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The Search for Real Absinthe

For the August/September 2005 edition of Reason, Jacob Sullum writes:

As the British journalist Jad Adams shows in his fascinating, richly detailed book Hideous Absinthe: A History of the Devil in a Bottle (University of Wisconsin Press), the lore surrounding absinthe is far more important than its taste, which is similar to those of other anise-flavored drinks, or its special psychoactive effects, which remain a matter of dispute. In the emerald green liquid devotees see visions of poets and painters in Parisian cafés who stirred together genius and madness along with absinthe and water. And while La Fée Verte is right that some contemporary brands are closer than others to the original Swiss recipe, there has always been wide variation in formulas and production techniques—one reason the hazards and benefits of 19th-century absinthe are hard to pin down.

Drinkers of today’s absinthe who expect a unique mind-altering experience usually are disappointed, explains Sullum. Find the full story here.

Posted by Cynthia on September 16, 2005 at 01:10 PM in Absinthe, Art, Drinking Spaces, France, Licensing and Legislation, United States | Permalink