Absinthe recipe from Môtiers

Below is the recipe of the late Georges Matthey-Claudet, a real "resister" as they are still known in the Val-de-Travers, a red-headed coppersmith from the village of Môtiers who specialised in making banned stills and the Green Fairy. It was handed on to Pierre-André Delachaux by Matthey-Claudet's daughter:

Place in a 60-litre still:

15 litres of 95% proof pure alcohol

25 litres of water

Add the "blanquette" from the previous distillation (about a litre)

3 handfuls of Common wormwood

1 handful of Roman wormwood

2 kg anise

1 kg fennel

1 handful of hyssop

1 handful of lemon balm

1 handful of mint


Mme Matthey-Claudet explains her father's production secrets: "At the beginning of the distillation process, it smells very strongly of alcohol. By the end, there are a whole range of aromas. This is when you have to watch it really carefully and repeatedly taste the "blanquette" which is running clear because the alcohol content is being rapidly reduced. As soon as it's bordering on a liquorice-like taste, the container must be removed but another one should be slid under the cooler to continue distilling all the remaining alcohol because these "aftertastes" are essential for the next distillation and will give it a rounded, harmonious and velvety bouquet.

My father coloured his absinthe using an original method. As the transparent liquid left the still, he funnelled it into a demijohn that he'd filled with Roman wormwood, lemon balm and hyssop. It was a traditional colouring method that other distillers replaced with chemical colouring. As a result the absinthe he produced really deserved its name of "Green Fairy".



Source : Pierre-André Delachaux Lettres à un amateur d'absinthe . 2002