Absinthe is among the most popular drinks around this time – not only in France but across Europe and even in the United States. But it is more than just a tasty alcoholic beverage: ita’s a ritual. It is based on an extract of bitter wormwood with alcohol, in which composition is added a variety of medicinal herbs. Absinthe – the alcoholic drink that requires a particular order of use, due to the fact that it can cause a variety of visual and auditory hallucinations, its composition was recognized narcotic in a number of countries and banned for sale. Narcotic effect of absinthe associated with a particular substance “thujone”, a component of wormwood. This substance is used in the pharmaceutical industry as a neuroparalytic poison. When processing of wormwood in the process of making absinthe, proportion allocated thujone toward wormwood can be up to 25%.
In the form in which it exists now, absinthe has appeared in the late 18th century. The Dr. Pierre Ordinaire has developed the infusion to treat his patients based on wormwood. Not surprisingly, the infusion was popular because it caused a feeling of euphoria. After the death of Pierre Ordinera, Major Dubied together with Henri-Louis Pernod began producing the first commercial absinthe. The drink got an affectionate name “Green Fairy”. The reason of this name was the images and hallucinations, which the drink provided. Naturally, many creative people of that time were fans of absinthe.
Everyone who drank absinthe with one voice declare that absinthe intoxication is not the same as other alcohols intoxication. What does provide a positive feeling, which made absinthe a rare phenomenon in the human culture? The composition of absinthe herbs is widely used in pharmacology – that is actually understandable since it was initially developed as a therapeutic substance. Some of the herbs that make up the drink have a psychotropic effect. So the intoxication from absinthe is a combination of influences of substances contained at once in several herbs, entering into its composition. But these herbal substances get into the absinthe by maceration (soaking), so their concentration is so small that there are not risks for health, it does not cause and habituation. The secret of absinthe consists in that it attaches magnificent sensations when it is drunk in reasonable doses, otherwise he just knocks down.
However, in the early 20th century, absinthe has brought one man to madness, and he in a rage shot dead his relatives. This case has caused series of prohibitions, which has fallen on the drink. Many European countries banned the production of absinthe. Now absinthe is legally allowed for manufacturing, but with the restriction of the thujone amount.
Absinthe is drunk in two classic ways. The first way is “ceremonial” – a narrow shot is filled up to half with absinthe cinzano. Take a teaspoon of sugar, drip into it a few drops of absinthe and set fire to it. Sugar begins to melt and the droplets fall into the glass. When the entire absinthe in the spoon is burned out, the contents of the beaker should be well stirred. And then drink the shot in a single gulp. The second method is “simple” – in a glass with pure absinthe is added dropwise of mineral water without gas in the proportion: 2 absinthe parts with 1 part of water.” The drink becomes dreggy and gains a beautiful green-pearl color. It is drunk in one gulp, too. There are also a lot of absinthe-based cocktails.
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