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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Atelier Vie releases Toulouse Red Absinthe in NOLA

Yesterday, on Prohibition Repeal Day, a day much celebrated in the drinking world, Atelier Vie announced the return of local absinthe to New Orleans.  Toulouse Red is the first absinthe distilled in New Orleans since the unjustified absinthe ban one hundred years ago.  Atelier Vie was founded in 2011 to provide a greater variety of local spirits. Bringing together a shared love of craft spirits, coupled with a DIY attitude, Atelier Vie is pleased to unleash Toulouse Red on New Orleans, and hopefully soon to Baton Rouge.  Toulouse Red is distilled with attention to both the classic methods of absinthe distillation and the innovations from more recent American absinthe trailblazing.

“Toulouse Red was born in New Orleans, a new indigenous liquor. Our red absinthe is pot distilled with herbs, and infused with additional herbs to create the lush red color of Toulouse Red,” said Atelier Vie’s president, Jedd Haas.

Toulouse Red is bottled at the traditional 136 proof (68% ABV) and is produced from all natural ingredients. The classic method for serving absinthe, a dilution with ice water at ratios in the range of 3:1 to 5:1, produces a final drinking strength of about 23 to 34 proof (11.5% to 17% ABV) – about the strength of a strong wine.  Toulouse Red is available immediately at the distillery and through wholesale distribution.  The retail price at the distillery is $60 for a 750ml bottle.

I got to try to a sample of the absinthe at the distillery recently while I chatted with Jeremy Spikes from Raise a Glass and Jedd Haas, President of Atelier Vie.  The absinthe is floral, herbaceous and quite lovely.  It can undoubtedly be expertly used in fine cocktails like a Sazerac, or can be consumed as Jedd is pouring below with a splash of ice water.  The ice water turns the red absinthe into an almost bubble-gum pink color.  I can't wait to get to Nola to grab a bottle... or better yet, for it to come to Baton Rouge!

President Jedd Haas adding some water to Toulouse Red for me at the distillery