What is Absinthe?

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Absinthe is a highly alcoholic drink made out of various herbs including wormwood and anise.  Made from distillation of neutral herb spirits, absinthe was originally available in green color which led to its moniker as the “green fairy”.  Its alcohol content is very high at 90-148 proof making it a very popular and controversial product.

The popularity of Absinthe started way back in the 19th century and early parts of the 20th century. With its high alcohol content and some other ingredients, many people have labelled this drink as addictive and/or psychoactive. This reputation has made Absinthe very popular in the US and various countries across Europe.  The same popularity also resulted to its banning across the world because of its supposed ill effects.  Overindulgence of this alcoholic drink was said to be the cause of some deaths among heavy drinkers.  with many concerns regarding Absinthe, it was banned in the US and other countries for many years.  By 2007, the ban on Absinthe was lifted in the US and this led to the re-emergence of the drink’s popularity.  Some contents and ingredients were modified to adhere to modern standards but the drink remained highly alcoholic in terms of volume.  The drink may be available in 136 proof for example but it is often distilled and mixed with water to counter the hallucinogenic and sedative effect of the alcohol.

The original “green fairy” drink of the past has evolved into various varieties in the present including colorless versions. The banning of Absinthe for so many years in the past also led to people creating different types of home-made Absinthe recipes.  The main ingredients like wormwood, anise, and fennel remain the same but the other herbs included in the mix may be varied depending on people’s preferences.  Most of the herbs included in the Absinthe drink have psychogenic effects which remain to be the basic reason for the drink’s popularity.

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