections observed when the Absinthe louches.
– La Capricieuse – This Absinthe was created to satisfy the flavors for pre-prohibition stronger Absinthe and it has an ABV of 72%.
– Recette Marianne – This Absinthe was produced to be marketed to the French market which has strict Fenchone laws and does not allow bottles labeled Absinthe to be sold. Fenchone is the essential oil of fennel and it is thought to be psychoactive. This liquor is 55% ABV and won the exclusive 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 those who want their Absinthe to be slightly more bitter and to possess the traditional green color. The stunning label on this bottle is the same as antique labels depicting the Green Fairy.
The Artemisia-Bugnon makes use of herbs grown in your community like grande and petite Artemisia Absinthium (wormwood), hyssop and lemon balm to flavor its anise flavored liquor. No artificial colors or additives are used and several talk about the Absinthes possessing a “bouquet” of Alpine meadows, of honey and flowers.
The Clandestine Absinthe of the Artemisia-Bugnon distillery can be obtained to buy on their internet store but if you would like to try your hand at producing your personal Absinthe comprising wormwood then you can use the essences from AbsintheKit.com to produce your personal premium Absinthe.