Clandestine Absinthe is bootleg Absinthe that has been distributed over the Black Market during Absinthe prohibition.
Absinthe was forbidden and made outlawed in France, Switzerland and several other countries in th early 1900s after being a popular liquor since its creation on the turn of the nineteenth century.
Absinthe had been especially popular with the Bohemian art set in the Montmartre part of Paris. Artists and writers including Van Gogh, Gauguin, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway have been all devotees of the Green Fairy, as Absinthe is generally known.
Anti-alcohol campaigners started to paint a negative picture of Absinthe throughout the late 19th 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 effects. Many stated that if Absinthe wasn’t banned then France would be a nation of mad, insane people. Absinthe was even held accountable for an alcoholic murdering his family even if he had been drinking other spirits following the Absinthe. Absinthe was forbidden and prohibition began.
Clandestine Absinthe in Switzerland
During prohibition, there was obviously still a niche 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 became the Swiss capital of Absinthe creation and was obviously badly affected by prohibition. One distiller, Claude-Alain Bugnon, is said to have carried on distilling Absinthe and distilled it by using a recipe of another bootleg distiller Charlotte Vaucher. The Val de Travers was popular for its great 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 applied for a license to market Absinthe and was the first distiller to become given a license for Absinthe manufacturing in Switzerland.
Claude-Alain Bugnon’s company, Artemisia-Bugnon distilleries now produce different styles of Absinthe:-
– The renowned La Clandestine Originale – This Absinthe is an excellent premium La Bleue, 53% ABV (alcohol by volume). It is a clear Absinthe within a blue bottle and a few people claim that it took its name from the blue reflections noticed when the Absinthe louches.
– La Capricieuse – This Absinthe was developed to satisfy the flavour for pre-prohibition stronger Absinthe and it has an ABV of 72%.
– Recette Marianne – This Absinthe was created to be sold to the French market which has strict Fenchone rules and doesn’t allow bottles labeled Absinthe to be distributed. 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 utilizing a wine base.
– Angelique Verte Suisse – Produced for people who want their Absinthe to be a little more bitter and to hold the traditional green color. The stunning label on this bottle is the same as antique labels depicting the Green Fairy.
The Artemisia-Bugnon utilizes herbs grown in the area like grande and petite Artemisia Absinthium (wormwood), hyssop and lemon balm to flavor its anise flavoured liquor. No synthetic colors or additives are widely-used 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 available to buy on their web store but if you intend to try your hand at making your individual Absinthe that contains wormwood then you can certainly make use of the essences from AbsintheKit.com to make your very own premium Absinthe.