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 time history and of the Bohemian customs of Paris, especially Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway reported that the drink was accountable for their genius and that it presented them inspiration – the Green Fairy was their muse. But, what is in Absinthe?
What is in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod’s Absinthe from the early nineteenth century was created by using a wine based alcohol which was distilled with natural herbs. It is known that his Absinthe recipe was made using the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) as well as other herbs such as Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg and juniper. Many of these herbs were utilised at the start of the method and others were utilised towards the end to offer the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood gave Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its particular slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is likewise sometimes employed in Absinthe manufacturing.
Wormwood has a chemical substance known as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones which are found in several other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act about the GABA receptors in the brain and might result in convulsions as well as muscle spasms when taken in large quantities. They can even be toxic to organs such as the liver and brain. Thujone was believed to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis leading to psychedelic effects such as hallucinations but research has shown this to generally be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was responsible for the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. The medical profession of the time believed that drinking Absinthe triggered Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose signs and symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain harm
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. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only consists of very tiny quantities of thujone and it would be impossible to consume enough thujone to become 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 includes wormwood as well as other essential oils. These oils permit the Absinthe to louche when water is included Absinthe preparation and give it its wonderful anise flavor. Ensure that you purchase a quality Absinthe or create your own Absinthe by using a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for information and help regarding Absinthe products.
Absinthe also contains alcohol and contains an extremely high alcohol by volume, up to 75% ABV. Care ought to be taken when drinking Absinthe, not because it can make you hallucinate but because it is really easy to get drunk on Absinthe especially if you are mixing it with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this info has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy observing the Green Fairy!