Absinthe, also known 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 also Ernest Hemingway professed that the drink was responsible for their genius and that it absinthe flavoring provided them motivation – the Green Fairy was their muse. But, what is in Absinthe?
What is in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod’s Absinthe with the early nineteenth century was created by using a wine based alcohol that has been distilled with natural herbs. It is said that his Absinthe recipe was made utilizing the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) and also other herbs including Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg and juniper. Some of these herbs were utilized at the beginning of the procedure and others were used at the end to offer the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood provided Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its particular marginally bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is usually sometimes employed in Absinthe production.
Wormwood contains a chemical known as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones that are present in various other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act about the GABA receptors in the brain and may trigger convulsions and muscle spasms when taken in big amounts. They can even be toxic to organs such as the liver and brain. Thujone was believed to be comparable to THC in the drug cannabis causing psychedelic effects such as hallucinations but research has shown this to generally be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was answerable for the banning of Absinthe in early 1900s. The medical career of the time claimed that drinking Absinthe resulted in Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Weakening of the intellect
– Brain injury
These claims have right now been proved false and appear to be just part of the mass hysteria endorsed by the prohibition movement of that time period. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only consists of very small amounts of thujone and it would be impossible to take in 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 includes wormwood along with other essential oils. These oils enable the Absinthe to louche when water is added in Absinthe preparation and give it its wonderful anise flavor. Make certain you purchase a quality Absinthe or make your own Absinthe using a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for info and help regarding their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also contains alcohol and it has an extremely high alcohol by volume, as much as 75% ABV. Care ought to be taken when drinking Absinthe, not mainly because it will make you hallucinate but because it’s very easy to get drunk on Absinthe specifically if you are mixing it with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this info has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy learning the Green Fairy!