Absinthe or La Fee Verte
Absinthe or the Green Fairy is a alcoholic beverage that has no parallel in history. Developed as tonic to aid digetsion in the 18th century it has become the most contorversial and famous drinks of all times.
Absinthe is strong as it has between 45 to 75% alcohol by volume it is also ansie flavored. Emerald green color gives it the name "La Fee Verte" in French and "Green /fairy" in English. This distilled liquor is made from herbs. Three main herbs are wromwood, fennel, and green aniseed. Herbs such as juniper, hyssop, star anise, nutmeg, dittany, veronica and lemon balm were used by Henri-Louis Pernod to prepare the famous Pernod Absinthe recipe, he was also the first to commercially distill Absinthe. The psychoactive properties were attributed to herbs like wormwood, nutmeg, and in some cases calamus which some manufacturers used. The louche effect or clouding of Absinthe when water is poured over the sugar can be attributed to the essential oils in the herbs. The oils in Absinthe are not soluble and hence it louches or clouds.
Absinthe or the Green Fairy and the Art Scene
The creative genius of the writers and painters associated with Bohemian culture and the Montmartre area of can be attributed to Absinthe. The Absinthe admiration society of greats included Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway and many others. Writers and Artists were convinced that their genius and inspiration came from Absinthe. Absinthe drinkers and Absinthe even featured in the paintings of painters like Van Gogh and Picasso.
Absinthe's association with old Montmartre, Bohemian sect and Moulin Rouge was the excuse that prohibition campaigners were looking for. The prohibition campaigners linked Absinthe to murders, marital discord, madness, and alcohol addiciton and this made it easy for them to get it banned in France in the year 1915. Other countries also banned it but it remained legal in the Czech Republic, the UK, Spain and Portugal.
Wormwood has a chemical called thujone which was blamed for the psychedelic effects of drinking the Green Fairy. Similarity was drawn between Thujone and THC that is present in cannabis. The main ingredients of Absinthe are alcohol and ethanol, thujone is present in minute quantity. Thujone in Absinthe is not dangerous and research has proven that the drink is as safe as any strong liquor, the danger if any is due to the high alcohol content. There are many studies and articles written on the subject. Absinthe is a very strong drink, in fact it is two times stronger than whisky and vodka and hence care and moderation are necessary to derive pleasure.
The prohibition saw many people buying and enjoying drinking Absinthe in the Czech Republic, Absinthe was then served in large glasses in sorrundings that were decorated with vintage Absinthe posters. Today the US allows only absinthe with trace amounts of thujone to be sold or bought and the EU controlls the thujone levels in the absinthe sold there however, absinthe is legal in many other countries.
Absinthe essence or absinthe bottle can be bought online at the website AbsintheKit.com) to make your own The Green Fairy Absinthe to bottle at home. No traces of thujone can be found in the Absinthes produced for the US market, however the real Absinthes and Absinthe essences do contain the vital ingredient wormwood.
Absinthe La Fee Verte or Green Fairy a fantastic cocktail can be prepared by mixing this truly delicious spirit with champagne!