When you think “Absinthe,” you probably don’t think “Texas”. Yet it’s exactly this unlikely pairing that is at the heart of Tenneyson Absinthe. An unpretentious approach to a beverage where pretension can sometimes be the name of the game, Tenneyson combines top-notch French ingredients with a certain Southern something that’s a little harder to bottle– approachability. We caught up with Graham Wasilition to find out how such a spirit came to be.
RYE & RIVET: When and how did you start creating your products?
GRAHAM WASILITION: When traveling overseas for a pretty stereotypical engineering gig, I got to taste and try some really cool things. I started questioning why I hadn’t been exposed to some of these things back in the US. Around this time in 2007, absinthe, a notorious liquor with French and Swiss roots, was in the headlines for being legal again in the US. I began researching the history of absinthe and ended up connecting with the famed author of The Absinthe Encyclopedia, David Nathan-Maister. We started discussing how we could create a truly timeless product that could expose some less adventurous imbibers to something new and perhaps cast aside some of the common misperceptions of absinthe. We luckily found ourselves working with 1 of 2 absinthe distilleries that are still operating in Pontarlier, France, the commercial home of absinthe production, and never looked back.
R&R: What three words would you use to describe your brand’s ideology?
GW: Honest, Approachable, Authentic
R&R: What does “Integrity” mean to you in terms of modern production?
GW: It starts with the ingredients. We source our herbs and botanicals from the most authentic sources available and actually use century-old copper pot alembics that were specifically constructed to distill absinthe. Everything is selected, produced, and assembled by hand. The integrity is also carried over into the marketing and education about our product. We feel that it is our responsibility to educate about and promote the true history of the category instead of using misleading techniques and playing into misconception.
R&R: Who is an inspirational icon for you at the moment?
GW: I am in awe of many and draw inspiration from everywhere. However, the first name that jumps into my mind is Mark Brown of Buffalo Trace. Totally connected to the craft and pushing the industry as a whole because he cares.
R&R: What is your drink of choice?
GW: I spend a lot of time tasting but what really interests me are simple but interesting drinks. This summer, my go-to has been Tenneyson and Tonic with a couple dashes of Grapefruit bitters. It can keep anyone in Texas cool.
Thanks again to Graham for talking with us. For more information, track down Tenneyson here.