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Archive Spirits is a division of Oxygenee Ltd, a UK-based company specializing in rare and
ancient spirits. It's dedicated to producing small runs of meticulously hand-crafted absinthes
(and other classic French spirits) based on the very earliest known recipes, usually from
unpublished manuscript sources.
Our first product, the Roquette 1797 is a complex, unusual and spicy absinthe, based
directly on a late 18th century manuscript recipe. It represents the first serious attempt in the
modern era to recreate an absinthe from the very birth of La Fee Verte, when the drink
straddled the line between liquor and potion, when it was as much magical and mysterious
elixir as fashionable aperitif.
The 1797 contains the classic trinity of anise, fennel and grande wormwood, together with
several other herbs, some of which will be found in no other commercially available
absinthe. The absinthe is batch distilled in Pontarlier in an antique alambic, and is available
in only very limited quantities.
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No pictures or text may be reproduced or used in any form without written permission of the site owner.
The word "Roquette" doesn't, as you might first expect, refer to the speed of the horse, it refers
to rocket, the salad green, which grows wild in the region, and on which the horse presumably
liked to graze. The medicinal use of rocket at the time was for the treatment of impotence, so
the modern equivalent might be to say Dr Ordinaire rode around on his horse "Viagra"...
An overhead photo of the alambics in which the 1797 is distilled. In the
middle are the rectifying balls, with the twin condenser coils in their water
tank visible below.
The grande wormwood used in Roquette is especially
grown for Archive Spirits just outside Pontarlier.
The "1797" indicates the date of the manuscript
recipe we've used, and "Roquette" pays tribute to
the name of the faithful horse on which Dr Ordinaire
- the legendary father of absinthe - rode around the
Val deTravers. We could hardly call the absinthe
after the good doctor himself - "Absinthe Ordinaire"
just wouldn't have been appropriate for such an
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