Absinthe, perhaps the most legendary drink with a rich history and romantic association with the cultural scene of nineteenth century Europe was fondly called as the “Green Fairy”. Absinthe was also spelt as absenta by the Spanish. Absenta is a slight variation of French absinthe and is sweeter due to the use of the herb Alicante anise and has a citrus flavor. Absinthe is also spelt as absinth, and absynthe.
Originally invented by a French doctor Dr. Pierre Ordinaire as a digestive tonic to treat various stomach ailments, absinthe became the most popular drink of Europe loved by both the aristocracy and commoners. Absinthe was originally wine based but due to the blight of 1850’s when the vineyards of Europe suffered great destruction manufacturers were forced to use grain alcohol in its production. The use of grain based alcohol made absinthe more affordable to the common public and the bohemian lifestyle of nineteenth century Europe embraced it.
Absinthe or the “Green Fairy” as it was commonly known was the most popular drink of France. It was common for Parisians to begin their day with a glass of absinthe and end their day with the green hour or l’heure verte when more than one glass of absinthe was drunk. It was widely believed to have aphrodisiac properties and due to its unique effects was considered a narcotic. Many a great painters and writers attributed their creative genius to the unique effects of absinthe the “Green Fairy”. The popularity of absinthe crossed the Atlantic and it first reached New Orleans in the 1880s. Absinthe soon became very popular in New Orleans and even women freely enjoyed it as it was then considered a lady-like drink. Most coffee houses of New Orleans served absinthe.
Absinthe basically is an alcoholic beverage made using extracts of several herbs such as wormwood, anise, fennel, hyssop, angelica root, veronica, coriander, and many other alpine herbs. The main ingredients however are wormwood, anise and fennel. Wormwood contains a chemical called thujone which is considered to be the most active ingredient in absinthe. Thujone is a mild neurotoxin and is believed to be responsible for absinthe’s unique effects. Thujone in higher concentrations is toxic and can cause hallucinations and other mental disorders. In mild doses, as it is present in absinthe thujone acts as a creative stimulant. Absinthe is emerald green in color; this is one reason why it was also called as “The Green Fairy”, and very bitter to taste. Absinthin which is present in wormwood is responsible for the bitter taste. Absinthe was traditional drunk using two elaborate rituals the traditional French ritual and the more modern Czech ritual. Both rituals required the use of finely crafted absinthe glasses, absinthe spoons (slotted or perforated), absinthe fountains, sugar cubes, and ice cold water. The ritual involved pouring an ounce of absinthe in the special absinthe glass and placing an absinthe spoon over the rim of the glass. A sugar cube was placed over the slotted or perforated spoon and ice cold water from an absinthe fountain was dripped over the sugar cube, as the sugar dissolved and fell in the glass through the perforations the emerald green liquid in the glass turned opaque. This was called the louche effect. The louche effect was caused as essential oils from various herbs in absinthe precipitated. Some more water was added and the absinthe drink was served.
Due to the abuse of alcoholic drinks in the nineteenth century the anti alcohol movement gained momentum and absinthe was an easy target. Many unsubstantiated rumors and theories gained currency and absinthe was eventually banned by most European countries with the exception of Spain, the Czech lands and United Kingdom. At the beginning of this century several studies conducted by eminent scientists conclusively proved that absinthe does not contain mind bending substances and hence the ban on absinthe was unjustified. Subsequent to these findings several European countries lifted the ban and once again legalized absinthe.
Absinthe continues to be banned in the United States and only a watered down version with very small thujone content is permissible in the United States. US citizens can however buy absinthe online from non-US producers and consume it, as possession and drinking of absinthe is not a crime. US citizens can buy absinthe essence or absinthe kits online and make their own absinthe at home. Genuine absinthe essence is made using traditional recipes and very sophisticated technology.
Absinthekit.com is one of the most trusted sites which deal in high quality genuine absinthe essence, absinthe kits, and absinthe accessories. So, why wait, go ahead and order your absinthe essence and spend a beautiful evening in the company of the “Green Fairy”.