Now that Absinthe is once again legal in many countries around the world, people are asking “What are the effects of Absinthe?”, “Will it make me trip or hallucinate?”, “Will I see the Green Fairy?”.
Absinthe is a mythical drink with many legends and stories surrounding it. Created in Switzerland as an elixir by Dr Pierre Ordinaire, it quickly became a best selling alcoholic beverage when Henri-Louis Pernod started distilling it in France. In fact, it overtook beer, cider and even wine as the most popular drink in France in the period known as La Belle Epoque, the golden age leading up to the First World War.
Famous drinkers of the Green Fairy include Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Oscar Wilde who said “After the first glass of Absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”
Pernod made Absinthe from a wine base and flavored it with natural herbal ingredients such as wormwood, fennel, aniseed, star anise, veronica, dittany, lemon balm, hyssop, nutmeg, angelica and dittany. Some manufacturers used additional herbs such as coriander, calamus root and mint.
So, what are the effects of Absinthe?
Absinthe was popular in the time known as “The Great Binge”, a time when beverages containing cocaine were popular and the time when heroin was thought safe to use in medicine. It was linked to these types of drugs and was thought to be psychoactive and to cause:-
– Hyper excitability
– Convulsions and spasms
– Weakening of the intellect
– Brain damage
Artists and writers consumed Absinthe to help them get inspiration and many said that it was responsible for their genius.
Absinthe, so the prohibition led people to believe, was going to drive the French people insane, make them immoral and cause the collapse of the nation. Doctors tested wormwood and thujone, the chemical from wormwood , on animals and claimed that it was like cannabis and that it caused epileptic fits and the prohibition movement blamed Absinthe for causing a man to murder his whole family, despite the fact that he had only consumed two glasses of Absinthe and copious amounts of other alcoholic beverages. Absinthe was also famously blamed for Van Gogh cutting off his own ear and for his suicide.
Absinthe was thought to contain huge amounts of thujone, up to 350mg per liter but high tech tests on original vintage bottles have proved that claims about thujone levels and the safety of Absinthe were completely false. Absinthe only contained very small amounts, up to 6mg, not enough to cause anyone to even hallucinate a little. Studies have shown that Absinthe is just as safe as any other strong alcoholic drink.
I’m afraid that Absinthe won’t help you to see green fairies but it is a very strong drink, up to 75% alcohol by volume, and so will get you drunk rather quickly and easily. Also the mysterious blend of alcohol and herbs will give you a strange drunken experience, a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness – a completely new experience!
So, what are the effects of Absinthe? Well, there are no bad effects except perhaps a hangover if you overdo it. Absinthe is a drink to be enjoyed and to make you feel good. Buy good quality Absinthe which contains real wormwood or make your own with essences from AbsintheKit.com and enjoy the great taste of the Green Fairy.