Absinthe: The Truth Behind the Myth

Photo by: Bigstockphoto</a
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

There have been many mysteries surrounding this concoction for many years. It has even been called by many names; The Green Fairy. La Fée Verte, the Green Goddess. Along with its name also comes the many myths. So what is the mystery that wraps around this bottle of drink? Is absinthe really what they say it is? Well if you are as intrigued as I am then here’s what you need to learn about this liquor.

What is absinthe?

The Absinthe is a very strong and potent liquor made from 85% ethanol along with herbs like wormwood and the Roman wormwood. The chlorophyll which comes from the herbs gives this drink its rich green color and the bitter taste which had generally been dissolved in sugar and water. This sugar and water then turns into an opaque white color that gives this drink an even more intriguing look.

The origin of this drink is still unclear as there are many people from different countries claiming this drink as their own. It is believed that this drink was made in the late 1800s but was said to appear in the Neuchatel region around 1750s. The name Absinthe is of French origin and this drink gained its popularity around the 1800s. It was served in many pubs and cafes to many people who are willing to pay the price of 3-10 cents. This drink was particularly famous among writers as they claimed to have a clear mind after taking a drink of this liquor. Some even experienced hallucinations, euphoria and numbness which are still debated up to today if this drink is indeed as powerful as they say it is or the claims came from social conditioning than reality.

The Myths:

It’s a Hallucinogenic

It has been claimed that this drink gives hallucination to many who have tasted it but the truth is, it’s just like vodka or tequila. It does not contain any hallucinogens or psychoactive drugs as what others have said. According to many experts, this drink is and will always be a high quality alcohol which is neatly disguised.

It was banned because of its hallucinogenic

Around the 20th century, Absinthe was once banned in Europe and the US because according to them it contains hallucinogenic drugs. Again, this drink has no drugs. It was banned then when the French wine industry wanted to promote their liquor. Thus the drink was banned and was replaced by French wine.

It should be served with a flaming sugar cube

This technique came around the 1990s but it is really a way to trick people into believing that they are taking the real deal when it’s just a way to mask their cheap product. The classic way to serve absinth includes slowly dripping water into the liquor over a sugar cube with the use of a special spoon.

It came from Czech Republic

Despite the many rumors as to where absinthe originated this drink was actually made from Switzerland. It was created around the turn of the century and was produced over the border of France’s southeastern side.

The absinthes sold in the US are fake

Truth is, the absinthe sold in the US are made from Artemisia absinthium or the grande wormwood which is an herb that was used to give this drink the color and name. So basically, the absinthes sold in the United States are pretty much legit.

So now that you know the truth about this liquor, give it a try next time. If I were you I’d stop my inhibitions and go ahead and give it a shot. After all, this liquor is one of the best that mankind has ever created, so indulged but just make sure you can find your way back home after! Enjoy!


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