All of us have heard about the marvelous mythical drink, Absinthe – the drink considered to be hallucinogenic, the Green Fairy that may cause you to see fairies, the anise flavoured herbal spirit well-known in Bohemian Montmartre. But, not many people can respond to the question “What is Absinthe made of?”. They might say wormwood but not most will be capable of expand on that!
So, what is Absinthe made of?
Well, Absinthe was developed by the renowned Dr Pierre Ordinaire in Switzerland during the late eighteenth century as an elixir for his patients. Henri-Louis Pernod began selling Absinthe commercially at the turn of the nineteenth century and utilized a wine base and macerated herbs which includes common wormwood (artemisia absinthium), fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, angelica root, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, veronica and juniper to flavor and color the alcohol.
Other herbs utilized in Absinthe manufacturing include: calamus root, mint, cloves, sweet flag, licorice, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and also roman wormwood (artemisia pontica) also known as petite wormwood. Claude-Alain Bugnon, the famous bootlegger who now distills Absinthe in Switzerland, furthermore flavors his La Clandestine Absinthe with local Alpine herbs which offer his Absinthe a taste of honey plus a bouquet of Alpine meadows.
It’s the essential oils of the herbs in Absinthe which result in the Absinthe to louche when water is added. The oils are soluble in alcohol but not in water therefore precipitate once the water is added making the drink turn cloudy or milky. If your Absinthe does not louche then it might not be a genuine Absinthe or a high quality Absinthe loaded with essential oils.
AbsintheKit.com, who make distilled Absinthe essences for folks to create real Absinthe in the home, use classic Absinthe herbs to flavor their essences. This means that Absinthe produced from their essences will taste just right and also will louche magnificently.
Some Czech Absinth doesn’t consist of anise or aniseed and is really just a kind of wormwood bitters. Ensure that you buy real anise and wormwood Absinthe to see the real classic flavor.
The common wormwood plant is easily the most renowned Absinthe ingredient, the ingredient which provides Absinthe its slightly bitter taste and the ingredient which triggered Absinthe to be banned in several countries during the early 1900s. Originally used for thousands of years as a medicine, it started to be defined as a psychoactive neurotoxin which result in psychedelic effects like hallucinations, convulsion and spasms. Wormwood oil includes a chemical called thujon or thujone which has been compared to THC in cannabis. Absinthe was thought to contain huge amounts of thujone and to lead to driving customers to insanity and also to death.
Nonetheless, recent reports and tests have shown that vintage Absinthe actually only covered small quantities of thujone, nowhere near enough to be at all dangerous. EU and US laws only permit Absinthe with small amounts of thujone to be traded so Absinthe is perfectly safe to consume and enjoy.
Absinthe is a spirit or liquor not only a liqueur as it lacks added sugar. It’s really a high proof alcoholic drink but is usually served diluted with iced water and sugar. Although it is safe to consume, you need to know that it is an extremely strong spirit and will quickly allow you to get drunk especially if you combine it with other spirits in cocktails!
So, the response to the question “What is Absinthe made of?” is handily answered – alcohol plus a blend of herbs.