Absinthe, also referred to as the Green Fairy, is a herbal alcoholic drink with an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque period of history and of the Bohemian customs of Paris, particularly Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde as well as Ernest Hemingway reported that the drink was liable 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 of the early nineteenth century was created utilizing a wine based alcohol that has been distilled with natural herbs. It is said that his Absinthe recipe was made using the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) and other herbs such as Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg as well as juniper. Some of these herbs were utilized at the outset of the procedure and others were utilized at the end to give the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood gave Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) as well as its slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is usually sometimes used in Absinthe production.
Wormwood includes a compound referred to as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones which are present in many other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act about the GABA receptors in the brain and can cause convulsions and muscle spasms when ingested in big amounts. They can additionally be toxic to organs such as the liver and brain. Thujone was believed to be a lot like THC in the drug cannabis creating psychedelic effects such as hallucinations but research has shown this to be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was answerable for the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. The medical career of the time believed that drinking Absinthe triggered Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain damage
These claims have now been proved false and seem to be just part of the mass hysteria endorsed by the prohibition movement of the time. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only consists of very small quantities of thujone and it will be impossible to ingest enough thujone to get harmful – you’d die of alcohol poisoning first! There is much more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after eating a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe includes wormwood and other essential oils. These oils enable the Absinthe to louche when water is added in Absinthe preparation and provide it its wonderful anise flavor. Ensure that you buy a quality Absinthe or make your own Absinthe utilizing a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for info and help regarding Absinthe products.
Absinthe also includes alcohol and contains an extremely high alcohol by volume, approximately 75% ABV. Care needs to be taken when drinking Absinthe, not because it could make you hallucinate but since it is very easy to get drunk on Absinthe especially if you are mixing it along with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this info has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy learning the Green Fairy!