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Absinthe coloring method

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I've heard, read and seen different methods for coloring absinthe. The two I'm debating is heating a (small) portion of distillate with herbs till color leeches, or doing a cold maceration over a longer period of time then filtering. Does anyone have any input on the differences between the two approaches? My main concern is color retention. I'd understand and expect the feuille morte color degradation, I'm more talking about color fading over time on an intensity scale, not so much green vs dead leaf color. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you heat, it is really more like warming, because chlorophyll denatures at fairly low temperatures. Best to experiment, and avoid anything that can cause local hot spots. If you are going to do this in the still, best if you have a bain marie, so you can avoid higher temperatures at the wall, which will definitely degrade the product, regardless of average temperature in the pot. If you don't have that kind of set up, room temp maceration might be best.

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Degradation of colour is a given regardless of the colouring method used. You'll want to make small batches that sell quickly or you'll be looking for ways to stabilise your natural colour such as small amounts of ascorbic acid. Either way you're up for some experimenting. Colour degradation occurs slowly and over time.

You'll start out with a vibrant green absinthe that will fade to a khaki green.





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