Meadow of Love Absinthe Superieure
Delaware Phoenix Distillery
Let’s be real — Meadow of Love is a very hippie name for a spirit. And let me be realer — hippie names speak my language. I went to college in Santa Cruz, people. I’m not an ideal hippie myself, but the culture is part of my lifeblood. Meadow of Love is made in a pot still with grand wormwood, anise, florence fennel, roman wormwood, hyssop, lemon balm, and violet. I haven’t even uncorked the bottle and I’m already wishing I had patchouli lip balm on and was lazing among the wildflowers, enjoying a Pacific Ocean sunset from the sun-drenched Oakes Lawn at UCSC.
The absinthe’s color pre-louche is a lovely pastel yellow with a halo of mint green at the edges. Soft legs indicate the presence of sugar but not in large volumes. The nose of a straight shot borders on nail polish with sweet violet, anise, and mint, though the mint is likely a tingle from the lemon balm that my tongue misconstrues. It has the melting, airy texture of Laffy Taffy. Sugar dominates at first sip, but alcohol takes over with bitter floral notes and evergreen. Its potential is obvious, but a louche is definitely needed to mellow this absinthe out.
Following the bottle’s instructions, this absinthe should be louched with 3 to 5 parts water, leaving out the customary sugar cube. After my first post-louche sip, I’d agree. It has a natural sweetness, and more sugar would take away from the multiple herbal layers.
The color post-louche is nearly completely milky, preserving only a hint of yellow-green. While I do like a vivid imbiber, I appreciate the lack of chemicals in this spirit. Stick closer to a 3:1 ratio for water to absinthe; at 4:1, the flavors aren’t prominent enough. At 3:1, the alcohol is tamed and the natural sugar tantalizes, making the fennel and violet notes float down almost too easily. The texture is velvety. Grassy floral notes and licorice rise up after the sugar takes a backseat, and they beckon for a second sip, and a third … and a fourth.
Meadow of Love is perhaps a tad too at one with itself, bordering on a blend that makes those layers nearly indistinguishable. But it’s groovy, man, groovy.by