Absinthe, also known as the Green Fairy, is actually a herbal alcoholic drink with an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque time period of history and of the Bohemian customs 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 provided them inspiration – 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 using a wine based alcohol that has been distilled with natural herbs. It is said that his Absinthe recipe was developed making use of the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) and also other herbs like Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg as well as juniper. Many of these herbs were utilized at the start of the procedure and others were utilised by the end to give the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood offered Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) as well as its somewhat bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is usually sometimes employed in Absinthe production.
Wormwood contains a compound called thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones that happen to be present in various other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act about the GABA receptors inside the brain and can cause convulsions as well as muscle spasms when taken in large quantities. They can even be toxic to organs like the liver and brain. Thujone was believed to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis creating psychedelic effects such as hallucinations but research has shown this for being false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was responsible for the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. The medical job of the time believed that drinking Absinthe resulted in Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose signs or symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain injury
These claims have now been proved false and appear to be just part of the mass hysteria marketed by the prohibition movement of that time. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only includes very tiny amounts of thujone and it would be impossible to ingest enough thujone to be harmful – you’d die of alcohol poisoning first! There is much more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after enjoying a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe is made up of wormwood as well as other essential oils. These oils allow the Absinthe to louche when water is added in Absinthe preparation and present it its wonderful anise flavor. Make sure that you obtain a quality Absinthe or make your own Absinthe by using a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for details and help regarding their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also includes alcohol and features an incredibly high alcohol by volume, as much as 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not since it can make you hallucinate but because it is really easy to get drunk on Absinthe specifically if you are mixing it with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this information has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy observing the Green Fairy!