In the early 1900s many countries in europe banished the strong liquor Absinthe, United States banned Absinthe in 1912.
Absinthe was not ever as popular in the United States as it had been in European countries just like France and Switzerland, but there initially were areas of the US absinthe liquor, such as the French part of New Orleans, where Absinthe was served in Absinthe bars.
Absinthe is actually a liquor created from herbs just like wormwood, aniseed and fennel. It is usually green, hence its nickname the Green Fairy, and possesses an anise taste.
Absinthe is surely an intriguing concoction or recipe of herbs that behave as a stimulant and alcohol and other herbs that work as a sedative. It’s the essential oils from the herbs that cause Absinthe to louche, go cloudy, when water is added.
Wormwood, Artimesia Absinthium, has a chemical called thujone which is considered to be just like THC in the drug cannabis, to be psychoactive and also to cause psychedelic effects.
Absinthe United States and the ban
At the start of the 1900s clearly there was a strong prohibition movement in France and this movement used the fact that Absinthe was linked to the Bohemian culture of Montmartre – with its writers, artists and the courtesans and loose morals of establishments such as Moulin Rouge, and the allegation that an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, to dispute for a ban on Absinthe. They said that Absinthe could well be France’s ruin, that Absinthe was a drug and intoxicant that could drive everyone to madness!
The United States observed France’s example and restricted Absinthe and drinks that contains thujone in 1912. It became outlawed, a crime, to purchase or sell Absinthe in the USA. Americans either had to concoct their own homemade recipes or travel to countries such as the Czech Republic, where Absinthe was still being legal, to savor the Green Fairy.
Many US legal experts argue that Absinthe was not ever banned in the US and that when you look very carefully in the law and ordinance you will find that only drinks containing over 10mg of thujone were prohibited. However, US Customs and police won’t allow any Absinthe shipped from abroad to get into the US, simply thujone free Absinthe substitutes were allowed.
Absinthe United States 2007
Ted Breaux, a local of New Orleans, operates a distillery in Saumur France. He has used vintage bottles of pre-ban Absinthe to investigate Absinthe recipes and to create his own classic pre-ban style Absinthe – the Jade collection.
Breaux was amazed to discover that the vintage Absinthe, in contrast to belief, actually only covered very tiny quantities of thujone – insufficient to harm anyone. He became serious to offer an Absinthe drink which he could ship to his birthplace, the US. His dream would be to once more see Absinthe being used in bars in New Orleans.
Breaux and lawyer Gared Gurfein, had several meetings with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau concerning the thujone content of Breaux’s Absinthe recipe. They learned that actually no law should be changed!
Breaux’s dream became reality in 2007 when his brand Lucid was able to be shipped from his distillery in France towards the US. Lucid is founded on vintage recipes and possesses real wormwood, unlike fake Absinthes. Now, in 2008, a product called Green Moon as well as Absinthes from Kubler are all capable of being traded in throughout the US.
Absinthe United States – Several Americans are now enjoying their first taste of real legal Absinthe, perhaps there’ll be an Absinthe revival.