Absinthe, often known as the Green Fairy, is actually a herbal alcoholic drink which has an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque period of history and of the Bohemian lifestyle of Paris, especially Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde and also Ernest Hemingway professed that the drink was responsible for their genius and that it gave them ideas – 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 made using a wine based alcohol which was distilled with natural herbs. It is said that his Absinthe recipe was made using the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) and other herbs including Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg as well as juniper. A few of these herbs were used at the outset of the method and others were utilized by the end to provide the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood gave Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) as well as its somewhat bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is also sometimes utilized in Absinthe production.
Wormwood includes a chemical substance called thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones that happen to be seen in many other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act on the GABA receptors within the brain and might trigger convulsions as well as muscle spasms when taken in big amounts. They can additionally be toxic to organs such as the liver and brain. Thujone was believed to be a lot like 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 early 1900s. The medical job of the time stated that drinking Absinthe triggered Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose signs and symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain damage
These claims have now been proved false and appear to be just part of the mass hysteria endorsed by the prohibition movement of that time period. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only includes very small levels of thujone and it will be impossible to ingest enough thujone to be harmful – you will 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 contains wormwood as well as other essential oils. These oils permit the Absinthe to louche when water is added in Absinthe preparation and provide it its wonderful anise flavor. Make sure that you obtain a quality Absinthe or make your own Absinthe using a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for information and help regarding their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also contains alcohol and it has an incredibly high alcohol by volume, approximately 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not mainly because it can make you hallucinate but because it’s very easy to get drunk on Absinthe especially if you are mixing it with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this info has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy getting to know the Green Fairy!