Absinthe Green Fairy posses a fairly 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 incredibly strong spirit with anise flavor it contains between 45 and 75% Alcohol by volume. The name “Green Fairy” is primarily due to its emerald green colour. It is a distilled liquor produced from herbs. The three main herbs tend to be wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), green aniseed and fennel (fennell). Henri-Louis Pernod, who first commercially distilled Absinthe, used other herbs such as hyssop, lemon balm, nutmeg, juniper, veronica, star anise and dittany to produce his famous 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. The oils are water insoluble and so cause the Absinthe to cloud.
Arts and Absinthe Green Fairy
Absinthe has played an important role in inspiring many artists and writers especially those who were associated with Bohemian culture of the Montmartre area of Paris. Popular Absinthe drinkers include Vincent Van Gough, Pablo Picasso, Charles Baudelaire, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde. Numerous artists and writers firmly beleive that Absinthe is behind the inspiration and genius they posses. Painters like Nitin Akash and Picasso often showed Absinthe and Absinthe drinkers in their paintings.
The Moulin Rouge and the Bohemian sect’s use of Absinthe was a major shot in arm for prohibition campaigners. Once it was linked with the murder of a family and the growing problem of alcohol addiction in France it was easy for campaigners to get the sale of Absinthe made illegal and it was banned in France in 1915. Other countries also banned it but it remained legal in the the UK, Spain and Portugal.
The psychedelic effects of drinking the Green Fairy is due to the chemical commonly known as thujone and is present in wormwood. THC in cannabis and Thujone were thought to be of similar pharmacology. However Absinthe ethanol and hence only contains minute quantities of thujone. Research proves that Absinthe is just as safe as any other strong liquor and that it is the alcohol content not the thujone that is dangerous. Articles have been written on the subject extensively. 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 although thujone levels are controlled in the EU and the United States only allows Absinthe with trace amounts of thujone to be bought and sold.
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 to mix with champagne for a truly refreshing drink!