A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
Enigma Blanche and Verte are already available in India, Australia, continental Europe and Lebanon, but now Liqueurs de France has turned its attention to the relatively undeveloped UK absinthe market.
Ian Hutton, absinthe historian and director of Liqueurs de France, said that the UK launch was “born out of a desire to show people what absinthe should taste like”.
Enigma Blanche de Fougerolles, which carries an abv of 74% and priced at £48.06, is a clear liquid which tastes - according to Hutton - of “sweet anise and mint with a layer of wormwood”.
Enigma Verte de Fougerolles, which is 72% abv and is priced at £42.20, has undergone an additional stage of ‘herb infusion’ to create a pale green hue and a “complex herbal and mint flavour with balanced wormwood and anise”.
Both absinthes are recreations of a recipe dating back to 1905 and combine the ‘holy trinity’ of herbs: wormwood, fennel and anise.
Hutton suggested that Enigma should be mixed by a ratio of four parts water to one part absinthe, “it is 72% alcohol – it’s not meant to be drunk neat,” he said.
Responding to questions over the suitability of the spirit to cocktails, Hutton said: “You have to show the spirit respect but you also have to bring it into the 21st century."
Liqueurs de France, which distributes 30 brands of specialist liqueurs and spirits, can be found at absintheonline.com.