Absinthe, also referred to as the Green Fairy, is actually a herbal alcoholic drink which has an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque time history and of the Bohemian culture of Paris, specifically Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde as well as Ernest Hemingway stated that the drink was responsible for their genius and that it provided them motivation – the Green Fairy was their muse. But, what is in Absinthe?
What is in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod’s Absinthe in the early 19th century was produced using a wine based alcohol which has been distilled with natural herbs. It is said that his Absinthe recipe was created utilizing the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) as well as other herbs like Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg and also juniper. Many of these herbs were used at the start of the process and others were utilized by the end to give the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood provided Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is additionally sometimes used in Absinthe manufacturing.
Wormwood includes a compound known as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones that are present in several other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act within the GABA receptors within the brain and can trigger convulsions and muscle spasms when ingested in large quantities. They can additionally be toxic to organs including the liver and brain. Thujone was thought to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis causing psychedelic effects just like hallucinations but research has shown this to generally be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was responsible for the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. The medical profession of the time stated that drinking Absinthe resulted in Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Decline of the intellect
– Brain damage
These claims have right now been proved false and appear to be just part of the mass hysteria promoted by the prohibition movement of the time. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only consists of very small quantities of thujone and it would be impossible to take in enough thujone to be harmful – you’d die of alcohol poisoning first! There is a lot more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after consuming a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe is made up of wormwood and other essential oils. These oils enable the Absinthe to louche when water is put in Absinthe preparation and give it its wonderful anise flavor. Ensure that you purchase a quality Absinthe or make your own Absinthe utilizing a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for information and help regarding Absinthe products.
Absinthe also includes alcohol and features an extremely high alcohol by volume, approximately 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not because it could make you hallucinate but because it is really easy to get drunk on Absinthe especially if you are mixing it with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this data has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy knowing the Green Fairy!