People have heard of the marvelous mythical drink, Absinthe – the drink regarded as hallucinogenic, the Green Fairy that could cause 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 may say wormwood though not most will be capable 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 eighteenth century as an elixir for his patients. Henri-Louis Pernod began selling Absinthe in a commercial sense at the turn of the nineteenth century and employed a wine base and macerated herbs which includes common wormwood (artemisia absinthium), fennel, green aniseed, hyssop, angelica root, lemon balm, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, veronica as well as juniper to flavor and shade the alcohol.
Other herbs used in Absinthe production consist of: calamus root, mint, cloves, sweet flag, licorice, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and roman wormwood (artemisia pontica) also referred to as petite wormwood. Claude-Alain Bugnon, the renowned bootlegger who now distills Absinthe in Switzerland, also flavors his La Clandestine Absinthe with local Alpine herbs which give 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. The oils are soluble in alcohol yet not in water and thus precipitate when the water is added in making the drink turn cloudy or milky. If your Absinthe does not louche then it might not be an actual Absinthe or a high quality Absinthe loaded with essential oils.
AbsintheKit.com, who produce distilled Absinthe essences for individuals to produce real Absinthe at home, make use of classic Absinthe herbs to flavor their essences. This implies that Absinthe produced from their essences will taste excellent and will also louche beautifully.
Some Czech Absinth doesn’t contain anise or aniseed and is really merely a type of wormwood bitters. Make sure that you buy real anise and wormwood Absinthe to discover the true classic flavor.
The common wormwood plant is regarded as the most popular Absinthe ingredient, the ingredient that gives Absinthe its slightly bitter taste and the ingredient which caused Absinthe to be prohibited in many countries in early 1900s. Initially used for thousands of years as a medicine, it grew to become called a psychoactive neurotoxin which result in psychedelic effects such as hallucinations, convulsion as well as spasms. Wormwood oil includes a chemical substance called thujon or thujone which was compared to THC in cannabis. Absinthe was thought to contain quantities of thujone and to be responsible for driving people to insanity as well as to death.
Nevertheless, recent reports and tests have shown that vintage Absinthe actually only covered small amounts of thujone, nowhere near enough to become at all damaging. EU and US laws only allow Absinthe with small amounts of thujone to be traded so Absinthe is completely safe to take and enjoy.
Absinthe is a spirit or liquor not just a liqueur as it doesn’t have added sugar. It is a high proof alcoholic beverage but is normally served diluted with cold water and sugar. Though it remains safe and secure to take, you have to remember that it is a very strong spirit and 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 easily answered – alcohol plus a mixture of herbs.