The Absinthe United States Problem

In the early 1900s many European countries banned the strong alcoholic drink Absinthe, United States banned Absinthe in 1912.

Absinthe never was as popular in the United States as it had become in European countries like 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 a liquor created from herbs like wormwood, aniseed and fennel. It’s often green, hence its nickname the Green Fairy, and it has an anise taste.

Absinthe is an interesting concoction or recipe of herbs that act as a stimulant and alcohol and other herbs that act as a sedative. It’s the essential oils in the herbs that cause Absinthe to louche, go cloudy, when water is put in.

Wormwood, Artimesia Absinthium, has a chemical called thujone which is said to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis, to be psychoactive and to cause psychedelic effects.

Absinthe United States and the prohibition
At the start of the 1900s there was a solid prohibition movement in France and this movement used the fact that Absinthe was linked to the Bohemian culture of Montmartre – with its writers, artists and also the courtesans and loose morals of establishments such as the Moulin Rouge, and also the allegation that an Absinthe drinker murdered his family, to claim for a prohibition on Absinthe. They stated that Absinthe could well be France’s ruin, that Absinthe was a drug and intoxicant that would drive everyone to madness!

The United States adopted France’s example and banned Absinthe and drinks that contains thujone in 1912. It became outlawed, a crime, to buy or sell Absinthe in the USA. Americans either were required to concoct their particular homemade recipes or travel to countries just like the Czech Republic, where Absinthe was still legal, to savor the Green Fairy.

Many US legal experts debate that Absinthe was not ever banned in the US and that should you look carefully in the law and ordinance you will see that only drinks containing over 10mg of thujone were prohibited. However, US Customs and police would not allow any Absinthe shipped from abroad to get into the US, solely thujone free Absinthe substitutes were permitted.

Absinthe United States 2007

Ted Breaux, a local of New Orleans, runs a distillery in Saumur France. He has utilized vintage bottles of pre-ban Absinthe to analyze Absinthe recipes also to create his very own classic pre-ban style Absinthe – the Jade collection.

Breaux was amazed to discover that the vintage Absinthe, as opposed to belief, actually only contained very minute quantities of thujone – insufficient to harm anyone. He became determined to provide an Absinthe drink that he could ship to his homeland, the US. His dream would be to yet again see Absinthe being used in bars in New Orleans.

Breaux and lawyer Gared Gurfein, had several meetings with the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau with regards to the thujone content of Breaux’s Absinthe recipe. They learned that actually no law had to be changed!

Breaux’s dream became reality in 2007 when his brand Lucid was able to be shipped from his distillery in France into the US. Lucid is founded on vintage recipes and has real wormwood, unlike false Absinthes. Now, in 2008, a product called Green Moon as well as Absinthes from Kubler are all capable of being bought and sold within the US.

Absinthe United States – Many Americans at the moment are enjoying their first taste of authentic legal Absinthe, perhaps you will see an Absinthe revival.

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