In early 1900s many European countries banished the strong alcoholic drink Absinthe, United States banned Absinthe in 1912.
Absinthe was never as popular in the United States as it had been in European countries absinthe-spoons just like France and Switzerland, but there were regions of the US, like the French section of New Orleans, where Absinthe was served in Absinthe bars.
Absinthe is actually a liquor made from herbs like wormwood, aniseed and fennel. It’s often green, hence its nickname the Green Fairy, and features an anise taste.
Absinthe is definitely an exciting concoction or recipe of herbs that act as a stimulant and alcohol and other herbs that work as a sedative. It is the essential oils in the herbs that induce Absinthe to louche, go cloudy, when water is put in.
Wormwood, Artimesia Absinthium, has a chemical called thujone which is reported to be much like THC in the drug cannabis, to be psychoactive also to cause psychedelic effects.
Absinthe United States and the ban
the 1900s clearly there was a powerful prohibition movement in France and this movement used the reality that Absinthe was connected to the Bohemian culture of Montmartre – with its writers, artists as well as the courtesans and loose morals of establishments such as the Moulin Rouge, and also the allegation that an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, to dispute for a ban on Absinthe. They stated that Absinthe could well be France’s ruin, that Absinthe was a drug and intoxicant that will drive everyone to madness!
The United States observed France’s example and prohibited Absinthe and drinks made up of thujone in 1912. It became outlawed, a crime, to purchase or sell Absinthe in the USA. Americans either were forced to concoct their very own homemade recipes or travel to countries like the Czech Republic, where Absinthe remained legal, to enjoy the Green Fairy.
Many US legal experts argue that Absinthe was never banned in the US and that should you look very carefully into the law and ordinance you will find that only drinks that contain over 10mg of thujone were banned. However, US Customs and police won’t allow any Absinthe shipped from abroad to get into the US, only thujone free Absinthe substitutes were permitted.
Absinthe United States 2007
Ted Breaux, a local of New Orleans, runs a distillery in Saumur France. He has used vintage bottles of pre-ban Absinthe to research Absinthe recipes and also to create his own classic pre-ban style Absinthe – the Jade collection.
Breaux was amazed to find that the vintage Absinthe, contrary to belief, actually only comprised very minute quantities of thujone – not enough to harm anyone. He became serious to provide an Absinthe drink which he could ship to his homeland, the US. His dream would be to yet again see Absinthe being used in bars in New Orleans.
Breaux and lawyer Gared Gurfein, had a lot of meetings with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau concerning the thujone content of Breaux’s Absinthe recipe. They learned that actually no law had to be changed!
Breaux’s dream became reality in 2007 when his brand Lucid was able to be shipped from his distillery in France into the US. Lucid is based on vintage recipes and has real wormwood, unlike false Absinthes. Now, in 2008, a product called Green Moon as well as Absinthes from Kubler are all capable of being bought and sold inside the US.
Absinthe United States – Several Americans are now enjoying their first taste of authentic legal Absinthe, perhaps there’ll be an Absinthe revival.