Absinthe, often known as the Green Fairy, is actually a herbal alcoholic drink having an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque time history and of the Bohemian society of Paris, specifically Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde and also Ernest Hemingway claimed that the drink was liable for their genius and that it gave them motivation – 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 by using a wine based alcohol which was distilled with natural herbs. It is said that his Absinthe recipe was created 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 and juniper. Many of these herbs were utilised at the beginning of the process and others were utilized towards the end to give the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood offered Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) and its somewhat bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is also sometimes employed in Absinthe production.
Wormwood has a chemical referred to as thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones which are present in several other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act about the GABA receptors in the brain and might cause convulsions as well as muscle spasms when taken in big amounts. They can also be toxic to organs including the liver and brain. Thujone was thought to be comparable to THC in the drug cannabis causing psychedelic effects just like hallucinations but research has shown this to generally be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was answerable for the banning of Absinthe in early 1900s. The medical occupation of the time claimed that drinking Absinthe led to Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Decline of the intellect
– Brain harm
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. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only includes very tiny amounts of thujone and it will be impossible to ingest enough thujone to get harmful – you’d die of alcohol poisoning first! There is much more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after eating a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe consists of wormwood and other essential oils. These oils permit the Absinthe to louche when water is added in Absinthe preparation and give it its wonderful anise flavor. Make sure that you purchase a quality Absinthe or create your own Absinthe by using a top-quality essence from AbsintheKit.com. See AbsintheKit.com for information and help regarding their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also includes alcohol and it has an incredibly high alcohol by volume, up to 75% ABV. Care should be taken when drinking Absinthe, not mainly because it will make you hallucinate but since it is really easy to get drunk on Absinthe especially 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 knowing the Green Fairy!