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 period of history and of the Bohemian culture of Paris, in particular Montmartre. Absinthe fans – Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde as well as Ernest Hemingway stated that the drink was liable for their genius and that it gave 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 developed by using 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 and juniper. Many of these herbs were utilized at the outset of the procedure and others were used towards the end to offer the Absinthe its classic green or verte color.
Wormwood offered Absinthe its name (from Absinthium) as well as its slightly bitter taste. Roman or petite wormwood (artemisia pontica) is also sometimes utilized in Absinthe creation.
Wormwood contains a compound called thujone. Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones that happen to be present in many other plants too – sage, cypress and tansy. Thujones act within the GABA receptors inside the brain and can cause convulsions as well as muscle spasms when taken in big amounts. They can also be toxic to organs like the liver and brain. Thujone was thought to be a lot like THC in the drug cannabis leading to psychedelic effects like hallucinations but research has shown this for being false.
Wormwood, or thujone, was responsible for the banning of Absinthe during the early 1900s. The medical job of the time believed that drinking Absinthe led to Absinthe addiction, Absinthism whose signs and symptoms were:-
– Hyper excitability
– Decline of the intellect
– Brain injury
These claims have right now been proved false and are generally just part of the mass hysteria marketed by the prohibition movement of that time period. Absinthe, even pre ban Absinthe, only consists of very small levels of thujone and it would be impossible to consume enough thujone to be harmful – you’d die of alcohol poisoning first! There is far more thujone in sage and no one hallucinates after eating a casserole flavored with sage!
All good Absinthe contains wormwood and other essential oils. These oils allow the Absinthe to louche when water is added in Absinthe preparation and give it its wonderful anise flavor. Make sure 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 their Absinthe products.
Absinthe also contains alcohol and contains an extremely high alcohol by volume, up to 75% ABV. Care needs to be taken when drinking Absinthe, not since it will make you hallucinate but since it is very easy to get drunk on Absinthe particularly if you are mixing it along with other alcohol in cocktails.
I hope that this information has answered the question “What is in Absinthe?”. Enjoy observing the Green Fairy!