How long will my order take to arrive?
We do everything we can to expediate all orders as quickly as possible. Orders are sent to our shippers on a continuous basis, as they are received, and will be processed until 3.30 pm weekdays. Orders are normally delivered internationally in 3 to 5 business days, but we cannot guarantee shipping times, as we have no control over shipping serivices outside of the UK. However, in many cases, orders are received even more quickly! See our customer's comments.
Do you ship to the USA?
Yes, we have been shipping absinthe to the USA for over 10 years. Please note that deliveries to the USA require a signature from an adult (over 21) with photo ID.
How much will my order cost with shipping?
You can make a 'test order' to find out the total cost WITHOUT BEING CHARGED by choosing the absinthes you want and then proceeding to checkout.
Enter the country you wish to have your order shipped to, click NEXT, and you will see the total charges (which may vary slightly at final payment, due to slight fluctuations in currency exchange rates, and/or charges that may be made by your bank or credit card provider) with shipping, handling and VAT (Value-Added Tax - added ONLY to EU-destined orders). You may then complete your order or cancel. Be sure to clear your shopping basket (click VIEW BASKET, tick REMOVE and click on UPDATE below) before placing another order or another test order. If you find you cannot empty your shipping cart after this procedure, clear your browser memory and the shopping cart will empty.
How can I easily see what that amount is equal to in my own currency?
Liqueurs de France Ltd. is located in England and prices are listed in British Pounds Sterling. There is an easy-to-use currency converter under EVERY price on the site and on the shopping cart and checkout pages. The converter button is set to 'USD' United States Dollars and when clicked, the Dollar amount will be approximately equal to the British Pounds Sterling price for each item. To change to another currency, click on 'Other' and choose the currency you wish. NOTICE: There may be slight variations after your card has been charged, depending on fluctuating currency exchange rates - this converter shows the inter-bank rate at the time of purchase and your bank or card provider will use a tourist rate and may charge a transaction fee. If you have trouble using our currency converter, please use: x-rates.com
I was told that absinthe made today is not the same as historic 19th century absinthe. Are your absinthes real? Do they contain wormwood?
ALL of our absinthes are made to the highest 19th century protocols and ALL contain wormwood. Levels of wormwood vary between absinthe recipes and brands. Our studies of unopened bottles of the best quality vintage absinthe have confirmed that the techniques we use give us absinthes of historic quality, taste and strength, without having to modify them to conform to modern regulations, and which still fall within legal limits.
One must remember that there were also many poor quality absinthes in the past, made with oils, poorly made base alcohol and even poisonous dyes. It is certain that these attributed to absinthe's bad reputation and you can be assured we do not try to replicate them!
What is the thujone content of your absinthes and isn't the highest level the best?
The thujone content (measured in miligrams per liter) has nothing to do with the quality of absinthe. Recent studies have proved that the best vintage absinthes were actually much lower in thujone than previously believed and that thujone levels do not have any provable bearing on absinthe's perceived 'effects.'
Beware of marketing gimmicks that promote high thujone levels!
If an absinthe is correctly distilled, using the same ingredients, including wormwood and methods of the best distilleries of the past, the end product will actually be relatively low in thujone. The thujone contents (though slightly varied) of all our absinthes are within the norms of the European Union limits, i.e. less than 35 mg/liter, without any compromises to the original recipes or reduction in the quantity of wormwood used. That said, the quality and authenticity of our absinthes are not surpassed by any other absinthe on the market today, no matter what other promoters may try to convince you about thujone levels.
Please go to the link The Truth About Thujone for more information.
Which of your absinthes is best for the beginner?
This is very difficult to answer, but it would depend on if you just want to try it once, or plan to develop your tastes and experiment with the different ranges and styles. We recommend to start with a 'lighter' style absinthe such as one from the Pernot Un Emile collection or a Swiss 'La Bleue' type such as La Ptite. The smaller, 20cl Un Emile flasks from Pernot or the Paul Devoille Fougerolles flasks are convenient for you to try both a green and clear absinthe to compare, before deciding to purchase a larger bottle.
What is the difference between an absinthe 'verte' or 'blanche'?
'Verte', or green absinthe gets it's colour by infusing plants in the scented alcohol distillate after the distillation. The plants used in this step vary and each will add flavour as well as colour. Colouration is a very skilled process (this is mostly why the majority of absinthes today are artificially coloured), if the distillate stays in contact with the botanicals for too long the flavour balance along with the colouration of the absinthe can be spoilt. The natural colour can also change and develop as the absinthe ages, most taking on a yellow-green or 'dead-leaf' colour. The colouring step may also create a slight deposit which can be found in the bottom of the bottle - this is not a defect, moreso a sign of quality, natural manufacture. Absinthe 'blanche', white or colourless absinthe, known as 'la Bleue' in Switzerland, is distilled and then left without a colouring step. It will not necessarily be the same as an uncoloured absinthe verte though - to add complexity without colour, there are usually more plants used when distilling a blanche.
Wormwood is a very bitter herb, are your absinthes bitter?
Whilst our absinthes are completely unsweetened they are in no way what should be considered unpleasantly 'bitter'. The distillation process separates most of the bitter components from wormwood and leaves them in the still, only the aromatic compounds find their way into the final distillate. Anise seed contributes to the 'body' of absinthe which people can also perceive as sweetness.
So why is sugar added to absinthe?
Some people just have a sweet tooth, in 19th century France it was common to add sugar to absinthe and other high-alcohol spirits and the 'sugar ritual' became a part of the enjoyment of the drink. Excess sugar can contribute 'body', mask high alcohol and also help hide defects in poorly made absinthes, which is why many absinthes have sugar added in the bottle. None of our absinthes have added sugar. In fact the addition of sugar changes the character of the drink considerably; we recommend tasting our absinthes with and without sugar to appreciate the difference. You will be surprised!
Why are these absinthes so high in alcohol?
Absinthe was originally produced as a herbal tonic - high alcohol is the best method to hold and transmit the intense aromas and flavours and also preserves the chlorophyll which gives the greenish colour. When it is correctly diluted with water, absinthe can be no stronger than a glass of table wine.
Should I treat absinthe like a wine? What is the best temperature to store the absinthe? Should it be kept like a wine in a cellar or at cellar temperatures?
Absinthe is a high-proof alcoholic spirit and as such is not anywhere near as fragile as wine.
It will be best stored at cellar temperature (+/- 55°F) but ambient/room temperature is fine, as long as it is not too hot. Absinthe should be kept out of direct sunlight and upright, as the high degree of alcohol can have an adverse effect on the cork. You can store it anywhere that you comfortably store other spirits.
Should I refrigerate absinthe?
Absinthe should never be refrigerated as it contains anethole from anise, and anethole can start to crystallize at less than 68 °F - this crystallization is a major reason why absinthe turns white when cold water is added. If bottled absinthe becomes very cold, as in lengthy exposure to freezing temperatures, it can cause tiny 'flakes' to appear and hamper its aromas and flavour. The flakes will normally dissolve once the absinthe warms up and they will not cause a permanent adverse effect.
Should I place it in a decanter to aerate it and will an opened bottle lose its quality and flavor very quickly, or will it keep for a week or two?
Aeration will improve the taste and aromas as it disperses the high alcohol vapors and allows other aromas to surface. An opened bottle can remain good for years, in fact in most cases it will improve. However, if you plan to keep it for more than six months, it is best that it not remain in a decanter or a half empty bottle with a great deal of surface exposure to air.
Does absinthe age, and will aging improve the flavour?
Yes, the best, distilled absinthes age very well...we have tasted several that are almost 100 years old and are outstanding. We are still researching what exactly happens to the plant distillates as they age in the alcohol solution. The aging process, though important for high-proof spirits directly after distillation, is not something normally taken into consideration once they have been bottled. It is commonly believed that almost all spirits stop aging once they are placed into glass bottles, but this is not the case with distilled absinthe and a close cousin, Chartreuse. The changes will be rather subtle over a short period of a few months - this time typically improves absinthe by mellowing the alcohol bite, eliminating the 'still-shock' which can hamper the aromas and flavours and allows the herbal components to integrate even more. The color will usually become a lighter green, in some cases, more yellow-green and very old absinthes can take on an amber tint with green reflections. Clear absinthes will not change colour, however, there may be some white sediment found at the bottom of the bottle.
Should the bottle be re-corked?
Only if the cork is bad, or does not create a good seal.
What is the best time to drink absinthe?
Absinthe was traditionally served as an aperitif. During the Belle Époque the time between 5 and 7 PM became known as ' lHeure verte ', or the Green Hour, because everyone would stop by their local café for an absinthe on their way home from work, or in preparation for the evening meal. You can enjoy absinthe at any time but always in moderation. Don't drink and drive!
I've seen people setting fire to the sugar on their absinthe spoon before plunging it into their glass - is that traditional?
NO. The French certainly never did this in the 19th century - can you imagine the results of several tens of thousands of Frenchmen setting fire to their drinks during the Green Hour? There would not have been any cafés left standing in Paris!
This 'ritual' was created as a marketing stunt in the late 1990's and has been unfortunately accepted by many as an historical fact, especially after being incorporated into some modern films about the Belle Epoque. It does not increase any 'absinthe effects' and only serves to add an unpleasant burnt caramel taste to your drink. Your glass may also break apart due to the heat, and send flaming alcohol across your table or down your arm - so be warned!