After a degree in Economics at Bocconi University in Milan, Stefano decided to pursue absinthe distillation as a career. In 2007 he released his first commercial absinthe, L'Italienne, which was followed by La Grenouille in 2008 and L'Ancienne in 2010.
Stefano quickly gained a reputation in the absinthe world for his absolute commitment to quality. Always searching for the very best botanicals, Stefano never caved in to the pressure to release an absinthe if he couldn’t source ingredients of the highest quality or if a distillation didn’t yield a flawless result. This uncompromising approach was put to the test in 2013 when, in spite of the massive demand and pressure to release a new batch of his world renowned absinthe L’Ancienne, Stefano decided to cancel the production because he was not able to find wormwood and green anise that satisfied his quality standards. Similarly, in 2015 Stefano decided to suspend the production of all his absinthes when, due to issues with the distillery where he was working, he decided that he could no longer guarantee that his absinthes would be made according to his philosophy.
This is why every bottle is truly guaranteed to be of the highest quality; there is no such thing as a “bad batch” of Rossoni absinthe. Either the absinthe is outstanding or it won’t be sold at all!
When Stefano started working on L'Italienne's recipe he decided that he wanted to create a floral, delicate, decadent absinthe inspired by the historic Premier Fils brand. He started experimenting with different herbs and flowers including some rare and unusual ingredients. He focused on achieving a perfect balance of extremely complex floral and elegant notes supported by the classic backbone of wormwood, anise, and fennel. He envisioned this absinthe as an homage to the meadows and rolling hills that surround his hometown in Northern Italy. L'Italienne was recently re-released in 2021 as a Limited Edition.
Following the theme started with L'Italienne, Stefano developed the La Grenouille recipe as an homage to the Mediterranean climate and landscape of the southern and island regions of Italy. La Grenouille is a warm, smooth, easily approachable absinthe with exotic and Mediterranean flavor notes. The name "Grenouille" has nothing to do with frogs; instead it refers to the "easy girls" who, during the summer, were a common sight on the banks of the Seine river in Paris in the late 1800s. After being discontinued for several years, La Grenouille is back in production in Italy.
In 2007 I looked at the absinthe on the market and I decided to do something different. I wanted to create an absinthe that would provide a unique experience of extremely complex and refined floral notes while still being firmly rooted in tradition. This is how L'Italienne was born and I followed that up with La Grenouille in 2008. After having drawn the inspiration for those two absinthes from very different Italian landscapes (flower-blanketed rolling hills and Mediterranean islands), I decided that I would create a trilogy of absinthes, all very different but all following the same philosophy and that the third absinthe would be inspired by the Alpine forests in Northern Italy.
I started working on La Montagneuse shortly after finishing La Grenouille in 2008. I envisioned a recipe that would offer different layers of balsamic notes, a background of secondary notes including some earthy tones, lower fennel content compared to L'Italienne and La Grenouille, and a robust coloration to complete the profile with some herbaceous notes. Unfortunately, some of the wild harvested Alpine ingredients I wanted to use were extremely hard to find and as all of you know, I refuse to produce an absinthe under my name if I cannot ensure that I have at my disposal the best quality ingredients. So, after a few early prototypes that project was put on ice... until 2022!
Last year I finally found a source for those rare and expensive Alpine ingredients so I immediately restarted the project, excited that after more than 10 years I could finally complete my absinthe trilogy. In September 2022 I resumed the absinthe distillation, running prototypes, testing all the new ingredients, adjusting the recipe, etc. I also gave the prototypes enough months of aging to ensure that the absinthe would age well and achieve the balance I wanted. Finally, in June 2023 I settled on the final version of the recipe and started the absinthe production for the commercial release. I feel like this La Montagneuse completes my trilogy beautifully and provides something new and different compared to the previous two absinthes while still fitting perfectly within the philosophy underlining the trilogy. Due to the scarcity of using wild harvested ingredients the production of La Montagneuse is limited to 110 bottles and will only be distilled if all the correct ingredients are available.
L’Ancienne is a world renowned absinthe and Stefano’s most ambitious project. Always looking for a new challenge, Stefano decided to try to recreate the flavor of pre-ban absinthe, which is absinthe coming from the few and exceedingly rare surviving bottles from the Belle Epoque. Pre-ban absinthe is universally considered the holy grail of absinthe but, due to its rarity, very few people have ever had a chance to taste it.
Stefano spent months studying old manuals and analyzing samples of pre-ban absinthe. He decided that two elements set pre-ban absinthe apart from even the best modern absinthe:
Stefano developed a proprietary distillation technique, which he named “exponential distillation”, that when applied to absinthe production resulted in an unusually high concentration of flavors, a thick and creamy louche, and a rich anise profile, while maintaining an extremely refined character. He then discovered a special ingredient that when used in the coloration step resulted in “vintage” flavor notes reminiscent of those found in pre-ban absinthe. The combination of those two elements, the “exponential distillation” and the secret ingredient in the coloration, resulted in what is considered by most experts to be the closest thing to pre-ban absinthe that money can buy.
WARNING: as with most highly coveted products, following the suspension of L’Ancienne production in 2015, copycat products started appearing on the market claiming, more or less brazenly, to be perfect copies of L’Ancienne made with the same recipe. This is blatantly false. Not only has Stefano Rossoni NEVER authorized anybody else to distill his L’Ancienne recipe, but NO ONE besides Stefano knows the full recipe for L’Ancienne. Even the distillery where L’Ancienne was produced only knows the ingredients and protocol of the distillation step; the coloration ingredients were always kept secret. There is no substitute for L’Ancienne.
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