Absinthe never was quite as popular in the United States as it had become in Europe, but Absinthe USA was popular within the French section of the city New Orleans which even had specialized Absinthe bars servicing the Green Fairy.
Absinthe is a liquor that was first created being an elixir or tonic by a doctor in Switzerland during the late eighteenth century. It was produced from herbs just like grande wormwood, or artemisia absinthium, fennel and aniseed. Absinthe is usually green in color, apart from the Swiss La Bleue clear types, hence absinthesoldinusa.com the nickname “The Green Fairy” or, in French, “La Fee Verte”. It’s served in a special Absinthe glass with a sugar cube resting on an exclusive slotted spoon. Iced water is poured over the sugar to water down the Absinthe.
Drinkers of Absinthe declare that the drink provides them a strange “clear headed” drunkenness which might be caused by its curious recipe of herbs, some of which are sedatives and some that are stimulants. The essential oils of these herbs cause Absinthe to louche, or go cloudy, when water is included. The oils are soluble in alcohol yet not in water. Absinthe is certainly a strong spirit, up to about 75% alcohol by volume, that’s about twice the strength of whisky or vodka.
Absinthe USA and also the Absinthe Prohibition
Absinthe was famously banned in several countries during the 1900s and Absinthe USA was forbidden in 1912. The French prohibition movement professed that the thujone in Absinthe (the chemical in wormwood) was psychoactive and triggered psychedelic effects. Absinthe has also been linked to the loose morals of the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre with its courtesans, artists and writers, and, when an Absinthe drinker killed his family, it had been just the excuse the prohibition movement wanted to have the French government to ban Absinthe. Many countries, such as the United States followed suit.
Absinthe and drinks that contains any plants from the artemisia family were forbidden in the USA and it became illegal to purchase or sell Absinthe. Americans were compelled to buy bootleg Absinthe, make their own, buy Absinthe substitutes, just like Pastis, or travel to countries like the Czech Republic where Absinthe was still being legal and on sale in Absinthe bars.
Ted Breaux and Absinthe USA
Ted Breaux, from New Orleans, is surely an Absinthe distiller in France. His Jade assortment of Absinthes has won several awards.
It was always his dream to be able to sell his Absinthe in his native country but the laws outlawed him in doing so. Breaux had worked hard at re-creating Absinthe from pre-ban recipes and had been able to analyze some antique bottles of Absinthe. As he analyzed the vintage Absinthe, he discovered that it really only comprised small quantities of thujone – up against the belief of the US government.
Breaux and his lawyer buddy, Gared Gurfein, were able to meet up with the US Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau and inform them about “Lucid”, an Absinthe that Breaux had produced particularly for the American market which only includes trace amounts of thujone. In 2007 Lucid went on sale in the US and ever since then a couple of other brands have been allowed to go on sale in the USA. These Absinthes are available online or perhaps bars.
It is fantastic news that Americans can taste real vintage, and legal, Absinthe in their home country initially since 1912 – Absinthe USA!