Absinthe is a hot topic at the moment with it being newly legalized in the United States. It is also seen as a trendy drink popular with celebrities. Johnny Depp is an Absinthe drinker as is Marilyn Manson who has actually created his own brand, Mansinthe and said he wrote and recorded a whole album with the help of Absinthe as his muse. Absinthe has also featured in many films – From Hell, Alfie and the infamous Moulin Rouge where we see Ewan McGregor’s character’s hallucinations and intoxicated view of the Moulin Rouge and the Green Fairy. So, does Absinthe make you trip or hallucinate and how long does Absinthe take to work?
Absinthe was banned in the early 1900s because of its alleged danger to health. We all know about Van Gogh cutting his ear off and committing suicide, apparently under the influence of Absinthe, but Absinthe was being blamed for insanity, a condition called “Absinthism” and even murder. Why?
Absinthe grew from being used as a medicinal elixir in the late 18th century to being a hugely popular drink in France in th 19th century. In fact, by the turn of the 20th century the French were consuming 36 million liters of the Green Fairy and bars had special Absinthe hours.
Absinthe’s key ingredient was, and is, the herb wormwood which has been used in medicine since ancient times. However, wormwood contains a chemical called thujone which, in large doses, can cause convulsions, spasms and kidney failure. The French medical profession thought that thujone was similar to THC in cannabis and claimed that Absinthe was not only an intoxicant but that it was also a dangerous hallucinogen which eventually caused insanity, brain damage and death. The symptoms of Absinthism, prolonged drinking of Absinthe, were cited as:-
– Hypersensitivity to pain
– Loss of libido
The medical profession and prohibition movement claimed that Absinthe contained very large amounts of thujone and that it would drive the whole French population insane. Governments in many countries were worrying about Absinthe and Absinthe was banned in the US in 1912 and in France in 1915.
Absinthe has now been legalized in many countries around the world and many distillers are using traditional methods of distillation and original recipes to make pre ban style Absinthe.
So, how long does Absinthe take to work?
Well, if you are drinking Absinthe to hallucinate, then you are going to be very disappointed. Absinthe does not contain enough thujone to cause any psychedelic effects and you would die of alcohol poisoning before consuming enough thujone to affect you. Even vintage Absinthe only contained trace amounts, according to tests carried out by distiller Ted Breaux and by a food safety group for the German government. Both Breaux and the German group carried out extensive tests on premium pre ban Absinthe and came to the conclusion that Absinthe is no more harmful than any of the other strong spirits.
Absinthe is a very strong liquor, up to 150 proof (75% alcohol by volume), so it will get you drunk very quickly and the mysterious blend of herbs used in its recipe will give you a very different kind of drunkenness. The sedative effect of the alcohol and the stimulating effect of some of the herbs make for a strange “clear headed” or “lucid” drunkenness.
Make sure that you buy a quality Absinthe containing wormwood to give you that taste of real vintage style Absinthe. You can even make your own by using essences from AbsintheKit.com.
How long does Absinthe take to work to get you drunk? This depends on you, your body, how strong the Absinthe is and your alcohol tolerance. Even the first glass can make your tongue tingle and can go straight to your head!