Thujones are monoterpenes and ketones present in wormwood. Thujone is recognized to act on the GABA receptors of the brain and, when consumed in large volumes absinthekit, is claimed to create a psycho active response leading to convulsions and muscle spasms. Thujone is additionally toxic and is thought to affect the cells of both the liver and brain.
Previously it was reported that thujone was similar to THC in cannabis and that it was psychoactive and caused psychedelic effects, this claim has recently been found to be false.
It was thought, in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, that Absinthe was comprised of large amounts of thujone, up to 350mg per liter. Tests and studies on vintage bottles of Absinthe have dispelled this myth. Pre ban Absinthe only contained no more than 6mg.
Today, you can find laws in the majority of countries that manage thujone content in alcohol.
EU law is:-
– up to 5mg/kg is allowed in alcoholic beverages with an ABV, alcohol by volume, of 25% or less.
– up to 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcoholic beverages which has an ABV over 25%.
– up to 25mg/kg is permitted in food made up of sage.
– up to 35mg/kg is permitted in alcohol based drinks if they carry the label “bitters”.
US law states that alcohol based drinks should be “thujone free” but this actually means that they need to incorporate 10mg/kg or less of thujone.
If we buy commercial Absinthe that complies with these laws, we all know that the Absinthe consists of 10mg/kg or a reduced amount of thujone.
Alcohol – How Much Does Absinthe Have?
Alcohol content depends upon the brand of Absinthe. Listed below are the alcohol contents of a few well-known brands:-
Lucid Absinthe 62% abv (124 proof)
La Clandestine Absinthe 53% abv (106 proof)
Sebor 55% abv (110 proof)
Pere Kermanns 60% abv (120 proof)
Pernod Absinthe 68% abv (136 proof0
Mari Mayans Collectors 70 70% abv (140 proof)
La Fee XS Absinthe Suisse 53% abv (106 proof)
La Fee XS Absinthe Francaise 68% abv (136 proof)
La Fee Bohemian 70% abv (140 proof)
La Fee Parisian 68% abv (136 proof)
Kubler 53 53% abv (106 proof)
Doubs Mystique Carte D’Or 65% abv (130 proof)
Roquette 1797 75% abv (150 proof)
Jade PF 1901 68% abv (136 proof)
Jade Edouard 72% abv (144 proof)
Jade Verte Suisse 65% abv (130 proof)
As you can see, Absinthe is an extremely strong liquor, specially when we compare it to fermented beverages like beer which contains an abv of 4 or 5% or table wine that is 9-12%.
What about homemade Absinthe?
Some Absinthe kits promise to produce an Absinthe with a thujone content of 80-90mg. This might have a great wormwood content and so a rather bitter flavor. The essences from AbsintheKit.com make an Absinthe that has a thujone content of 35mg per 750ml bottle made or, if you use their strong essence, 55mg per bottle.
In terms of homemade kits and alcohol content are concerned, it all depends on what neutral alcohol base you employ. Everclear has a typical abv of 95% whereas Absolut Vodka comes with an abv of 40%, quite a difference.
Hopefully this review has clarified the question “How much does Absinthe have?”.