Now when someone mentions Absinthe, what comes to mind? A green high alcohol content liquid which causes hallucinations and massive hangovers maybe. Well times are changing and Absinthe is enjoying something of a revival. We were sent this bottle of Chilli Absinthe from the German manufacturers, Cannax. This just adds to the growing trend of adding Chilli to alcohol.
Well here are some of the facts. It is an aniseed flavoured liquid usually between 45- 74% alcohol content, traditionally made with the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium otherwise known as “grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.
Absinthe has indeed caused a great deal of controversy in it’s history, having been banned in the US and most of Europe by 1915 because of it being an addictive psychoactive drug, however this was never proved and has enjoyed a revival in the 1990’s in the countries which banned it.
So here we have the Chilli Head Absinthe. This comes with real chillies in the 50cl bottle. I have to mention the bottle as it is moulded into a skull shape, something very unique. It would certainly look great sat amongst any chilli fans collection. This is a difficult product to review the spirit Absinthe is very much an aquired taste, most serving suggestions have the spirit watered down a little before consumption, and with a 55% alcohol content I’m not surprised.
Bottle kindly supplied by Cannax
Once the cork is removed, you get the aniseed aroma which is very familiar, reminding me instantly of the flaming Sambucca’s I enjoy at my local curry house at Christmas. So what does it taste like? I’m a little nervous if I am honest, the label is all in German so I have no idea what it is saying. I decide to try it ‘neat’ to get a true reflection of the chilli flavour.
Wow!….It certainly packs a punch straight from the bottle, the taste is as expected, aniseed, herbal flavour and a very strong alcohol hit, followed by the chilli burn which combines really well with the other flavours and lingers in the throat but is never uncomfortable and fades away fairly quickly leaving the standard Absinthe flavours. I expected it to be quite sweet but it isn’t.
I know Absinthe is not normally the spirit that most would have sitting in the drinks cabinet but I am pleasantly surprised by this product. The tip of my tongue has a slight tingle about 10 minutes later and the general aftertaste is not unpleasant.
So here is another product which may well appeal to the seasoned chilli head for their Christmas stocking, if nothing else it does look stunning.
Available from various places online including Amazon for £26.00