Absinthe is a strong liquor which is generally between 45 and 75% ABV (alcohol by volume), about twice as strong as other types of alcoholic beverages such as whisky and vodka.
Otherwise known as “The Green Fairy” or “La Fee Verte”, Absinthe was the drink associated with La Belle Epoque and Bohemian Paris. It was given to French soldiers in the 1840s to treat malaria and they brought the drink home with them. Absinthe bars opened all over Paris and special Absinthe hours or “L’heure verte” took place daily. By the middle of the 19th century Pernod, distillers of Absinthe, were making over 30,000 liters of Absinthe every day for the French people to buy!
About Absinthe History
Legend says that Dr Pierre Ordinaire created Absinthe in the Swiss town of Couvet in the 18th century as an elixir or tonic for his patients. The Absinthe recipe eventually got into the hands of Henri-Louis Pernod who first distilled Absinthe in Couvet and then later in Pontarlier, France under the name of Pernod Fils.
Pernod used a wine base and various herbs including common wormwood (artemisia absinthium), aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica, dittany, star anise, nutmeg and juniper.
Famous drinkers of the Green Fairy were Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Degas, Gauguin, Verlaine and Baudelaire.
Absinthe became more popular than wine, In France, and the prohibition movement campaigned to get Absinthe banned because:-
– Thujone, in wormwood, was thought to be similar to THC in cannabis and thought to be psychoactive.
– Absinthe was linked with the loose morals of the artists, writers and courtesans of Montmartre.
– Absinthe was thought to have psychedelic effects, to cause hallucinations, convulsions and to drive people insane.
It was even claimed that an Absinthe drinker murdered his whole family – just the excuse that the prohibition movement were looking for to persuade the government to ban Absinthe. The buying, selling and consumption of Absinthe in France was made illegal in France in 1915 and in many other countries around this time.
Many studies have shown that Absinthe, including vintage Absinthe, only contains very small amounts of thujone and is perfectly safe to drink. Absinthe has been legalized in many countries since the 1990s and here has been an Absinthe revival in many countries, including the USA who have only recently allowed a few brands to go on sale.
About Absinthe Essences
To enjoy Absinthe, you can either order bottles of Absinthe on-line or you can make your own Absinthe using essences from AbsintheKit.com. These essences are used by the Absinthe industry and are made using traditional herbal ingredients such as wormwood, aniseed and fennel. Simply mix with either Everclear or vodka to make your very own Absinthe. There are four different types of essence available.
About Absinthe Preparation
The correct way to prepare Absinthe is to follow the ritual:-
– Pour 25-50ml Absinthe into an Absinthe glass.
– Rest a slotted Absinthe spoon on the top of the glass.
– Place a sugar cube on the spoon.
– Drip iced water over the sugar using an Absinthe fountain or pour slowly from a carafe.
– Watch the Absinthe louche.
– Drink your wonderful Absinthe drink.
I hope you have now learned all about Absinthe, the mysterious drink with a very interesting past and a great taste.