People have heard about the marvelous mythical drink, Absinthe – the drink regarded as hallucinogenic, the Green Fairy that could make you see fairies, the anise flavoured herbal spirit popular in Bohemian Montmartre. But, not many people can respond to the question “What is Absinthe made of?”. They might say wormwood though not most will be able to expand on that!
So, what is Absinthe made of?
Well, Absinthe was developed by the famous Dr Pierre Ordinaire in Switzerland during the late eighteenth century as being an elixir for his patients. Henri-Louis Pernod began selling Absinthe in a commercial sense at the turn of the nineteenth century and used a wine base and macerated herbs as well as common wormwood (artemisia absinthium), fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, angelica root, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, veronica and juniper to taste and color the alcohol.
Other herbs employed in Absinthe manufacturing include: calamus root, mint, cloves, sweet flag, licorice, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and also roman wormwood (artemisia pontica) also referred to as petite wormwood. Claude-Alain Bugnon, the famous bootlegger who now distills Absinthe in Switzerland, likewise flavors his La Clandestine Absinthe with local Alpine herbs which provide his Absinthe a taste of honey plus a bouquet of Alpine meadows.
It’s the essential oils of the herbs in Absinthe which result in the Absinthe to louche when water is added in. The oils are soluble in alcohol however, not in water therefore precipitate when the water is added in making the drink turn cloudy or milky. In case your Absinthe does not louche then it may not be an actual Absinthe or a high quality Absinthe loaded with essential oils.
AbsintheKit.com, who produce distilled Absinthe essences for people to produce real Absinthe from home, employ classic Absinthe herbs to flavor their essences. This means that Absinthe produced from their essences will taste beautifully and will also louche superbly.
Some Czech Absinth does not contain anise or aniseed and it is really merely a type of wormwood bitters. Make sure that you buy real anise and wormwood Absinthe to see the actual classic flavor.
The common wormwood plant is regarded as the most renowned Absinthe ingredient, the ingredient which gives Absinthe its marginally bitter taste and also the ingredient which brought on Absinthe to be banned in many countries during the early 1900s. Originally used for thousands of years as a medicine, it grew to become called a psychoactive neurotoxin which result in psychedelic effects such as hallucinations, convulsion and also spasms. Wormwood oil contains a substance called thujon or thujone that was compared to THC in cannabis. Absinthe was shown to contain huge amounts of thujone and to be responsible for driving people to insanity and also to death.
Nonetheless, recent studies and tests have established that vintage Absinthe actually only covered small quantities of thujone, nowhere near enough to become at all damaging. EU and US laws only allow Absinthe with small amounts of thujone to be traded so Absinthe is completely safe to take and enjoy.
Absinthe is a spirit or liquor not only a liqueur as it does not have added sugar. It’s a high proof alcoholic drink but is generally served diluted with iced water and sugar. Though it is safe to use, you must remember that it is an extremely strong spirit and definitely will quickly allow you to get drunk specifically if you mix it with other spirits in cocktails!
So, the reply to the question “What is Absinthe made of?” is easily answered – alcohol as well as a mixture of herbs.