Absinthe, also known as the Green Fairy, is a herbal alcoholic drink which has an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque period of history and of the Bohemian culture of Paris, especially Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde as well as Ernest Hemingway stated that the drink was responsible for their genius and that it afforded 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 developed by using a wine based alcohol which was distilled with natural herbs. It is stated that his Absinthe recipe was created 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. A few of these herbs were utilised at the start of the method and others were utilized towards the end to provide the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood offered Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is also sometimes used in Absinthe manufacturing.
Wormwood contains a compound known as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones which are seen in several other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act about the GABA receptors in the brain and may trigger convulsions as well as muscle spasms when ingested in large quantities. They can even be toxic to organs including the liver and brain. Thujone was thought to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis creating psychedelic effects just like hallucinations but research has shown this for being false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was responsible for the banning of Absinthe in early 1900s. The medical occupation of the time stated that drinking Absinthe resulted in Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose signs and symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain damage
These claims have right now been proved false and seem to be just part of the mass hysteria marketed by the prohibition movement of the time. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only includes very small amounts of thujone and it would be impossible to consume enough thujone to become harmful – you’d die of alcohol poisoning first! There is far more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after consuming a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe includes wormwood as well as other essential oils. These oils allow the Absinthe to louche when water is included Absinthe preparation and present it its wonderful anise flavor. Make sure that you obtain a quality Absinthe or create your own Absinthe utilizing a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for information and help regarding their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also contains alcohol and contains a very high alcohol by volume, as much as 75% ABV. Care ought to be taken when drinking Absinthe, not mainly because it can make you hallucinate but because it’s so easy to get drunk on Absinthe specifically if you are mixing it with many other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this info has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy learning the Green Fairy!