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Absinthe of Malice?

Absinthe, banned in this country for nearly a century, may be making a comeback, according to Local6.com of Jacksonville, Florida:

Absinthe, a high-proof liquor that has been illegal in the United States since the early 1900s, has begun creeping its way back onto store shelves.

The green liquor that is sometime called the queen of poisons has been banned since 1915.

However, some companies have found away around the ban, WJXT-TV reported.

"It was outlawed because of the narcotic quality," said Riverside Liquors owner David Joudi. "It's already being imported into the states under camouflage of packaging."

Read the rest at the link above. The alleged "narcotic" in absinthe is a substance derived from wormwood, one of the liquor's ingredients, thujone. Thujone is toxic in high enough doses, but only trace amounts are in absinthe, and there are no known "narcotic" effects. The "narcotic" or "hallucinogenic" effects attributed to absinthe come not from any drug, but from the beverage's high alcohol content. It is typically distilled to concentrations up to 160 proof, or 80% pure alcohol - far more potent than the average liquors, which range from 80 to 100 proof.

If you ate traditional sage dressing at Thanksgiving, you received a higher dose of thujone than you would have from drinking absinthe. Before you could consume a toxic dose of thujone from absinthe, you would die of alcohol poisoning. Sage oil, commonly sold in health food stores, contains many times the concentration of thujone present in absinthe.

Absinthe's legendary "aphrodisiac" properties are likewise due to its high alcohol content, not any function of wormwood or thujone. As the old saying goes, "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

There is no legitimate reason absinthe should be outlawed if grain alcohol can be sold. Free the Green Faerie!


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Comments (12)

Grew up in Canada and the P... (Below threshold)

Grew up in Canada and the Parents had some of that in the liquor cabinet.

Nasty. Didn't like the taste. I'd take yager anyday over this stuff.

The alcohol spike is also something to watch out for. Its like taking two shots at once. Makes a difference.

I heard it as "Candy is dan... (Below threshold)

I heard it as "Candy is dandy, but sex won't rot your teeth."


Absinthe is outlawed but te... (Below threshold)

Absinthe is outlawed but tequila is celebrated. Go figure.

The idiot reporter has no c... (Below threshold)

The idiot reporter has no clue what he/she/it is talking about.

They are not "finding a way around the ban" and it is not "being imported into the states under camouflage of packaging"

Approved labels are allowed to be imported now thanks to the work of one man. Ted Breaux of New Orleans.

Read more about him here. And some here

His brand of Absinthe has been approved for import since March 5 of this year. Now there are probably a half dozen different brands available. (or in the final stages of approval) Everyone is jumping on board.

Of course not only was this a member of the media but a member of the media from Florida... No wonder they are clueless.

My brother lives in the Cze... (Below threshold)

My brother lives in the Czech Republic. I visit him from time to time, and on one of the trips I tried some absinthe a friend of his had.

It was by far the foulest drink I've ever consumed.

I resemble that remark, Pau... (Below threshold)

I resemble that remark, Paul. :)

Local 6 is a crappy station anyway. The reporters there are just an extension of the reporters for our crappy paper too. I call it the "Times Onion" (Union).

Present company not withsta... (Below threshold)

Present company not withstanding Oyster... But hey, Fark has a whole category for Florida for a reason ya know. ;-)

Skip, not to dog the Czechs... (Below threshold)

Skip, not to dog the Czechs but they are know in the Absinthe world for making the foulest types available. (In fact some purest say it is not technically really Absinthe but I won't go there) Try the real stuff one day.

Several varieties available... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Several varieties available online (and they ship to the U.S... hey, I was curious, o.k.? ;)...
I'd have to stick with the brands that remove the licorice flavoring, since that taste would make the "green fairy" exit my body via projectile vomiting.

Hey, if Absinthe becomes co... (Below threshold)

Hey, if Absinthe becomes common it'll piss off the goths who think it's their special, cool-kid only drink.

I bought some in Florence u... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

I bought some in Florence under the name "Hapsburg". It was great. I recently ordered three bottles from London, shipped to me here in the states. It's available all over the internet.

The romantic preparation ri... (Below threshold)

The romantic preparation rituals contribute much to the mystique of absinthe. Take those away, and all you have is strong hooch and a nasty hangover.






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