The Absinthe United States Predicament

In the early 1900s many countries in europe banished the strong alcoholic drink Absinthe, United States banned Absinthe in 1912.

Absinthe was never as popular in the United States as it was in European countries just like France and Switzerland, but there have been regions of the US, such as the French portion 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 features an anise taste.

Absinthe is an intriguing concoction or recipe of herbs that work as a stimulant and alcohol and other herbs that behave as a sedative. It’s the essential oils in the herbs that can cause Absinthe to louche, go cloudy, when water is added in.

Wormwood, Artimesia Absinthium, contains a chemical called thujone which is reported to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis, to be psychoactive also to cause psychedelic effects.

Absinthe United States and the ban
At the start of the 1900s there was a powerful prohibition movement in France and this movement used the truth that Absinthe was linked to the Bohemian culture of Montmartre – with its writers, artists and the courtesans and loose morals of establishments such as the Moulin Rouge, and the allegation that an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, to argue for a ban on Absinthe. They claimed that Absinthe would be France’s ruin, that Absinthe was obviously a drug and intoxicant that will drive everyone to madness!

The United States observed France’s example and banned Absinthe and drinks containing thujone in 1912. It became outlawed, a crime, to get 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 enjoy the Green Fairy.

Many US legal experts reason that Absinthe was never banned in the US and that should you look very carefully into the law and ordinance you will see that only drinks containing over 10mg of thujone were banned. However, US Customs and police wouldn’t allow any Absinthe shipped from abroad to go into the US, only thujone free Absinthe substitutes were permitted.

Absinthe United States 2007

Ted Breaux, a native of New Orleans, runs a distillery in Saumur France. He’s utilized 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 find that the vintage Absinthe, in contrast to belief, actually only comprised very small quantities of thujone – inadequate to harm anyone. He became determined to offer an Absinthe drink that he could ship to his birthplace, the US. His dream was to once again see Absinthe being taken in bars in New Orleans.

Breaux and lawyer Gared Gurfein, had numerous meetings with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau concerning the thujone content of Breaux’s Absinthe recipe. They found that actually no law must be changed!

Breaux’s dream grew to become reality in 2007 when his brand Lucid was able to be shipped from his distillery in France into the US. Lucid is founded on vintage recipes and contains real wormwood, unlike artificial Absinthes. Now, in 2008, a product called Green Moon as well as Absinthes from Kubler are all able to be traded in around the US.

Absinthe United States – Several Americans are now enjoying their first taste of real legal Absinthe, perhaps there’ll be an Absinthe revival.