Everyone has heard about the marvelous mythical drink, Absinthe – the drink thought to be hallucinogenic, the Green Fairy that may make you see fairies, the anise flavoured herbal spirit popular in Bohemian Montmartre. But, very few people can respond to the question “What is Absinthe made of?”. They may say wormwood yet not most will be able to expand on that!
So, what is Absinthe made of?
Well, Absinthe was created by the legendary Dr Pierre Ordinaire in Switzerland while in the late 18th century as being an elixir for his patients. Henri-Louis Pernod started selling Absinthe commercially at the turn of the nineteenth century and employed a wine base and macerated herbs together with common wormwood (artemisia absinthium), fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, angelica root, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, veronica as well as juniper to taste and color the alcohol.
Other herbs used in Absinthe manufacturing include: calamus root, mint, cloves, sweet flag, licorice, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and roman wormwood (artemisia pontica) also known as petite wormwood. Claude-Alain Bugnon, the famous bootlegger who now distills Absinthe in Switzerland, furthermore flavors his La Clandestine Absinthe with local Alpine herbs which give his Absinthe a taste of honey as well as a bouquet of Alpine meadows.
It is the essential oils of the herbs in Absinthe which make the Absinthe to louche when water is put in. The oils are soluble in alcohol but not in water therefore precipitate if the water is added in making the drink turn cloudy or milky. In case your Absinthe does not louche then it is probably not a genuine Absinthe or a quality Absinthe rich in essential oils.
AbsintheKit.com, who create distilled Absinthe essences for folks to create real Absinthe in the home, make use of classic Absinthe herbs to flavor their essences. This signifies that Absinthe produced from their essences will taste beautifully as well as louche beautifully.
Some Czech Absinth does not consist of anise or aniseed and it’s really simply a type of wormwood bitters. Make sure that you acquire real anise and wormwood Absinthe to see the true classic flavor.
The common wormwood plant is easily the most renowned Absinthe ingredient, the ingredient that gives Absinthe its slightly bitter taste as well as the ingredient which caused Absinthe to be prohibited in several countries in the early 1900s. Initially used for thousands of years as a medicine, it became called a psychoactive neurotoxin which trigger psychedelic effects such as hallucinations, convulsion and spasms. Wormwood oil includes a substance called thujon or thujone which has been compared to THC in cannabis. Absinthe was shown to contain vast amounts of thujone and to be responsible for driving customers to insanity as well as to death.
Nonetheless, recent studies and tests have shown that vintage Absinthe actually only was comprised of small quantities of thujone, nowhere near enough to be at all harmful. EU and US laws only permit Absinthe with small quantities of thujone to be traded so Absinthe is completely safe to consume and enjoy.
Absinthe is a spirit or liquor not a liqueur as it doesn’t have added sugar. It’s really a high proof alcoholic beverage but is normally served diluted with iced water and sugar. While it is safe to use, you have to remember that it is an incredibly strong spirit and will quickly get you drunk especially if you mix it with other spirits in cocktails!
So, the answer to the question “What is Absinthe made of?” is handily answered – alcohol as well as a mixture of herbs.