Vol. 127 - NO. 39

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Absinthia Vermut is the Founder & CEO of Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, a spirits brand focused on producing vintage spirits that traditionally call for artemisia absinthium, aka grande wormwood, with organic ingredients. She first made absinthe in 1997, ten years before it was legal.

Launching an alcohol brand in the US

I never expected absinthe to be legal in my lifetime, but modern science proved to the US government that distilled absinthe was not only perfectly safe, it was legal since the repeal of the prohibition. On March 5, 2007, absinthe was available for sale for the first time in nearly one hundred years! I already had an organic absinthe that my friends and family loved, but as an artist, I had no idea how to launch a business that was licensed to sell alcohol. It took ten years till I had a product for sale, during which time I studied the market, went back to school for my MBA, developed a recipe with an organic distiller, and worked with a specialized and very expensive alcohol attorney. I started with an absinthe blanche, a clear absinthe that turns milky white when you add cold water. The blanche was popular during the ban because if the absinthe was not green, no one knew what it was. Starting as a bootlegger, that really resonated with me, Plus, the blanche was smooth, delicious, and easy to drink.

Six months after my absinthe blanche was released, I received an email late one night from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition that my absinthe blanche had won the Gold Medal, and I made the leap from absinthe bootlegger to award winning absintheure!

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