In the early 1900s many countries in europe banned the strong alcoholic drink Absinthe, United States banned Absinthe in 1912.
Absinthe was never as popular in the United States as it had been in European countries such as France and Switzerland, but there have been parts of the US, like the French section of New Orleans, where Absinthe was served in Absinthe bars.
Absinthe is actually a liquor created from herbs like wormwood, aniseed and fennel absinthliquor. It is often green, hence its nickname the Green Fairy, and possesses an anise taste.
Absinthe is surely an interesting concoction or recipe of herbs that act as a stimulant and alcohol and other herbs that act as a sedative. It’s the essential oils on the herbs that can cause Absinthe to louche, go cloudy, when water is added in.
Wormwood, Artimesia Absinthium, has a chemical called thujone which is reported to be much like THC in the drug cannabis, to be psychoactive and also to cause psychedelic effects.
Absinthe United States and the prohibition
At the beginning of the 1900s there was clearly a strong prohibition movement in France and this movement used the truth that Absinthe was connected to the Bohemian culture of Montmartre – with its writers, artists and also the courtesans and loose morals of establishments such as Moulin Rouge, and the allegation that an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, to argue for a prohibition on Absinthe helpful resources. They stated that Absinthe will be France’s ruin, that Absinthe was a drug and intoxicant that would drive everyone to madness!
The United States observed France’s example and banned Absinthe and drinks made up of thujone in 1912. It became outlawed, a crime, to buy or sell Absinthe in the USA. Americans either were forced to concoct their own homemade recipes or journey to countries like the Czech Republic, where Absinthe remained legal, to take pleasure from the Green Fairy.
Many US legal experts argue that Absinthe was not ever banned in the US and that should you look carefully into the law and ordinance you will find that only drinks that contains over 10mg of thujone were banned. However, US Customs and police wouldn’t allow any Absinthe shipped from abroad to enter the US, solely thujone free Absinthe substitutes were granted.
Absinthe United States 2007
Ted Breaux, a local of New Orleans, runs a distillery in Saumur France. He has utilized vintage bottles of pre-ban Absinthe to investigate Absinthe recipes and also to create his personal classic pre-ban style Absinthe – the Jade collection.
Breaux was amazed to discover that the vintage Absinthe, in contrast to belief, actually only covered very small quantities of thujone – not enough to harm anyone. He became determined to offer an Absinthe drink that he could ship to his homeland, the US. His dream would be to once again see Absinthe being used in bars in New Orleans.
Breaux and lawyer Gared Gurfein, had several meetings with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau with regards to the thujone content of Breaux’s Absinthe recipe. They found that actually no law should be changed!
Breaux’s dream grew to become reality in 2007 when his brand Lucid managed to be shipped from his distillery in France into the US. Lucid is based on vintage recipes and contains real wormwood, unlike artificial Absinthes. Now, in 2008, a brand name called Green Moon as well as Absinthes from Kubler are all able to be traded in around the US.
Absinthe United States – A lot of Americans now are enjoying their first taste of authentic legal Absinthe, perhaps you will see an Absinthe revival.