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The brand's roots can be traced as far back as the 1790s. According to legend, it was during this time in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, that Dr. Pierre Ordinaire created a distilled patent medicine that would represent the earliest origins of the drink. The recipe then came into the hands of Henri Louis Pernod through the means of a business deal, and in 1797, he and Daniel-Henri Dubied opened the first absinthe distillery in Couvet, Switzerland.
Pernod later built a larger distillery in Pontarlier, France, in 1805. This set the stage that would cause the sleepy community of Pontarlier to eventually emerge as the home of twenty-eight commercial absinthe distilleries, and the world's center of absinthe production.
Pernod is produced by macerating herbs, including wormwood, fennel, melissa and anise in a neutral spirit of agricultural origin (usually, wine) in a copper alembic where the mixture was then distilled, to produce a transparent liquor. Part of the distillate was then steeped with additional herbs, such as hyssop and petite wormwood, to produce a green-colored fraction that was then filtered and reunited with the main part. The coloration process was done primarily to impart additional flavor and aroma to the absinthe, but the ensuing light olive tint also had the added benefit of enhancing its visual appeal. The colored distillate is then reduced in strength. The predominant flavor in Pernod Fils, like all absinthes, was primarily anise—a flavor commonly misidentified by anglophones as "licorice".
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