The impact of Absinthe are notorious. Ask anyone concerning Absinthe and they can remember Absinthe as the green liquor which was notoriously banned all over the world mainly because it drove individuals to insanity. Many of these individuals have never tried Asbinthe and can’t comment therefore.
Absinthe was initially developed as being an elixir or tonic by a doctor in the Swiss town of Couvet. Dr Ordinaire managed to make it out of a selection of herbs better known for their medicinal attributes. His recipe ultimately got into the hands of Henri-Louis Pernod who created Absinthe from a wine base and put in herbal ingredients like aniseed, wormwood, hyssop, fennel, star anise, angelica root, lemon balm, nutmeg, juniper and also dittany. Some other makers used various kinds of herbs in combination with Pernod’s recipe, herbs such as calamus root and mint.
The Green Fairy, or Absinthe, was given to French soldiers in the 1840s to deal with malaria and became well-liked by the troops who brought it back home with them where it grew very popular in bars in France. Several bars even had Absinthe hours – L’heure vert – the green hour.
The Absinthe Ritual was an essential part of the enjoyment of drinking Absinthe. Absinthe was offered in bars in special Absinthe glasses with an Absinthe spoon, a sugar cube and ice cold water. The barman or waiter would make use of a carafe or fountain to drip the water over the sugar to the spoon and the customer would watch the Absinthe louche as the water mixed with the liquor.
Absinthe became a popular drink among the artists and writers of the Bohemian portion of Paris – Montmartre. Artists and writers, like Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Degas, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Oscar Wilde as well as Gauguin, all professed that Absinthe gave them their genius and creativity. Absinthe and Absinthe drinkers are highlighted in lots of works of art for instance Albert Maignan’s “Green Muse” from 1895 displaying an Absinthe drinker with a fairy (the green fairy) and Degas’ “L’Absinthe” from 1876.
Oscar Wilde had written “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 results of drinking Absinthe being a “clear headed” or “lucid” drunkenness and this could possibly be because Absinthe is made up of both sedatives as well as stimulants.
Effects of Absinthe and the Ban
Absinthe was famously suspended in France in 1915 and lots of other countries all over the world also banned it. The prohibition campaigners had managed to encourage the French government that Absinthe will bring about the country’s downfall and that continuous drinking of Absinthe, Absinthism, caused the subsequent effects:-
– Hyper excitability
– Weakening of the intellect
– Brain damage
– Lack of control
The chemical substance thujone, found in one of several vital ingredients of absinthe, wormwood, was considered to be like THC within the drug cannabis. Thujone was alleged to be a neurotoxin, to be psychoactive also to result in psychedelic effects. The wormwood in Absinthe was blamed for Van Gogh’s suicide and then for a man murdering his family.
Many studies have demostrated that thujone must be consumed in large amounts to result in such awful effects so when Ted Breaux, Absinthe producer and creator of the “Lucid” brand, screened bottles of vintage pre-ban Absinthe he found that Absinthe only contained minute levels of thujone. Absinthe has consequently been legalized in several countries now.
Absinthe is principally alcohol and is an extremely strong spirit, about two times as strong as other kinds of spirits like whisky and vodka. It might therefore be virtually impossible to ingest a large amount of thujone as you would not be capable of consume that much alcohol and still be able to drink!
The results of Absinthe are really just stories, part of the myth and legend that surrounds this glorious drink. Try some yourself by getting a bottle of real wormwood Absinthe on the internet or by making your own personal by using Absinthe essences coming from AbsintheKit.com.