Here is some information about the mythical drink Absinthe, the Green Fairy, the favorite drink of the likes of Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Gauguin, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Degas and many other famous artists and writers.
Absinthe is a strong alcoholic beveragedistilled at high proof but generally served diluted with iced water or in cocktails. Herbs and essential oils including wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), aniseed and fennel is used for flavoring Absinthe liquor and it is usually made from a wine alcohol base. Hyssop, lemon balm, star anise, angelica, juniper, nutmeg, dittany, calamus root and mint are the other herbal ingredients used in the manufacture of Absinthe.
Information about Absinthe History
Absinthe has a very long and interesting history. Wormwood has been used in medicine since ancient times. In the late 18th century Absinthe was prepared by a French doctor, Dr Pierre Ordinaire. Ordinaire gave it as a tonic to his patients.
During the 19th century, Henri-Louis Pernod was using the Absinthe recipe to distill Absinthe in Couvet and under the name of Pernod Fils in the French town of Pontarlier. Everyday the production of Absinthe was 30,000 liters by the Pernod company!
Absinthe was found to be famous in France, in La Belle Epoque and many other nations also. The French people liked drinking Absinthe more than the wine. At the same time people were attentive about health and the effects of Absinthe. It was said that the liquor is linked to the Bohemian culture of Montmartre. People became convinced that thujone, the chemical in wormwood, was psychoactive and caused psychedelic effects, convulsions, insanity, brain damage and death.
Van Gogh’s madness and his suicide, a man killing his family and the rising rate of alcohol abuse in France all had been caused due to Absinthe. The USA and France restricted Absinthe in the year 1912 and 1915 respectively. Other countries also restricted Absinthe.
During the ban, people either drank Absinthe substitutes, such as Pernod Pastis, or bought bootleg Absinthe. Studies and research proved that the claims made about Absinthe were not true.
As per research thujone in Absinthe cannot cause any harmful side effects and intaking Absinthe was not risky than intaking other alcoholic beverages.
Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg of thujone was legalized in the EU in the late 20th century and in 2007, in the USA, certain brands of Absinthe, those containing up to 10 ppm, were legalized and Americans can now enjoy buying brands such as “Lucid” .
France, home of Pernod’s original Absinthestill has a ban on products labeled “Absinthe” and France also strictly regulates drinks containing fenchone, a chemical in fennel which is a key ingredient in Absinthe. One can get Absinthe with up to 5mg per liter of fenchone in France.
One can now get Absinthe from online or from a liquor shop.The website AbsintheKit.com provides all the information related to Absinthe essences. They also sell replica Absinthe glasses and spoonslike a Pontarlier glass and Eiffel Tower spoon.