Absinthe, also known as the Green Fairy, is a herbal alcoholic beverage with an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque period of history and of the Bohemian society of Paris, in particular Montmartre. Absinthe fans - Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde as well as Ernest Hemingway professed that the drink was accountable for their genius and that it presented them ideas - the Green Fairy was their muse. But, what is in Absinthe?
What is in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod's Absinthe from the early 19th century was developed using a wine based alcohol which has been distilled with natural herbs. It is stated that his Absinthe recipe was developed making use of the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) and also other herbs including Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg as well as juniper. Many of these herbs were utilised at the outset of the procedure and others were used towards the end to provide the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood offered Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its particular slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is also sometimes utilized in Absinthe creation.
Wormwood includes a chemical substance known as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones which are seen in several other plants too - sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act within the GABA receptors inside the brain and can result in convulsions and muscle spasms when ingested in large quantities. They can also be toxic to organs such as the liver and brain. Thujone was considered to be a lot like THC in the drug cannabis triggering psychedelic effects for instance hallucinations but research has revealed this to generally be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was answerable for the banning of Absinthe during the early 1900s. The medical career of the time stated that drinking Absinthe triggered Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
- Hyper excitability
- Weakening of the intellect
- Brain damage
These claims have now been proved false and seem to be just part of the mass hysteria marketed by the prohibition movement of that time period. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only includes very tiny amounts of thujone and it would be impossible to ingest enough thujone to become harmful - you would 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 includes wormwood along with other essential oils. These oils enable the Absinthe to louche when water is included Absinthe preparation and present it its wonderful anise flavor. Ensure that you buy 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 Absinthe products.
Absinthe also includes alcohol and contains an extremely high alcohol by volume, as much as 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not because it can make you hallucinate but since it is really easy to get drunk on Absinthe particularly if you are mixing it along with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this info has answered the question "What is in Absinthe?". Enjoy learning the Green Fairy!