The Louche Effect

The louche effect To drink a pre-ban absinthe from 1910, from the era of Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh, of Verlaine and Rimbaud is an extraordinary and life enhancing experience, this is truly, in Barnaby Conrad’s words, history in a bottle – one has the feeling of reaching back like a time traveller into the distant past, and feeling for just a moment a flicker of the warmth of a summer’s day on a Parisian boulevard a century ago.
The pictures in the next section (named “The taste of vintage absinthe”) document the louche of a number of well preserved vintage absinthes. As you’ll see there is considerable variety both in the colour, and in the opacity of the louche. These absinthes were naturally chlorophyllically coloured and have generally faded to a light brown or amber tint, just as leaves turn in the fall. Interestingly though, when iced water is added and the absinthe begins to louche, a hint of the original green colour often magically reappears.