Return of the Blues

7/08/14 -


We first met Cheryl Linns of Delaware Phoenix five years ago. Our friend (and natural wine spokeswoman) Alice Feiring had interviewed Cheryl and tasted her absinthes for a New York Times article, and she insisted that we try Cheryl's spirits. There was a bit of confusion: What is absinthe? Is it legal? Can you make spirits in New York? (Prior to this, we didn't even know if you could make spirits in New York!) After tasting and receiving a very informative lesson from Cheryl herself, we had answers: Absinthe is a delicious, potent, herbal-infused spirit featuring wormwood, which gives the drink an anise quality not unlike pastis, but with more green, fennel flavors. Because of its intensely intoxicating properties, absinthe was banned in many places in Europe. Interestingly, absinthe was never actually banned in the United States, but because of an inability to accurately measure Thujon (the troublesome chemical derived from wormwood), it was not distilled or sold in the United States until technology allowed precise Thujon readings in 2007. New York is now a haven for independent spirit production, with about 31 licensed distillers! Cheryl is one of the originals, doing all of her business herself from distilling, to sales calls, to deliveries; she’s a spirited woman (pun intended) who produces very fine absinthe, and she brings a smile to our faces when she steps through the door (often bearing a load of absinthe). We are happy to announce that Cheryl is adding "Blues Cat" – a special recipe from 2012 – to her permanent lineup.  If you were lucky enough to try a bottle two years ago, you'll remember the pure fennel aromatics and deep, spicy finish.  In other news, Cheryl has decided to start selling half bottles of her most popular absinthe, "Meadow of Love" for those who don’t wish to commit to a full 750 of this delightful spirit. Not that we’d be afraid to have a full bottle of absinthe around, but we can understand how one might! JR

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