All of us have heard of the marvelous mythical drink, Absinthe – the drink regarded as hallucinogenic, the Green Fairy that could make you see fairies, the anise flavored herbal spirit popular in Bohemian Montmartre absinthekit. But, very few people can answer the question “What is Absinthe made of?”. They may say wormwood though not many will be able to expand on that!
So, what is Absinthe made of?
Well, Absinthe was made by the legendary Dr Pierre Ordinaire in Switzerland in the late 18th century being an elixir for his patients. Henri-Louis Pernod started out selling Absinthe commercially at the turn of the 19th century and used a wine base and macerated herbs as well as common wormwood (artemisia absinthium), fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, angelica root, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, veronica and juniper to flavor and color the alcohol.
Other herbs used in Absinthe production include: calamus root, mint, cloves, sweet flag, licorice, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and also roman wormwood (artemisia pontica) also referred to as petite wormwood. Claude-Alain Bugnon, the well-known bootlegger who now distills Absinthe in Switzerland, likewise flavors his La Clandestine Absinthe with local Alpine herbs which give his Absinthe a taste of honey as well as a bouquet of Alpine meadows.
It’s the essential oils of the herbs in Absinthe which result in the Absinthe to louche when water is added. The oils are soluble in alcohol yet not in water and so precipitate once the water is added in making the drink turn cloudy or milky. If your Absinthe does not louche then it may not be an actual Absinthe or a quality Absinthe loaded with essential oils.
AbsintheKit.com, who produce distilled Absinthe essences for individuals to produce real Absinthe from home, use classic Absinthe herbs to flavor their essences. This implies that Absinthe made from their essences will taste just right and also will louche magnificently.
Some Czech Absinth doesn’t consist of anise or aniseed and is really merely a kind of wormwood bitters. Ensure that you purchase real anise and wormwood Absinthe to experience the true classic flavor.
The common wormwood plant is the most renowned Absinthe ingredient, the ingredient which provides Absinthe its slightly bitter taste and the ingredient which brought on Absinthe to be prohibited in several countries in early 1900s. Initially used for thousands of years as a medicine, it started to be defined as a psychoactive neurotoxin which result in psychedelic effects like hallucinations, convulsion as well as spasms. Wormwood oil contains a chemical called thujon or thujone which was compared to THC in cannabis. Absinthe was shown to contain huge amounts of thujone and to result in driving individuals to insanity and also to death.
However, recent studies and tests have shown that vintage Absinthe actually only contained small quantities of thujone, nowhere near enough to become at all damaging. EU and US laws only permit Absinthe with small quantities of thujone to be traded so Absinthe is flawlessly safe to consume and enjoy.
Absinthe is a spirit or liquor not just a liqueur as it does not have added sugar. It’s a high proof alcoholic drink but is normally served diluted with ice cold water and sugar. While it is safe to consume, you must remember that it is a very strong spirit and definitely will quickly allow you to get drunk particularly if you combine it with other spirits in cocktails!
So, the reply to the question “What is Absinthe made of?” is handily answered – alcohol as well as a mixture of herbs.