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Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder. - Dowson
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Absinthe Cocktails Book
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Can Good Absinthe Go Bad?
Posted by Michael
on 01/27/08
I've had an almost empty bottle of Jade Edouard sitting in my cabinet for about a year and a half. I had stoppered it with the original cork and thought that it would be OK for quite some time.

It seems like I was wrong about that.

When I poured myself a glass recently the absinthe looked a little cloudy but I didn't pay too much attention to it. After adding sugar and water, and after taking a small sip I realized that something was amiss. I looked again at the absinthe and saw that a very ugly brown scum had formed on the surface and the rest of the absinthe had a brownish tint to it (instead of the usual pearly green).

I'm not sure why this happened but I took some pictures (click the "more" link below).

Any thoughts?

These shots are a recreation. The first two are from before I added the water.

This one really shows the cloudiness.

These two are after the water has been added. Yuck!

post divider


Huh... a little sediment may be visible after a while-- there _are_ some small particles in there from the coloring herbs-- but I've never seen a scum on top... Are you sure the bottle wasn't contaminated somehow (like, by direct-to-mouth contact)? Still, alcohol at that concentration is basically a disinfectant-- no critter should be able to live in there... If you send me the rest of the bottle, I promise to send you a full report on what I find...:)

~ by Salsa on 01/27/08 23:54:43


I don't remember any direct-to-mouth contact... not saying that there wasn't any... just saying I don't remember any. ;-)

The only guess I might have is that the oils that produce the louche went rancid. ???

~ by Michael on 01/28/08 10:13:25

One question I might have is how you store your bottles. I keep mine on a shelf in a cool dark place and upright. Some of my absinthes are approx 10 years old now. I have seen some slight color changes, from a green to a yellowish green, or brown tinge, but from what Ive read, this is normal.

In the third photo, does it appear that this brown 'scum' is oily or of a dusty, moldy particular matter?

~ by on 01/29/08 16:21:19

The absinthe was stored upright in a kitchen cabinet.

I don't think the scum was dusty or moldy, it didn't appear until after I added the water.

~ by Michael on 01/29/08 17:49:33

Did you shake the bottle vigorously before pouring a glass?
I would have done it after 1 1/2 year sitting opened.

~ by Marc on 02/15/08 04:41:35

>>>> Did you shake the bottle vigorously before pouring a glass?

I didn't shake it. While it was somewhat cloudy before I added the water, there didn't seem to be any solids in it before I added the water.

Do you think shaking it up would have helped?

~ by Michael on 02/17/08 18:46:30

Mebbe its from when U burnt the sugar.

~ by Czecklovr on 02/19/08 04:05:09

An almost similar thing happened - and this may sound odd - to a louched verte sample I stored in the fridge for a couple of days, just curiosity, to find out what would happen. A comparable residue-like substance appeared, with only one slight exception to this phenomenon, a substantial amount of sediment was lying at the bottom of the sample bottle, though after a giving it a good shake al of it disappeared but returned again after another three days in the fridge, I’m sure there must be some simple, kind of a scientific explanation for it.

~ by Zenzero on 03/06/08 22:26:24

Some organic compounds tend to come out of solution and precipitate. Decreasing temperature decreases solubility (and possibly induces formation of crystals, e.g. anethole).

~ by Hellbitch on 03/08/08 06:16:49

I have had a bottle of absinthe in the fridge for about a year -- is this a good idea or should it have been stored at room temperature? Just wondering!

~ by David on 07/02/09 12:51:31

i just bought a bottle of absinthe lucid, and i did the same thing put the original cork/cap back in it and i was wondering if i should keep it in like a cupboard or something cause im sure heat isnt best for it but i dunno i just dont want this 72 bottle of greatness to go bad what should i do for storage and is it even possible for absinthe to go bad?

~ by zombiebonesrus on 04/17/10 20:47:52

I bought a bottle of Lucid that had been near a big window where sun was beaming in. The color wasn't right and the louche and effect was off so I spoke with the liquor store manager and she wouldn't return it and make good on it so I then emailed veridian(the good folks that bring you Lucid). They were very gracious and sent me a replacement bottle at no charge.

~ by Louise Joles on 06/10/10 18:04:02

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