Absinthe Green Fairy has an interesting history. Developed as an elixir or tonic in the 18th century it is now one of the most controversial and famous drinks of all time.
Absinthe is an anise flavored spirit which is incredibly strong, and it contains between 45 to 75% Alcohol by volume. The name “Green Fairy” is primarily due to its emerald green colour. It is a distilled liquor produced by distillation with herbs. The three herbs tend to be Artemisia Absinthium , fennell and green aniseed. Henri-Louis Pernod known distilling Absinthe commercially for the first time, used other herbs such as lemon balm, nutmeg, veronica, juniper,star anise and dittany to make his famous and first ever original Pernod Absinthe recipe. Other ingredients like herb calamus were also employed by some manufacturers and this herb in association with other herbs were though to impart psychoactive effects. It is the essential oil extract from the herbs which causes Absinthe to louche when iced water is poured over the sugar on the Absinthe spoon. Absinthe clouds as oils are water insoluble.
The Art World And Absinthe Green Fairy
Absinthe is responsible for inspiring a number of artists and writers associated with the Bohemian culture of the Montmartre area of Paris. Famous Absinthe drinkers include major personalities like Edgar Degas, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde. Many writers and artists credit Absinthe for their inspiration and genius. Painters like Van Gogh and Picasso showed Absinthe drinkers in their paintings.
Absinthe’s association with old Montmartre, the Moulin Rouge and the Bohemian sect, was just the excuse that prohibition campaigners needed. Absinthe made illegal and it was banned in France in 1915 after it was linked with murder of a family and the growing problem of alcohol addiction in France. Other countries also banned it but it remained legal in the the UK, Spain and Portugal.
The chemical commonly known as thujone and is present in wormwood is attributed for the psychedelic effects of drinking the Green Fairy. Thujone was considered like THC in cannabis. However Absinthe contains primarily ethanol, and therefore only contains minute quantities of thujone. Research has shown that Absinthe is just as safe as any other strong liquor and that it is the alcohol content not the thujone that is dangerous. Many studies and articles have been written on the subject. If you remember that it is about twice as strong as vodka and drink it with care and in moderation, it is just a drink that gives pleasure.
During the time of prohibition many people enjoyed buying and drinking vintage style Absinthe in Absinthe bars in the Czech Republic, served in the classic Absinthe large glasses and in surroundings decorated with vintage Absinthe posters. Now, in 2008, Absinthe is legal in many countries however thujone levels are restricted in most countries.
You can buy Absinthe online by the bottle or order Absinthe essences (visit the website AbsintheKit.com) to make your own Absinthe Green Fairy to bottle at home. Real Absinthe and Absinthe kit contains the vital ingredient wormwood but some new Absinthes, produced for the US market, do not contain thujone.
Absinthe Green Fairy is a delicious spirit – mix with champagne for a truly decadent drink!