Taboo Or Not Taboo…


That is the question.

Recently Canada has been blessed by a local distiller creating his own artisanal absinthe. In an earlier post, I had mentioned that Frank Deiter, out of Okanagan Spirits, was beginning to make his own absinthe, Taboo, and that I was lucky enough to procure a bottle of his pre-sale blanche (clear or white absinthe).

Well, it seems that our good friend Frank has had a change of heart and has decided to go a different route, and instead released a verte (green) absinthe. Sold in 500 mL bottles (contrary to the 375 mL reference on their website) for $55, this for me is the clear winner out of the four absinthes that I have at my immediate disposal.

St. Georges’ absinthe while darn tasty (I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on a reliable supply) just didn’t have enough anise notes for my liking, and Kübler, contrary to the score that it received in the Wormwood Society, is just a one hit wonder that smells and tastes like one thing and one thing only: black licorice (I still love you guys at the Society though). I won’t go too much more into it as I’ve already posted about Kübler here.

Lucid, by our good friend, Ted Breaux, has also been mentioned in previous posts, and while it is quite tasty for its price point, I feel that my Canadian friend has come up with a slightly superior product.

Taboo, while possessing an unfortunate name (I know it helps sales, but really?), is a quality spirit made by a company that is quite well known in Canada for their exceptional eau-de-vies. Possessing a clear, light green color, Taboo louches beautifully and not a minute too early or late (making Goldilocks proud). Complex minty herbaceous notes balance out the anise. While this is a sweet absinthe that I would not recommend adding sugar to, it finishes with a nice almost imperceptible bitterness. Taboo is the one (and only) spirit that makes me miss Vancouver, BC.

In a nutshell, if you run a bar in Vancouver, this is the absinthe that you should be carrying, and if you don’t run a bar/restaurant, but find yourself at one of BC’s better stocked liquor stores, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle for yourself. Now. Before everyone else discovers the beauty of this absinthe and it becomes increasingly more difficult to find.

The initial question has now been answered.

Since we’ve been talking absinthe, I’ve decided to give you a recipe that they unfortunately no longer recognize when you go to New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. (You will also get nothing but blank stares if you order an Astoria as well.)

1 oz absinthe (Taboo today)
1 oz bourbon (try out Woodford Reserve)
1 oz sweet vermouth (I usually use Cinzanno)
3 dashes Angostura
stir over ice
strain into a chilled cocktail glass

This may look like it’s not going to work on paper, but believe me, even though you’ve just put a whole ounce of absinthe in a cocktail, you do taste the other components. And yes, it does work with pastis as well.

Taboo picture by:
Jamie Boudreau