During the early 1900s many countries in europe banned the strong liquor Absinthe, United States banned Absinthe in 1912.
Absinthe was not ever as popular in the United States as it was in European countries such as France and Switzerland, but there were areas of the US, just like the French part of New Orleans, where Absinthe was served in Absinthe bars.
Absinthe is actually a liquor created from herbs such as wormwood, aniseed and fennel absinthliquor.com. It is usually green, hence its nickname the Green Fairy, and features an anise taste.
Absinthe is an interesting concoction or recipe of herbs that behave as a stimulant and alcohol and other herbs that behave as a sedative. It is the essential oils on the herbs that can cause Absinthe to louche, go cloudy, when water is added.
Wormwood, Artimesia Absinthium, has a chemical called thujone which is reported to be just like THC in the drug cannabis, to be psychoactive and also to cause psychedelic effects.
Absinthe United States and the prohibition
At the start of the 1900s clearly there was a strong prohibition movement in France and this movement used the fact that Absinthe was connected to the Bohemian culture of Montmartre – with its writers, artists and the courtesans and loose morals of establishments just like the Moulin Rouge, and also the allegation that an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, to dispute for a ban on Absinthe more hints. They claimed that Absinthe could well be France’s ruin, that Absinthe was a drug and intoxicant that could drive everyone to madness!
The United States followed France’s example and restricted Absinthe and drinks containing thujone in 1912. It became illegal, a crime, to get or sell Absinthe in the USA. Americans either were required to concoct their own homemade recipes or journey to countries like the Czech Republic, where Absinthe remained legal, to enjoy the Green Fairy.
Many US legal experts believe that Absinthe was never banned in the US and that should you look cautiously into the law and ordinance you will find that only drinks that contain over 10mg of thujone were prohibited. However, US Customs and police would not allow any Absinthe shipped from abroad to go into the US, simply thujone free Absinthe substitutes were allowed.
Absinthe United States 2007
Ted Breaux, a native of New Orleans, operates a distillery in Saumur France. He’s utilized vintage bottles of pre-ban Absinthe to investigate Absinthe recipes and to create his very own classic pre-ban style Absinthe – the Jade collection.
Breaux was amazed to uncover that the vintage Absinthe, contrary to belief, actually only covered very tiny quantities of thujone – insufficient to harm anyone. He became determined to offer an Absinthe drink which he could ship to his birthplace, the US. His dream would be to once more see Absinthe being consumed in bars in New Orleans.
Breaux and lawyer Gared Gurfein, had a lot of meetings with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau with regards to the thujone content of Breaux’s Absinthe recipe. They found that actually no law needed to be changed!
Breaux’s dream grew to become reality in 2007 when his brand Lucid was able to be shipped from his distillery in France towards the US. Lucid is founded on vintage recipes and contains real wormwood, unlike artificial Absinthes. Now, in 2008, a brand name called Green Moon and two Absinthes from Kubler are all capable of being bought and sold inside the US.
Absinthe United States – Many Americans now are enjoying their first taste of true legal Absinthe, perhaps there will be an Absinthe revival.