La Clandestine Couvet-Suisse
This award-winning absinthe may not have had its debut until 2005, but it is anything but modern in that it follows a 1935 recipe. Two-time first prize winner at the National Competition for Swiss spirits and the only five-time Golden Spoons awardee at the “Absinthe Oscars” or the French Absinthiades, La Clandestine deserves every accolade for being authentic in recipe as it is in production.
La Clandestine is handcrafted to perfection by Claude-Alain Bugnon using only ingredients from the birthplace of absinthe, Couvet (the Val-de-Travers) in Switzerland, and a distillation process that caters to small batches. It is 100% authentic with no added sugar and zero artificial coloring (the bottle is blue), very much unlike the modern absinthe you see in the market today.
La Clandestine is slightly expensive but that only goes to show how much craftsmanship is poured into every bottle. At just 53% ABV/106 proof, you will get a brilliant mix of the plants from the Alps being used (including traditional absinthe ingredients: grand wormwood, fennel and anise). A serving is a feast for the senses: a wonderful fragrant, floral aroma; a delicate and refreshing taste with a lingering bitterness (but none of the harshness of most absinthe); and beautiful blue reflections that quite so often appear when the Clandestine absinthe louches as 3-4 parts water is added. At 700ml per bottle, La Clandestine is versatile enough for modern and traditional cocktails.
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