Absinthe, also known as the Green Fairy, is a herbal alcoholic drink which has an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque time period of history and of the Bohemian way of life of Paris, particularly Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde and also Ernest Hemingway reported that the drink was responsible for their genius and that it afforded them inspiration – the Green Fairy was their muse. But, what is in Absinthe?
What is in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod’s Absinthe in the early nineteenth century was produced utilizing a wine based alcohol that was distilled with natural herbs. It is stated that his Absinthe recipe was developed using 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. Some of these herbs were used at the outset of the procedure and others were utilized towards the end to give the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood provided Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its particular slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is usually sometimes used in Absinthe production.
Wormwood contains a compound known as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones which are seen in several other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act on the GABA receptors within the brain and may trigger convulsions and also muscle spasms when ingested in big amounts. They can also be toxic to organs like the liver and brain. Thujone was considered to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis causing psychedelic effects just like hallucinations but research has revealed this for being false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was responsible for the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. The medical career of the time claimed that drinking Absinthe led to Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain injury
These claims have right now been proved false and seem to be just part of the mass hysteria promoted by the prohibition movement of that time. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only consists of very small levels of thujone and it will be impossible to ingest enough thujone to be harmful – you would die of alcohol poisoning first! There is a lot more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after consuming a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe consists of wormwood as well as other essential oils. These oils allow the Absinthe to louche when water is added in Absinthe preparation and provide it its wonderful anise flavor. Ensure that you obtain a quality Absinthe or make your own Absinthe utilizing a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for information and help regarding their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also contains alcohol and features an extremely high alcohol by volume, approximately 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not mainly because it can make you hallucinate but since it is really easy to get drunk on Absinthe specifically if you are mixing it with many other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this info has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy learning the Green Fairy!