Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones present in wormwood. Thujone is capable to act about the GABA receptors of the brain and, when consumed in large amounts absinthekit, is alleged to have a psycho active response causing convulsions and muscle spasms. Thujone is also toxic and is thought to harm the cells of both the liver as well as brain.
In the past it was claimed that thujone was similar to THC in cannabis and that it had become psychoactive and caused psychedelic effects, this claim has now been found to be false.
It was thought, in the late nineteenth century and early 20th century, that Absinthe contained large amounts of thujone, approximately 350mg per liter. Tests and studies on antique bottles of Absinthe have dispelled this myth. Pre ban Absinthe just was comprised of a maximum of 6mg.
Today, you will find laws in most countries that manage thujone content in alcohol.
EU law is:-
– up to 5mg/kg is permitted in alcoholic beverages having an ABV, alcohol by volume, of 25% or less.
– up to 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol based drinks which has an ABV over 25%.
– up to 25mg/kg is authorized in food containing sage.
– up to 35mg/kg is allowed in alcoholic beverages when they carry the label “bitters”.
US law states that alcoholic beverages has to be “thujone free” but this actually signifies that they must have 10mg/kg or a smaller amount of thujone.
If we purchase commercial Absinthe that conforms with such laws, we know that the Absinthe consists of 10mg/kg or less of thujone.
Alcohol – How Much Does Absinthe Have?
Alcohol content is dependent upon the brand of Absinthe. Here are the alcohol contents of some well-known brands:-
Lucid Absinthe 62% abv (124 proof)
La Clandestine Absinthe 53% abv (106 proof)
Sebor 55% abv (110 proof)
Pere Kermanns 60% abv (120 proof)
Pernod Absinthe 68% abv (136 proof0
Mari Mayans Collectors 70 70% abv (140 proof)
La Fee XS Absinthe Suisse 53% abv (106 proof)
La Fee XS Absinthe Francaise 68% abv (136 proof)
La Fee Bohemian 70% abv (140 proof)
La Fee Parisian 68% abv (136 proof)
Kubler 53 53% abv (106 proof)
Doubs Mystique Carte D’Or 65% abv (130 proof)
Roquette 1797 75% abv (150 proof)
Jade PF 1901 68% abv (136 proof)
Jade Edouard 72% abv (144 proof)
Jade Verte Suisse 65% abv (130 proof)
As you can see, Absinthe is definitely a strong liquor, particularly when we compare it to fermented beverages like beer which contains an abv of 4 or 5% or table wine that’s 9-12%.
What about homemade Absinthe?
Some Absinthe kits assure to make an Absinthe with a thujone content of 80-90mg. This might have a great wormwood content and thus a rather bitter flavor. The essences from AbsintheKit.com make an Absinthe that has a thujone content of 35mg per 750ml bottle made or, should you use their strong essence, 55mg per bottle.
So far as homemade kits and alcohol content are concerned, all this will depend on what neutral alcohol base you use. Everclear includes a typical abv of 95% whereas Absolut Vodka comes with an abv of 40%, fairly a difference.
Hopefully this review has resolved the question “How much does Absinthe have?”.