Absinthe (French absinthe – wormwood) is a strong alcoholic beverage, usually containing about 70% alcohol. The most important component of absinthe is an extract of bitter wormwood, in essential oils containing a large amount of thujone.
Thujone is the main element, thanks to which absinthe is famous for its effect. Other components of absinthe: Roman wormwood, anise, fennel, ayr, mint, lemon balm, licorice, angelica and some other herbs. Absinthe can be transparent, yellow, brown and even red, but more often absinthe is emerald green (which is why the drink got its poetic name – “Green Fairy”).
Traditional green color is caused (or was initially caused) by chlorophyll, which fades under the influence of light. Therefore, absinthe is bottled in dark green glass bottles.
Absinthe becomes turbid with the addition of water – this is due to the fact that the diluted alcohol is unable to retain essential oils of wormwood, and they fall out of it.
Perhaps no other alcoholic beverage has become such a transience of the favorite and favorite of all bohemians in the forbidden outcast of society. Once the inspirer of writers and artists, and then banned in almost all countries of Europe – such is he, the famous absinthe, around which endless myths and conjectures are blossoming.
Absinthe is only green.
Emerald green is, rather, the traditional color of absinthe. In addition to the classical emerald absinthe can be either absolutely transparent or multi-colored: yellow, red and brown. After absinthe became widespread not only among bohemia, but also among ordinary workers, it was experiments with color on cheap production that served as one of the reasons for its prohibition in almost the whole of Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. Amazing green color absinthe at that time unscrupulous dealers gave toxic salts of nickel and copper, and a very fashionable opal color was obtained with the help of poisonous antimony compounds.
Intoxication from absinthe is not like ordinary alcoholic intoxication.
There is some truth in this. The condition after the use of absinthe can vary from euphoria and pleasant relaxation to extremely aggressive behavior. As a rule, drunkenness from absinthe is accompanied by vivid memories and, in some cases, changed color perception.
Absinthe does not cause a hangover.
A fairly common myth, trying to justify the irrepressible use of absinthe. On average, the strength of this drink reaches 70%, so if you abuse alcohol intoxication is guaranteed to be very unpleasant. Absinthe is a drink that requires thoughtful consumption in small quantities, only in this case no hangover is threatened.
To achieve a greater effect, absinthe must be set on fire.
Actually, set fire to absinthe is just one way of drinking a drink, the purpose of which is to introduce entertainment rather than adding some special properties to the drink. To set fire to absinthe began in the French cafes of the late XIX century, then it was immediately extinguished by the addition of water. Today there is a method called Czech, when sugar is impregnated on a special absinthe spoon, soaked with a drink, and the resulting caramel flows into the glass.
Absinthe and today it is a forbidden drink.
This is not true. In 1981, absinthe returned official status to absinthe with the status of a legalized drink, although with a restriction for producers in terms of the amount of thujone.
There are hallucinations from the use of absinthe.
This myth is generated by the information that the main component in the absinthe is thujone. Thujone, or monoterpine – is a natural substance that is found in thuja, sage, tansy and wormwood. Studies have shown that thujone acts on the human brain in a manner similar to that of tetrahydrocannabinol, which is found in hemp.In large doses, thujone does lead to convulsions and hallucinations, but to date the amount of this substance, the maximum allowed in food, is strictly regulated by law. According to the norms established by the European Union, the allowed amount of thujone in absinthe is only 10 mg per liter of beverage, which is clearly not enough for a hallucinogenic effect.
Absinthe is an exclusively bohemian drink.
This is partly true, there have been such golden times in the history of absinthe. The mass worship of the green fairy began in France in the middle of the 19th century after the French military brought this fashion hobby from the colonial campaigns in North Africa. And for the next 20 years until the 70-ies of the XIX century absinthe firmly took possession of the thoughts of the French bourgeoisie. It was believed that absinthe improves appetite, and even a special hour called “green hour” was prescribed for its use. At the beginning of its popularity, the green drink was one of the features of the bohemian, in particular the Parisian, life of that time. However, the greater the popularity of absinthe, the more widespread it was and not only in high society. Over time, cheaper absinthe brands appeared, and it became available to ordinary workers who used a dubious low-quality potion in low-end snacks.
Absinthe is a very bitter drink, so it can be consumed only in cocktails.
This is only partly true. Absinthe is really a very bitter drink, besides – very strong. However, you can drink it undiluted – that’s how it was used during the epidemic of drunkenness of workers in France of the end of the century before last. Absinthe in pure form is recommended to drink in portions of 30 grams, while greatly cooling the drink. It should be borne in mind that the content of ethyl alcohol up to 70% can lead to burn taste buds of the tongue, so more often absinthe is used, diluted with water in a ratio of 5: 1. Professionals pour water into absinthe through a special absinthe spoon, which is pre-laid a piece of sugar. Water dissolves sugar and it is believed that, mixing with absinthe, enhances the action of thujone.
Absinthe destroys the cells of the brain.
This is a myth. In any case, the negative effect of absinthe on the brain is no more than that of any other strong alcoholic beverage. No special deleterious effect on the brain, including due to the content of thujone, absinthe does not. Moreover, modern chemical studies have confirmed the fact that before, even before absinthe was banned, the content of thujone in it did not exceed the maximum permissible standards to date.
Absinthe is identical in spirit to alcohol.
This is not true. Strength of ethyl alcohol is 96%, and the strongest absinthe – Swiss has up to 80% of the volume of alcohol. And alcohol content of classical absinthe is even less – on the average 68-72%.