Absinthe never was as popular in the United States as it had been in Europe, but Absinthe USA was popular inside the French section of the city New Orleans which even had expert Absinthe bars serving the Green Fairy.
Absinthe is a liquor that was first created as being an elixir or tonic by a doctor in Switzerland throughout the late 18th century. It was produced from herbs like grande wormwood, or artemisia absinthium, fennel and aniseed. Absinthe is traditionally green colored, besides the Swiss La Bleue clear types, hence absinthe sold in usa the nickname “The Green Fairy” or, in French, “La Fee Verte”. It is actually dished up in a unique Absinthe glass with a sugar cube resting on a special slotted spoon. Iced water is poured over the sugar to thin down the Absinthe.
Drinkers of Absinthe declare that the drink provides them an odd “clear headed” drunkenness that could be due to its curious recipe of herbs, most of which are sedatives and some that are stimulants. The essential oils of these herbs cause Absinthe to louche, or go cloudy, when water is included. The oils are soluble in alcohol but not in water. Absinthe is certainly a strong spirit, up to about 75% alcohol by volume, that’s about twice the strength of whisky or vodka.
Absinthe USA and also the Absinthe Ban
Absinthe was notoriously banned in several countries in the 1900s and Absinthe USA was forbidden in 1912. The French prohibition movement claimed that the thujone in Absinthe (the substance in wormwood) was psychoactive and brought on psychedelic effects. Absinthe has also been connected to the loose morals of the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre with its courtesans, artists and writers, and, when an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, it had become just the excuse the prohibition movement desired to get the French government to suspend Absinthe. A lot of countries, such as the United States followed suit.
Absinthe and drinks containing any plants from the artemisia family were banned in the USA and it also became illegal to buy or sell Absinthe. Americans were forced to buy bootleg Absinthe, make their own personal, buy Absinthe substitutes, like Pastis, or travel to countries just like the Czech Republic where Absinthe was still being legal and on sale in Absinthe bars.
Ted Breaux and Absinthe USA
Ted Breaux, from New Orleans, is surely an Absinthe distiller in France. His Jade variety of Absinthes has won a lot of awards.
It was always his dream to be capable of sell his Absinthe in his native country nevertheless the laws outlawed him in doing so. Breaux had worked hard at recreating Absinthe from pre-ban recipes and had been in a position to analyze some vintage bottles of Absinthe. As he analyzed the vintage Absinthe, he discovered that it really only comprised minimal quantities of thujone – up against the belief of the US government.
Breaux and his lawyer buddy, Gared Gurfein, were able to talk to the US Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau and tell them about “Lucid”, an Absinthe that Breaux had produced specifically for the American market which only consists of trace levels of thujone. In 2007 Lucid went on sale in the US and ever since then a couple of other brands are also permitted to go on sale in the USA. These Absinthes are available online or perhaps bars.
It is excellent news that Americans can taste real traditional, and legal, Absinthe in their home country the very first time since 1912 – Absinthe USA!