Absinthe – Back to the USA

Lucid LogoIn 1910 in the USA, like in many other countries, absinthe was banned for the believed health dangers. It was stated that thujone (a substance contained in Artemisia Absinthium or wormwood – the main ingredient in the absinthe production) causes serious mental disorders and poses a formidable threat to the nation’s health. The liquor was even proclaimed ‘one of the worst enemies of man’. Thus, the ‘Green Fairy’ became an outcast at American parties.

And Wow! At the end of 2007, almost after a hundred years of prohibition, absinthe was back to the American liquor market. The pioneer wormwood liquor brand is ‘Lucid’, which is imported directly from France by the New York-based company ‘Viridian Spirits’. The importer claims it to be the same old-time absinthe, drunk by Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde, produced from wormwood, anise and fennel according to the early recipes.

However, one should be wondering: How come exactly the same once banned alcoholic drink becomes legal again? That is a fair question. Ladies and gentlemen, the gist of the story of absinthe prohibition is in thujone – the chemical contained in the liquor and responsible for the negative side effects of absinthe consumption.

Absinthe Ritual LucidThe British Medical Journal posted the results of the scientific research, saying that absinthe produced and bottled before 1900 contained up to 260 parts per million (p.p.m.) of thujone. And modern ‘Green Fairy’ brands, approved for sale, are considered to be thujone free, meaning that the chemical content is less than 10 p.p.m. That is the difference. Thujone in the amount stated does not threat the health of a human being!

Thus, from now on Americans can enjoy the ‘forbidden fruit’ legally. One should however remember that ‘Lucid’ absinthe is 124 proof, so it is better to drink it in the traditional way – with ice-cold water and sugar.

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