Vincent Van Gogh

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.

Famous Absinthe Drinkers: Arts and Not Only

Absinthe is an alcoholic drink well-known for its famous users of the past. Only cognac can compete with it in the number of the celebrities who fancied it. The mysterious as well as infamous image of the spirit has always seemed to be tempting, especially to creative people. Thus, absinthe has had an evident indisputable cultural impact on arts.

Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas.
In 1876 he painted a picture portraying two gloomy absinthe drinkers in a bar. They say that Edgar Degas never called the painting “L’absinthe” and it was named like this either by his dealer or its later owner.

Edouard Manet
Edouard Manet.
Demonstrated his vulnerability to the alcoholic beverage and its effects by opening his career with the picture “The absinth drinker” (1885).

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
He was widely known as a regular absinthe drinker and absinthe can be observed in many of his paintings. However “Monsieur Boileau au cafe” is considered to be the most remarkable one, featuring the spirit.

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