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In 1996, St. George Master Distiller Lance Winters began experimenting with the distillation of absinthe using a recipe he found in Scientific American (while it was illegal to sell absinthe until 2007 in the United States, the law was not extended to the distillation of absinthe). For eleven years, Winters tinkered with the recipe looking to find the perfect balance of ingredients in order to "create a symphony of flavor,"he says. "It was just a manic obsession with the ingredients that drove me to tweak the formula."As the ban on the sale of absinthe was being repealed, Winters finally perfected his recipe and in 2007, he released the first American-made absinthe in almost a century.

"The key to the process of making absinthe,"Winters says, "is to use a two-step process."First, Winters distills a grape-based brandy together with grand wormwood, anise and fennel through a 1,500-liter copper-pot still. Then, Winters infuses the absinthe with a secret blend of botanicals, including lemon balm, hyssop, mint, opal basil and tarragon.

As a result of this recipe, St. George Absinthe has a heady, herbaceous aroma, with hints of citrus, anise and fennel. The aroma opens up to notes of meadowsweet, tarragon and hyssop on the palate, and the addition of water creates an opalescent louche that subtly brings out the flavor of the lemon balm.
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