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Absinthe from Czech Republic

Absinthe from Czech Republic, despite all the connections between Prague and Paris, has its own tradition entirely. As in the Jura, it was also common in Bohemia and Moravia to distill indigenous herbs and to use them as a home remedy for all kinds of ailments, even today the multitude of herbal liqueurs from the region is surprisingly extensive. Wormwood has always been a common and important ingredient in Czech distillates and liqueurs, anise was traditionally rather less usual. Some herbal distillates and liqueurs were declared as absinthes towards the end of the 20th century despite having very little in common with traditional Swiss and French absinthe other than the use of wormwood oil as an ingredient. Unlike the Western European absinthes, these Czech drinks were often produced as liqueurs and digestifs rather than following traditional absinthe production methods. Absinthe was never forbidden in the Czech Republic. Immediately after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 many distillers began to produce extremely inferior and cheaply made products, which had nothing whatsoever in common with the Czech wormwood-spirit tradition. This development probably damaged the reputation of the Absinthe in Germany and worldwide more than original ban itself. For some years, however, a rethink has also taken place among Czech distillers. A number of distillers now produce absinthe in the Swiss/French tradition and their products stand up to comparison with high-quality absinthe from those two countries.

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