Absinthe, often known as the Green Fairy, is actually a herbal alcoholic drink having an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque time 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 absinthe flavoring gave them motivation – the Green Fairy was their muse. But, what is in Absinthe?
What is in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod’s Absinthe from the early 19th century was developed by using a wine based alcohol that was distilled with natural herbs. It is known that his Absinthe recipe was made making use of 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. Many of these herbs were used at the beginning of the process and others were used at the end to give the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood gave Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its particular somewhat bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is usually sometimes used in Absinthe production.
Wormwood has a chemical substance called thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones that are seen in several other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act about the GABA receptors inside the brain and can cause convulsions and also muscle spasms when consumed in big amounts. They can also be toxic to organs such as the liver and brain. Thujone was thought to be a lot like THC in the drug cannabis leading to psychedelic effects just like hallucinations but research has shown this for being false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was responsible for the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. The medical profession of the time claimed that drinking Absinthe resulted in Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain injury
These claims have right now been proved false and are generally just part of the mass hysteria marketed by the prohibition movement of that time period. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only contains really small quantities of thujone and it would be impossible to ingest enough thujone to get harmful – you will die of alcohol poisoning first! There is a lot more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after enjoying a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe contains wormwood as well as other essential oils. These oils enable the Absinthe to louche when water is included Absinthe preparation and present it its wonderful anise flavor. Make certain you obtain a quality Absinthe or make your own Absinthe utilizing a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for details and help regarding their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also includes alcohol and contains a very high alcohol by volume, as much as 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not because it could make you hallucinate but because it’s so easy to get drunk on Absinthe especially if you are mixing it with many other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this data has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy observing the Green Fairy!