Friday, December 04, 2009
It's rather difficult to lay your hands on a wide variety of absinthe in Canada (especially now that Absinthe Classics Canada is no longer serving Canadian customers) but Siren Absinthe is one of the few brands carried by the LCBO. Sirene Absinthe is made by North Shore Distillery in Chicago. Happy Christmas to me; I can't wait to try it. There are some decent reviews on The Wormwood Society website, and although it might not be one of the most highly rated, it is certainly respectable.
Sirene Absinthe is one of only four types of absinthe carried by the LCBO. Although, interestingly, only two of the four types carried by the LCBO are actually absinthe (the Absente and the Hill's are absinthe-like but do not contain the required herb that would make them absinthe). It's too bad the LCBO doesn't carry the only Canadian-made absinthe, Taboo (including Taboo Gold or Taboo Myrrh), from Okanagan Spirits.
If you are new to absinthe and haven't heard me wax poetic or natter on about it before, here's The Wormwood Society definition of absinthe:
1. A (usually) green distilled spirit of high alcohol content, with a main characteristic flavor derived from anise, wormwood and other botanicals.
2. Artemisia absinthium. A perennial aromatic European herb having pinnatifid, silvery silky leaves and numerous nodding yellow flower heads. The definitive ingredient in absinthe.
For some reason absinthe makes me think of Ricola cough drops, in a green melted form...I should mention I love the flavour of Ricola cough drops, which I grant you is a tad unusual. But, given the herbs that are in the Ricola cough drops, it's not surprising that there are some similar flavours between these two seemingly diparate things. If you're interested, The Wormwood Society is an excellent resource for all things absinthe. Also the Real Absinthe Blog (where you can find the Thirsty Traveler segment on absinthe).
At the particular LCBO I visited today to purchase the Sirene, surprisingly it was housed with the Single Malts in the Vintages section. The other absinthe, Pernod, was nowhere in sight, although in other locations I have seen it in the liqueur section. Now, I'm not exactly sure what would be the most appropriate placement for absinthe, but a single malt it definitely is not. Fortunately I was on the hunt for Midleton Very Rare Irish Whisky, which I never did locate, but at least my quest led me to the obscure section where the Sirene was housed!
In a similar vein, it's also a good thing I enjoy browsing the aisles of the LCBO, because never in a million years would it have occurred to me to look for Vice Martini by Vineland Estates, a Vidal ice wine and vodka mix, inexplicably placed in the Port section. Even the cashier had to ask me where I found it and was as amused/bemused as I was to find out where it was located.
At the point of posting I haven't yet enjoyed the Sirene Absinthe; I have simply enjoyed the procurement of it!