Absinthe is Good (So I Hear)
December 12, 2007 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy absinthe, now that it is legal in the US?

I've read that absinthe is legal in the US if it passes tests demonstrating it is free of thujone. Know where I can buy some? (Internet OK.)
posted by miss tea to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I saw it at BevMo last night...
posted by muscat at 3:26 PM on December 12, 2007

What is BevMo?
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:34 PM on December 12, 2007

BevMo was formerly known as Beverages & More. Sorta like if Trader Joe's only sold liquids.
posted by jamaro at 3:39 PM on December 12, 2007

Jade is generally considered to be top-shelf. It can't legally be bought or distributed in the US, but it can be legally shipped to you. As I understand it, anything you can legally buy or distribute in the US is vodka with colors and flavors added, not real absinthe.

BevMo=Beverages and More.
posted by lekvar at 3:39 PM on December 12, 2007

The stuff in the US isn't really Absinthe, its missing the bits that make it Absinthe.

Order it online from http://vintageabsinthe.com/ the guy who distills it is a nut about true vintage Absinthe, he's even using original vintage equipment.

posted by legotech at 3:43 PM on December 12, 2007

The law in the US on absinthe just changed. There is distillery that will be offering it this December. If you are able to procure one of these bottles please post a follow-up on MeTa. I'm dying to know how it tastes.

SF Chronicle News Link >
posted by quadog at 3:53 PM on December 12, 2007

quadog: If I said "liquorice" that wouldn't be the half of it.
posted by puddpunk at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2007

I know this is dumb, but have you called your local liquor stores and asked if they have it in stock? It is really pretty widely available.
posted by phoenixy at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2007

This NY Times article covers the absinthes that are on the market or will be on the market.

Two mentioned in the article and others you can buy online at Drink Up NY, Hi-Times, K&L, or Wally's.

For the St. George Absinthe Verte, their website notes that it will be available in their corporate store and select retail/online stores starting at the end of December. You can pre-order it at K&L and The Jug Shop.
posted by junesix at 3:58 PM on December 12, 2007

The nice folks at St. George Spirits are the ones now making it in the US, and will be selling it at the distillery in Alameda, CA, after 12/21, if you're near the Bay Area.

According to their website:
"We cannot ship, but the following retail stores will have it for sale (and shipping) at the end of December:

Hi-Time Wines

K&L Wines

The Jug Shop

D&M Liquors

Wally's Wines & Spirits"

(direct links on their web site)
posted by gingerbeer at 3:59 PM on December 12, 2007

legotech: "The stuff in the US isn't really Absinthe..."

Lucid is, ostensibly, honest-to-goodness Grand Wormwood-based Absinthe, and it's in almost every liquor store near me. Maybe you're thinking of Absente?

Of course, it contains almost no thujone, whereas the European (and still illegal-to-import) stuff does.

quadog: "The law in the US on absinthe just changed."

No, no laws or regulations have changed. It just wasn't realized until recently that, when testing for thujone content, there's a margin of error of 10ppm. This effectively means that any beverage with less than 10ppm of thujone will not be rejected by the test.
posted by CrayDrygu at 4:00 PM on December 12, 2007

In other news, Coca Cola no longer contains cocaine, but it's basically the same stuff.
posted by bingo at 4:11 PM on December 12, 2007

bingo: "In other news, Coca Cola no longer contains cocaine, but it's basically the same stuff."

The US standard of 10ppm for thujone testing results in a similar amount to the European standard of 10mg/l. This means many existing European brands, though not all of them since it's a "standard" not a "limit", would pass the US tests.

Your analogy would be more apt if Coca Cola contained slightly less cocaine than before, rather than none. But I suppose it's worth noting that the amount of cocaine in Coca Cola's original recipe was pretty insignificant, just like the amount of thujone in proper absinthe is considered to be unremarkable.
posted by CrayDrygu at 4:23 PM on December 12, 2007

By the way, miss tea, Absinthe has always been legal to possess and consume in the United States. It's only that it's flatly prohibited by Customs to import it, so we've had to wait until now, when companies are beginning to manufacture it here, to actually consume it. lekvar is correct that you can have it shipped in, and I am told that such shipping is easy and effective and works well, but I have no idea how they do it, as it is actually illegal.
posted by koeselitz at 4:55 PM on December 12, 2007

You may be interested in the Absinthe Vault (of information) at Erowid.
posted by sophist at 6:40 PM on December 12, 2007

....although, if you're unfamiliar with the site, you should know that Erowid's more interested in psychoactive properties and less interested in, say, flavor.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:45 PM on December 12, 2007

Absinthe Classics is a UK based online store claiming 95% of their shipments are to the US. They have a forum too.
posted by tellurian at 8:59 PM on December 12, 2007

Wow. What a bunch of great answers. Thanks all, for the clearing up about the law (I relied on wikipedia, I guess that was a mistake!).

I'll do more investigation and post what I find.

Can't believe I missed the front page post. Must've been working or something. (Pah!)
posted by miss tea at 4:14 AM on December 13, 2007

i can't be much help with where to purchase them specifically but the two absinthe for sale in this country are kubler and lucid. i saw both in my local liquor store. as has been suggested before your best bet it to call the liquor stores near you and ask by brand. of the two kubler is a little cheaper but they are both pretty pricey.
posted by phil at 6:04 AM on December 13, 2007

« Older 1,000 Useless Mugs - Let's Keep them out of the...   |   Buddy, are you rolling in pomade when i'm not... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.