Absinthe, often known as the Green Fairy, is actually a herbal alcoholic beverage with an anise flavor. It was the drink of La Belle Epoque time history and of the Bohemian culture of Paris, especially Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde as well as Ernest Hemingway reported that the drink was responsible for their genius and that it presented them inspiration – 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 was distilled with natural herbs. It is stated that his Absinthe recipe was created using the plant common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) and other herbs like Florence fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, angelica, veronica, nutmeg and also juniper. A few of these herbs were utilised at the start of the procedure and others were utilised towards the end to provide the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood provided Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) as well as its slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is also sometimes utilized in Absinthe production.
Wormwood contains a chemical substance referred to as 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 cause convulsions and muscle spasms when taken in big amounts. They can also be toxic to organs like the liver and brain. Thujone was believed to be a lot like THC in the drug cannabis creating psychedelic effects for instance hallucinations but research has shown this to generally be false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was accountable for the banning of Absinthe in early 1900s. The medical career of the time stated that drinking Absinthe resulted in Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose signs and symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Deterioration of the intellect
– Brain harm
These claims have now been proved false and seem to be just part of the mass hysteria promoted by the prohibition movement of the time. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only includes very small quantities of thujone and it would be impossible to ingest enough thujone to be harmful – you’d die of alcohol poisoning first! There is much more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after consuming a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe is made up of wormwood as well as other essential oils. These oils allow the Absinthe to louche when water is put in Absinthe preparation and provide it its wonderful anise flavor. Ensure that you buy 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 includes alcohol and features a very high alcohol by volume, up to 75% ABV. Care needs to be taken when drinking Absinthe, not because it will make you hallucinate but because it is very easy to get drunk on Absinthe especially if you are mixing it with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this data has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy knowing the Green Fairy!