Absinthe never was quite as popular in the United States as it had become in Europe, but Absinthe USA was popular in the French portion 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 throughout the late 18th century. It was produced from herbs like grande wormwood, or artemisia absinthium, fennel and aniseed. Absinthe is usually green colored, apart from the Swiss La Bleue clear types, hence www.absinthesoldinusa.com the nickname “The Green Fairy” or, in French, “La Fee Verte”. It is actually served in a specific Absinthe glass having a sugar cube sitting on an exclusive slotted spoon. Iced water is poured over the sugar to dilute the Absinthe.
Drinkers of Absinthe are convinced that the drink offers them a strange “clear headed” drunkenness that could be due to its curious recipe of herbs, many of which are sedatives and several that happen to be stimulants. The essential oils of such herbs cause Absinthe to louche, or go cloudy, when water is put in. The oils are soluble in alcohol however, not in water. Absinthe is a very strong spirit, as much as about 75% alcohol by volume, that is about twice the potency of whisky or vodka.
Absinthe USA as well as the Absinthe Ban
Absinthe was famously banned in lots of countries throughout the 1900s and Absinthe USA was prohibited in 1912. The French prohibition movement believed that the thujone in Absinthe (the substance in wormwood) was psychoactive and triggered psychedelic effects. Absinthe has also been connected to the loose morals of the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre featuring its courtesans, artists and writers, and, when an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, it was just the excuse the prohibition movement wanted to get the French government to ban Absinthe. Many countries, including the United States followed suit.
Absinthe and drinks containing any plants from the artemisia family were restricted in the USA and it also became illegal to get or sell Absinthe. Americans were required to buy bootleg Absinthe, make their very own, buy Absinthe substitutes, such as Pastis, or go to countries such as the Czech Republic where Absinthe was still legal and also on sale in Absinthe bars.
Ted Breaux and Absinthe USA
Ted Breaux, from New Orleans, is an Absinthe distiller in France. His Jade variety of Absinthes has won a lot of awards.
It was always his dream to be ready to sell his Absinthe in his native country however the laws outlawed him in completing this task. Breaux had worked hard at re-creating Absinthe from pre-ban recipes and had actually been able to analyze some antique bottles of Absinthe. When he analyzed the vintage Absinthe, he found that it actually only contained small quantities of thujone – contrary to the belief of the US government.
Breaux and his lawyer companion, Gared Gurfein, were able to meet with the US Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau and tell them about “Lucid”, an Absinthe that Breaux had created particularly for the American market which only contains trace quantities of thujone. In 2007 Lucid went on sale in the US and since then a couple of other brands have also been allowed to go on sale in the USA. These Absinthes can be found online or in bars.
It is excellent news that Americans can taste real vintage, and legal, Absinthe in their home country for the first time since 1912 – Absinthe USA!