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Green Spirit

Atelier Vie Set to Release Toulouse Green Traditional Absinthe

Absinthe enthusiasts and locavores, rejoice! Local artisan distiller Atelier Vie is going green. Toulouse Green. On June 29-30, New Orleanians' thirst for a traditional, locally produced absinthe shall be quenched.


Following last year's successful release of the edgy, hibiscus-infused Toulouse Red Absinthe, this weekend the public is invited to hop, skip and stumble over to Atelier Vie (1001 S. Broad) from 10am to 1pm and be amongst the first to snag a bottle of their latest creation: Toulouse Green Traditional Absinthe. 


This anise-flavored herbal concoction is not only distilled right here in the Big Easy, but Atelier Vie President Jedd Haas strives for the ingredients to be sourced as locally as possible.  


“Last year we distributed wormwood seeds to area farmers, and we are using their harvest in the production of our Toulouse Green,” said Haas.


Wormwood is a woody shrub and a key ingredient in the production of traditional absinthe.


“We want to keep the ingredients as local as possible while still focusing on quality," Haas said. "Although we use as much Louisiana-grown wormwood as possible, our requirements exceed the local market's current capacity.  We are always looking for new partners and growers to supply locally sourced ingredients."


Since the nationwide 96-year ban on absinthe production and importation was lifted in 2007 under strict new guidelines, Atelier Vie has worked to bring the timeless art of absinthe distillation back home to New Orleans.  The distiller's Toulouse Green has the same alcohol content as its Toulouse Red, 68% ABV or 136 proof.  It will sell at the distillery for $60 per bottle, and a list of stocked retailers and bars can be found here. Haas says that absinthe should be enjoyed with ice water in a ratio 3:1 to 5:1, depending on individual taste.


Alongside their Toulouse Green, Atelier Vie is wetting our collective whistle with a second new product: Riz.  This handcrafted indulgence is no Southern swill; the mash used for this 90 proof rice whiskey is also locally sourced.  


“Given the amount of rice grown in the state, we thought why not make a whiskey with 100% Louisiana rice mash?” said Haas.


When asked about the difference in taste between rice whiskey and whiskey made from barley, rye, wheat or corn, Haas commented, “The taste is similar to that of other whiskeys. Many people may not even notice a difference.”  


Riz will sell for $40 per 750ml bottle at the distillery.  For the upcoming Fourth of July festivities, Haas recommends Riz in a classic mint julep.

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