The end results of Absinthe are notorious. Ask anyone about Absinthe and they can remember Absinthe as the green liquor that has been notoriously banned around the world because it drove individuals to insanity. Many of these people have never tried Asbinthe and can’t comment from personal experience.
Absinthe was at first developed as an elixir or tonic by a doctor in the Swiss area of Couvet. Dr Ordinaire made it out from a selection of herbs known for their medicinal attributes. His recipe eventually got into the hands of Henri-Louis Pernod who made Absinthe from a wine base and put in herbal ingredients just like aniseed, wormwood, hyssop, fennel, star anise, angelica root, lemon balm, nutmeg, juniper as well as dittany. Other manufacturers used various kinds of herbs in combination with Pernod’s recipe, herbs like calamus root and mint.
The Green Fairy, or Absinthe, was presented to French soldiers in the 1840s to treat malaria and have become popular with the troops who brought it back home with them where it grew quite popular in bars in France. Some bars even had Absinthe hours – L’heure vert – the green hour.
The Absinthe Ritual was a significant part of the pleasure of drinking Absinthe. Absinthe was served in bars in unique Absinthe glasses with an Absinthe spoon, a sugar cube and iced water. The barman or waiter would make use of a carafe or fountain to drip the water over the sugar on the spoon and the buyer would observe the Absinthe louche as the water blended with the liquor.
Absinthe evolved into a popular drink among the artists and writers of the Bohemian section of Paris – Montmartre. Artists and writers, including Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Degas, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Oscar Wilde as well as Gauguin, all claimed that Absinthe gave them their genius and motivation. Absinthe and Absinthe drinkers are showcased in lots of artwork for instance Albert Maignan’s “Green Muse” from 1895 displaying an Absinthe drinker that has a fairy (the green fairy) and Degas’ “L’Absinthe” from 1876.
Oscar Wilde wrote “After the first glass of Absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”
Others have described the effects of drinking Absinthe as a “clear headed” or “lucid” drunkenness and this could possibly be because Absinthe contains both sedatives and stimulants.
Effects of Absinthe and the Ban
Absinthe was famously restricted in France in 1915 and lots of other countries around the world also banned it. The prohibition campaigners had been able to persuade the French government that Absinthe will bring about the country’s demise and that prolonged drinking of Absinthe, Absinthism, caused the next effects:-
– Super excitability
– Weakening of the intellect
– Brain deterioration
The compound thujone, found in one of the vital ingredients of absinthe, wormwood, was thought to be like THC in the drug cannabis. Thujone was speculated to be a neurotoxin, to be psychoactive and to result in psychedelic effects. The wormwood in Absinthe was blamed for Van Gogh’s suicide as well as for a man murdering his family.
Many studies have indicated that thujone has to be consumed in huge amounts to cause such unpleasant effects and when Ted Breaux, Absinthe producer and creator of the “Lucid” brand, tested bottles of vintage pre-ban Absinthe he found out that Absinthe only contained minute quantities of thujone. Absinthe has consequently been legalized in several countries now.
Absinthe is primarily alcohol and is a very strong spirit, about two times as strong as other kinds of spirits just like whisky and vodka. It would therefore be essentially impossible to consume a substantial amount of thujone as you would not be able to consume that much alcohol and still be capable to drink!
The effects of Absinthe are truly just stories, part of the myth and legend that encompasses this glorious drink. Try quite a few yourself by getting a bottle of real wormwood Absinthe on the net or by making your own through the use of Absinthe essences from AbsintheKit.com.