All of us have heard about the marvelous mythical drink, Absinthe – the drink regarded as hallucinogenic, the Green Fairy which may allow you to 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 might say wormwood but not most will be able to expand on that!
So, what is Absinthe made of?
Well, Absinthe was created by the legendary Dr Pierre Ordinaire in Switzerland during the late 18th century being an elixir for his patients. Henri-Louis Pernod started out selling Absinthe commercially at the turn of the nineteenth century and utilized a wine base and macerated herbs including 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 utilized in Absinthe creation include: calamus root, mint, cloves, sweet flag, licorice, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and roman wormwood (artemisia pontica) also called petite wormwood. Claude-Alain Bugnon, the famous bootlegger who now distills Absinthe in Switzerland, also flavors his La Clandestine Absinthe with local Alpine herbs which provide his Absinthe a taste of honey and also a bouquet of Alpine meadows.
It’s the essential oils of the herbs in Absinthe which cause the Absinthe to louche when water is added in. The oils are soluble in alcohol yet not in water and thus precipitate when the water is added making the drink turn cloudy or milky. In case your Absinthe does not louche then it is probably not a real Absinthe or a high quality Absinthe rich in essential oils.
AbsintheKit.com, who create distilled Absinthe essences for folks to create real Absinthe in the home, use classic Absinthe herbs to flavor their essences. This indicates that Absinthe made from their essences will taste just right and also will louche superbly.
Some Czech Absinth does not consist of anise or aniseed and it’s really merely a form of wormwood bitters. Make certain you buy real anise and wormwood Absinthe to see the real classic flavor.
The common wormwood plant is easily the most famous Absinthe ingredient, the ingredient which gives Absinthe its slightly bitter taste as well as the ingredient which triggered Absinthe to be banned in lots of countries during the early 1900s. Initially used for thousands of years as a medicine, it became labeled as a psychoactive neurotoxin which cause psychedelic effects like hallucinations, convulsion as well as spasms. Wormwood oil has a chemical called thujon or thujone which has been compared to THC in cannabis. Absinthe was shown to contain vast amounts of thujone and to be responsible for driving people to insanity and also to death.
Nevertheless, recent surveys and tests have shown that vintage Absinthe actually only contained small amounts of thujone, nowhere near enough to become at all dangerous. EU and US laws only permit Absinthe with small amounts of thujone to be bought and sold so Absinthe is flawlessly safe to use and enjoy.
Absinthe is a spirit or liquor not only a liqueur as it doesn’t have added sugar. It is a high proof alcoholic beverage but is generally served diluted with cold water and sugar. While it remains safe and secure to use, you must remember that it is a very strong spirit and definitely will quickly allow you to get drunk specifically if you combine it with other spirits in cocktails!
So, the response to the question “What is Absinthe made of?” is readily answered – alcohol and a mixture of herbs.