Today, we would like to introduce the Sankta Annas Bränneri AB to you. A refreshingly young distillery, and the first legal absinthe distillery in Sweden.
As mentioned before, the Sankta Annas Bränneri is a young distillery. Founded only in 2011, the two masterminds behind Absinthe Valkyria not only managed to expand their range of products, but to have their absinthes awarded medals in international spirits contests. One can only imagine what the future has prepared for them!
Two guys sharing a passion for absinthe – the ideal recipe for a fun job and great products.
Interview with Göran Bauerle
Göran: In a restaurant in small Swedish town called Borlange. It was a pre-party with the band Partypistolerna (eng. Party guns) at the restaurant Bolanche. The year was 1999 or 2000 and the stuff called absinthe was served undiluted, straight from a bottle as a shot. I had 2 shots, each was 6cl … 60 vol% alcohol. You know the rest of the story… I remember it was a strange taste, not good not bad.
A few years later I tried Absinthe Nouvelle Orléans absinthe and also Pernod Absinthe and found both of them really good.
Absinthes.com: According to you, what is the right definition of a “good absinthe” and what are the 3 fundamental elements critical to producing a fine absinthe in a distillery like yours?
Back on track: To get the most wonderful tastes and aromas out of all the plants used to make absinthe, distillation of the plant is a demand. Without distillation you get flavored vodka or flavored brandy – that is not absinthe and already regulated in the EU regulations, but scammers don´t care and call their rubbish absinthe any way. It is up to marketers and importers to make sure that good absinthe are being sold as good absinthe, and that flavored spirits are being sold for what they are. It is the marketer that accept rubbish products that is spreading the rubbish. Producers produce on demand. Additives is a tricky question … adding water is ok, to regulate the alcohol %-ige. Adding pure alcohol is ok, to regulate the alcohol %-ige. But how big part pure alcohol can be added? I don´t know what to think about this, really. But I am sure that any E-number additive, such as stabilizer, color, clearing agent, taste, aroma and so on, is not helping the customer understand what is in the bottle. So keep it out of absinthe. Using E-number additives in any food or beverage is just saying “We can´t produce natural food, we don´t know our craft, we have no skills so we cheat”. Or in bigger productions “We are jack-asses and steal your money, selling horse and calling it cow” – it is the same problem, in my viewpoint.
Göran: Whisky is popular in Sweden, because we have had a government ruled monopoly, nationwide marketing for Whisky since 1955. It is really sad. Absinthe will always be a small niche product in Sweden and 12-15 brands that already is here is more than needed, some of them will probably drop out of market soon. What will happen in Europe? I am sure that if we market serious absinthe brands, not talking about drug-effects, thujone and silly green fairies …absinthe will find customer groups that want to get drunk on alcohol (instead of getting high on drugs) and have a spicy aperitif because it is spicy and make your stomach crave for food. Maybe absinthe marketers can find serious people drinking serious absinthe if the marketers begin to market absinthe as something serious? That is our company´s approach… Today absinthe is laughed at by 95% of the population. Serious people choose vodka, whiskey and even rum and tequila to get drunk. That is also very sad. People that drink absinthe is wrongly considered not serious or stupid or nerds. Drinking Pastis is considered “high class” in Sweden … if you know anything about absinthe, you find that ironic.
Göran: Absinthe will be forbidden when it has to take the blame for killings at the same time as a new world war is breaking out. No, I don´t fear a ban. The fire-burning marketing rubbish is a natural cause of the thujone/green fairy rubbish. As long as absinthe marketers go with the old habits of marketing absinthe, the development of the absinthe marketing will come up with new stupid things. Drinking absinthe like vodka and whisky is what we want, but we need to teach youngsters that 1 cl of absinthe equals 2 cl of vodka (at 37,5 vol% alc.), and this education must be made by the sellers and the bartenders. How can we help them serve this education together with the drinks … that is our task. With “Our” I mean producers and marketers together. Serving absinthe in drinks, not only in ice-water, is one way. When making shots, mix it with fruit juices … see our drink list that we give to our restaurant and bars (I can share it with the world, for the absinthe cause, so to speak. Use it, try it.).