St. George Absinthe Verte
Real absinthe. No artificial ingredients, no gimmicks.
The first legal American absinthe released after the U.S. ban was lifted in 2007, St. George Absinthe Verte remains one of the most acclaimed and respected spirits in this category.
Made from a host of real botanical ingredients, ours is a layered and evocative expression of this beguiling and highly spirituous herbal elixir.
And it has a monkey on the label!
Distiller Lance Winters considers absinthe the pinnacle of the distiller’s art form. Why? Because creating a beautiful absinthe means taking a number of loud botanical ingredients and making them sing in harmony.
For us, it didn’t happen overnight.
While the U.S. ban was still in place, it was illegal to sell absinthe, but not to distill it. Commercial viability has never been what motivates us, so needless to say, we distilled a lot of absinthe during that period. In fact, it took Lance about 11 years to perfect his absinthe formula. When the American ban was overturned in 2007, we were ready.
There’s a lot of hype and mystery surrounding absinthe, but the process itself isn’t really all that esoteric. The real art is in finding just the right ingredients and creating a symphony of flavor.
For us, that means infusing brandy with the unholy trinity of wormwood, fennel, and star anise. We then distill this infusion on our 1,500-liter copper pot still. After that, we perform a secondary infusion of mint, tarragon, opal basil, lemon balm, hyssop, meadowsweet, and stinging nettles.
The secondary infusion is what gives absinthe color; just after the secondary infusion, our absinthe is an intense emerald green. By the time we bottle it and the bottle reaches you, the absinthe will have turned its characteristic feuille morte (dead leaf) hue due to chlorophyll from all the botanicals breaking down with time and exposure to light.
Sipped neat, St. George Absinthe Verte is a heady, herbaceous smack to the senses. It opens with spicy black licorice and then slowly evolves into citrus and grass profiles with a dose of sarsaparilla. Because of the abundance of essential oils, it’s rich and viscous on the palate—even at 120 proof (60% alcohol).
To bring out another level of vivid flavors and a lovely louche (milky cloudiness) that seems to glow from within, a single large ice cube is ideal. Adding water further releases botanical oils into solution, deepening the louche and intensifying the heady, floral aroma.
We developed our formulation over years of patient experimentation and think it’s pretty much perfect just as it is. We don’t advocate adding sugar to our absinthe—or to any other artisanally distilled absinthe for that matter.
In cocktails that call for an anise spirit, St. George Absinthe Verte adds complexity and depth of flavor. Just a dash’ll do ya, but building a cocktail around it isn’t a bad way to go…
You won’t hallucinate when you drink our absinthe, but you might fall in love. Everyone else has.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
At once classic…and innovative. — The New York Times
Complex layers of hyssop, lemon balm and all sorts of anisey, licoricey action. — Food & Wine
One of the most eloquent on the market today. Dominated by the herbaceous tones of anise, tarragon and basil, it’s a force to be reckoned with. — Drink Me
Toulouse Lautrec would be proud. — Grub Street
Formats: 750ml & 200ml
Availability: Widely available. Find it here.