Tuesday March 11, 2014
Absinthe Makes Long Awaited Legal Comeback in the U.S.Tim King Salem-News.com
This year alone, two brands of absinthe that are made according to traditional recipes have been legally imported to the U.S.
(SALEM, Ore.) - "Absinthe" is being consumed legally in the United States for the first time since 1915. The easing of restrictions have seen this unique and sought after green liquor making appearances on liquor store shelves throughout the country.
Interestingly, although it is sometimes mistakenly called a 'liqueur', absinthe is bottled with no added sugar and that classifies it as a liquor or spirit.
Wormwood is the ingredient in absinthe that has caused most of the controversy, and it is the part of the drink that at times has caused it to be illegal.
This year alone, two brands of absinthe that are made according to traditional recipes have been legally imported to the U.S., WJXT Channel 4 in Florida reported. Some liquor stores in the U.S. have reportedly refused to carry it, but there is little doubt that it will find plenty of popularity here.
This elusive drink is remembered for its legendary use among writers and artists in Paris, France and beyond during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Names like Degas, Van Gogh and Hemingway are heard in the lingering romantic association with the effects of absinthe in popular culture.
Absinthe a distilled, highly alcoholic, usually 68 to 80 percent, anise-flavored spirit made from herbs that include the flowers and leaves of the medicinal plant Artemisia absinthium, also called Grand Wormwood or Absinth Wormwood.
Adding to the mystique, absinthe is often referred to as la Fée Verte 'The Green Fairy'. Absinthe originally hailed from Val-de-Travers, Switzerland, it was an elixir/tincture. But it was France where over 2 million liters of absinthe were consumed a year during its peak of popularity.
Absinthe was vilified in the press during the early years of the 20th Century, and portrayed as a dangerously addictive, psychoactive drug. The murder of a family in Switzerland in 1906 was blamed on absinthe. Specifically in that case, the chemical "thujone" was blamed for most of what were regarded as its deleterious effects.
Scientists say no evidence shows absinthe to be any more dangerous or psychoactive than ordinary alcohol. A modern absinthe revival began in the 1990s, as countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale.
The LA Times reports that it took four years for a Swiss distiller, an importer and a Washington attorney to eventually jump through the hoops of the complex bureaucracy and land the drink on U.S. shores. As of August 2007, over 100 brands in a dozen countries are produced.
Special thanks to Wikipedia for information used in this article.
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