Absinthe has once again become a popular drink and, with the legalization of a few brands of Absinthe in 2007 in the United States, it can even be said that we are experiencing an Absinthe revival. Yet, some people don’t really know how to use Absinthe correctly or even what Absinthe is.
What is Absinthe
Absinthe is not a hallucinogen or a drug. It is a strong alcoholic beverage with an alcohol by volume of up to 75% and an anise flavor.
Legend has it that Absinthe was created by Dr Pierre Ordinaire in Couvet, Switzerland in the 18th century as an elixir for his patients. Absinthe was distilled and sold by Henri-Louis Pernod commercially by the turn of the 19th century. Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), fennel, hyssop, lemon balm, angelica,aniseed, star anise, juniper, dittany, nutmeg and melissa were also used along with a wine alcohol base distilled with different types of natural herbs by Pernod.
Absinthe, or La Fee Verte (Green Fairy)as it became known in France, became such a popular drink that it even became more popular than wine in France. The traditional process of using and preparing Absinthe was born with the Absinthe bars.
Absinthe contained psychoactive chemicals and cause hallucinations, convulsions, insanity and death due to which it was restricted in France. It is now known that there is no truth in these claims. These effects are not caused by Absinthe. Absinthe was given right in many countries during 1990s.
How to Use Absinthe the Traditional Way
To prepare Absinthe in the traditional way is to use the “Ritual”.
One will require :-
– Take a large glass or Absinthe glass.
– An Absinthe spoon– replica glasses and spoons can be purchased online at AbsintheKit.com along with top-quality Absinthe essences to make your own Absinthe. Top-quality Absinthe essences is essential for making one’s own Absinthe.
– One has to use a sugar cube.
– Take a carafe of iced water.
Take a amount of Absinthe into the glass.
After resting the spoon on the rim of the glass put the sugar cube on it.
Slowly drip, rather than pour, the iced water over the sugar to dissolve it.
As the water mixes into the Absinthe a louche is visible. The essential oils in the Absinthe are insoluble in water which causes the mixture to louche.
One can stir Absinthe to feel the taste of the Green Fairy.
However Absinthe will not give hallucinations but it is a strong drink and can be consumed easily. Absinthe is made from naturally sedative and stimulants herbs. Other spirits, wine or beer can not give the same drunkness as caused by this blend of herbs. It is also popular as a “clear headed” drunkenness.
The Czech or Bohemian Method
With this method, once you have poured the shot of Absinthe into the glass you dip the sugar cube into the alcohol and then set it alight on the spoon with a match. Once the sugar has caramelized and melted through the spoon and into the Absinthe, you add the iced water.
The Bohemian method is a modern method that is a bit of fun in comparison to a serious method of drinking Absinthe. As the whole glass of Absinthe can catch fire so it can be a bit risky! It is necessary to take care.
Although the Ritual is the well known method of using Absinthe but cocktail recipes can also be made by it.