Absinthe, often known as the Green Fairy, is a herbal alcoholic beverage which has an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque time history and of the Bohemian way of life of Paris, especially Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde as well as Ernest Hemingway reported that the drink was liable for their genius and that it provided them ideas – the Green Fairy was their muse. But, what is in Absinthe?
What is in Absinthe?
Henri-Louis Pernod’s Absinthe with the early 19th century was produced using a wine based alcohol that has been distilled with natural herbs. It is said that his Absinthe recipe was developed utilizing the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) as well as other herbs including Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg and also juniper. Some of these herbs were utilized at the start of the procedure and others were used by the end to provide 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 additionally sometimes used in Absinthe production.
Wormwood has 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 on the GABA receptors inside the brain and may result in convulsions and muscle spasms when ingested in big amounts. They can even be toxic to organs like the liver and brain. Thujone was considered to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis creating psychedelic effects such as hallucinations but research has revealed this to generally be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was accountable for the banning of Absinthe in the early 1900s. The medical occupation of the time stated that drinking Absinthe led to Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain damage
These claims have now been proved false and seem to be just part of the mass hysteria endorsed by the prohibition movement of the time. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only contains very tiny amounts of thujone and it will be impossible to consume enough thujone to be harmful – you would die of alcohol poisoning first! There is far more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after enjoying a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe contains wormwood along with other essential oils. These oils enable the Absinthe to louche when water is included Absinthe preparation and give it its wonderful anise flavor. Make sure that you purchase a quality Absinthe or create your own Absinthe using a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for information and help regarding Absinthe products.
Absinthe also contains alcohol and features an incredibly high alcohol by volume, up to 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not since it could make you hallucinate but because it’s so easy to get drunk on Absinthe particularly if you are mixing it with many other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this information has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy knowing the Green Fairy!