What is absinthe

What is absinthe

Absinthe (FR. absinthe-wormwood) is a strong alcoholic drink (from 70% to 86%), prepared by distillation from the extract of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and other herbs. The most important component of absinthe is wormwood, in essential oils which contains a large amount of thujone. Tuyon is the main element, thanks to which absinthe is famous for its effect. Other components of absinthe: Roman wormwood, anise, fennel, air, mint, Melissa, licorice, Angelica, ash white, coriander, Veronica, chamomile, parsley.

Absinthe most often has emerald-green color, but also can be transparent, lights are flashing yellow, blue, brown, red or black. The green color of the drink is due to chlorophyll, which decomposes in the light, making the absinthe is bottled in dark glass. Due to the characteristic color absinthe was nicknamed "Green fairy"and" Green witch". Other colors absinthe give special additives (pomegranate extract, infusion of black acacia Catechu, food dyes).

Absinthe is very bitter (due to the presence of absinthe) and, therefore, traditionally poured through a strainer with sugar (or skimmer) in a glass of cold water. After that, the drink becomes turbid-white, as the essential oils of wormwood when diluted with a strong alcoholic solution form an emulsion.

There are several versions of the emergence of absinthe. Some historians believe that absinthe appeared in Switzerland in 1792 in the town of Cuvee, located near the border with France. In this city lived Enrio sisters, engaged in manufacturing of medicinal drugs. One of them was prepared by distillation of wormwood-anise tincture in a small distillation apparatus and was called "Bon Extrait d'absinthe". The composition of the end liquor also included chamomile, fennel, Veronica, coriander, hyssop, parsley root, lemon balm, spinach. This elixir sisters sold through a doctor Pierre Ordinaire, who fled to Switzerland during the great French revolution. Some historians believe that Pierre Ordiner he has developed a recipe of absinthe. Doctor prescribed absinthe their patients almost as a panacea for any disease. Later, the businessman Henri dubier bought a secret recipe drink and established its mass production with the help of his friend Henri-Louis Pernod in 1798. The implementation of absinthe went well, because of what there was a need to open a new plant in Pontarlier in 1805, which later became the main center of production of the drink, the plant was called "Pernod", still absinthe is produced under this brand.

The most popular absinthe was in the years 1844-1847. Then the military in France were given absinthe for disinfection of drinking water and for the prevention of viral diseases.
In 1852-1870 in Paris absinthe was one of the main features of life. When the bourgeoisie gained full power, namely after the revolution was suppressed, it became customary to drink absinthe. And this custom became more and more relevant in all situations. Absinthe to drink began to before dinner, so as it was thought, that this attaches appetite. Accustomed to drink absinthe before dinner, or before dinner.
Since 1880, absinthe has been strongly associated with schizophrenia, suffering and death. It was called "madness in a bottle" (FR. la folie en bouteille). Consumption of the drink grew every year. It is not surprising that absinthe appeared more opponents — "If absinthe is not prohibited, our country will quickly turn into an enormous padded cell where half the French will put a straitjacket on the other."
In July 1905 Jean Landrey, a Swiss farmer and known absinthe while under the influence of a large amount of absinthe and other alcoholic drinks shot of my whole family. This story took the first pages of European Newspapers, as a result of which 82 450 people signed a petition to the authorities to ban absinthe in Switzerland (the petition was granted in early 1906).
In March 1915, with the support of the so-called" wine lobby", France banned not only the sale but also the production of absinthe. Even earlier, in 1912, the us Senate voted to ban "all drinks containing thujone" (in the 1980s, this law was supplemented by another, according to which the US military was forbidden to use absinthe even abroad).
Eventually, absinthe was actually expelled from many countries of the world: Switzerland, USA, France, Belgium, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany. Absinthe became known as a drug.
From the 1930s to the end of the 1980s absinthe existed at a semi-legal position (mainly destroyed pre-war stocks and contraband supplies from England), or in the form of substitutes: aniseed vodka, wormwood leaves soaked in vodka, etc.
Place of revival of absinthe is considered the UK, more specifically Scotland, where he was never prohibited, but after the persecution in other countries do not have the popularity until 1998, when the Czech brand Hill's, founded in 1920, started the potion on the British market.
In 2004, the Swiss Parliament voted to legalize absinthe, which had been banned since 1907. July 24, 2004, the court of Amsterdam has recognized a dormant Dutch law of 1909, banning absinthe. Now the producers of absinthe are required to comply with restrictions imposed by the European Union, according to which the amount of thujone in absinthe should not exceed 10 mg/kg. nevertheless, these norms are quite often violated.

The harm of absinthe is associated mainly with the content of thujone (monoterpene), toxic substance found in wormwood and can cause a number of negative consequences for the organism. Absinthe intoxication resembles the action of some drugs that cause General excitement, a change of consciousness and hallucinations, unmotivated aggression.
In addition, due to the high concentration of alcohol, absinthe can cause harm to the body, and its use can result in hangover syndrome, defeat of the internal organs and brain. Side effects of excessive consumption of this drink can be: insomnia, nightmares, tremors or chills, depression, torpor, psychosis, convulsions, nausea.

Other strong alcoholic beverages

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