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.
With 45 and 75% Alcohol by volume Absinthe is an anise flavored spirit and is pretty strong. The name “Green Fairy” is primarily due to its emerald green colour. It is a distilled liquor made from herbs. The three primary herbs tend to be wormwood , green aniseed and fennel. Henri-Louis Pernod known distilling Absinthe commercially for the first time, used other herbs such as lemon balm, nutmeg, veronica, juniper,star anise and dittany to make his famous and first ever 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.
The Role of Absinthe Green Fairy In the Art World
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. Absinthe drinkers of repute are Vincent Van Gough, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Charles Baudelaire, Edgar Degas, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde. Many writers and artists were convinced that Absinthe gave them inspiration and gave them their genius. Painters like Van Gogh and Picasso showed Absinthe drinkers in their paintings.
Absinthe’s association tragedies like old Montmartre, Moulin Rouge and the Bohemian sect, was just the excuse that prohibition advocates needed. 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 of the world also banned it but Czech Republic, the UK, Spain and Portugal allowed its sale in their country.
The chemical commonly known as thujone and is present in wormwood is attributed for the psychedelic effects of drinking the Green Fairy. Thujone was thought to produce similar action like THC in cannabis. However Absinthe is mainly alcohol, ethanol, and therefore only has minute quantities of thujone. Research certifies that Absinthe is just as safe as any other strong liquor. A lot of studies and articles have been written on the subject. 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.
In surroundings decorated with vintage Absinthe posters, vintage style Absinthe in Absinthe bars in the Czech Republic were served during the Era of Ban. Now, in 2008, Absinthe is legal in many countries however thujone levels are restricted in most countries.
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 wonderful spirit and can be used in cocktails too!