Absinthe or the Green Fairy
Green Fairy or La Fee Verte Absinthe is equally popular is an alcoholic beverage that rivals wine in its appeal and popularity. Today occupying a place as the most famous and controversial drink of all time it was first developed in the 18th century as a tonic.
Absinthe the anise flavored spirit with an alcohol content of 45 to 75% alcohol by volume is very strong. The French call it "La Fee Verte" and the English call it "Green Fairy" due to its emerald green color. This distilled liquor is made from herbs. The most important herbs are wormwood or Artemisia Absinthium, Fennel and green aniseed. Henri-Louis Pernod, who first commercially distilled Absinthe, used other herbs such as hyssop, lemon balm, nutmeg, juniper, veronica, star anise and dittany to produce his famous original Pernod Absinthe recipe. Some manufacturers used other herbs like calamus and this along with nutmeg and wormwood were thought to be psychoactive. Water poured over the sugar on the Absinthe spoon causes the louche effect in the Absinthe due to the essential oils present in the herbs. Due to the insoluble nature of the oils present in Absinthe it clouds or louches.
Absinthe or La Fee Verte and the world of Painters and Artists
Absinthe is known for providing inspiration to many a artists and writers associated with the Bhoemian culture. The Absinthe admiration society of greats included Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway and many others. So convinced were many writers and artists that their genius and inspiration came from Absinthe. Absinthe and Absinthe drinkers have even featured in the paintings of Picasso and Van Gogh.
Prohibition campaigners wanted an excuse and Absinthe's association with the Bohemian sect, Moulin Rouge and old Montmartre provided just that. After a sustained campaign prohibition campaigners linked Absinthe to alcohol addiction and murder of family this culminated in it being made illegal in France and was finally banned in 1915. The only countries where it was still legal were Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic and the UK others banned it.
Wormwood has a chemical called thujone which was blamed for the psychedelic effects of drinking the Green Fairy. THC in cannabis was likened to Thujone. However Absinthe is mainly alcohol, ethanol, and therefore only contains minute quanitities of thujone. Thujone in Absinthe is not dangerous and research has proven that the drink is as safe as any strong liquor, the danger if any is due to the high alcohol content. It has been a subject of countless articles and studies. Absinthe is a very strong drink, in fact it is two times stronger than whisky and vodka and hence care and moderation are necessary to derive pleasure.
The Czech Republic was an exception during the prohibition era, it still had Absinthe bars whose walls were stilll decorated with vintage Absinthe posters and served Absinthe in large classic glasses to the many people who patronised it. Many countries have made absinthe legal in 2008 although the EU controlls the thujone levels in the United States only trace amounts of thujone in absinthe is allowed to be bout or sold.
A bottle of absinthe or absinthe can be ordered from the website AbsintheKit.com) to make your own The Green Fairy Absinthe to bottle at home. Due to strict regulations Absinthes produced for US does not contain thujone, it is however present in real Absinthe and Absinthe essence as wormwood is its most important ingredient.
Absinthe the Green Fairy or La Fee Verte a truly decandent drink can be prepared with this delicious spirit by mixing it with champagne!