True absinthe can not be sold in most countries anymore because of the
wormwood content. However, at least in the US, you can buy pure grain
alcohol, the required seeds and herbs including anis, star anise, and
wormwood. The wormwood must be the untreated type - there are wormwoods
sold that have been extracted to remove the active ingredient. Wormwood
often is sold in natural and health food shops. Also the seeds can be
bought if you want to grow your own. Absinthe tastes much like Pernod,
but is much more bitter. I have tasted it and did not care for it. A few
dashes in a mixed drink might not be so bad. Some of the old New Orleans
mixed drinks called for a few dashes of Absinthe. Pernod, Herbsaint, etc
usually are substituted these days. To me, Absinthe is not worth the
effort to find in another country or all of the fuss required to brew a
batch at home.
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Oh, the dangerously mythical Absinthe!
That's slightly misleading. It is legal again in the EU and IIRC never
was illegal in the UK or Portugal. The amount of Thujone (the active
substance in Wormwood) however is regulated. Recent research shows that
widely available brands of Absinthe in its heyday would be perfectly
legal today, since they never contained that much Thujone anyway. In
short: you would've (and still will) succumb to alcohol poisioning
before you will have any substantial effect from the Thujone.
This is a bit of a generalisation. There's a bar in Leipzig that sells
abou 90 different Absinthes. When I was there a few years ago with some
friends we managed to taste about 30 different brands between us and the
differences between them were rather astounding. Some were rather
sublime, some very powerful, some simply awful.
Furthermore, Absinthe is not designed to be drunk neat, but instead
always diluted with water (cold for French style, hot for Czech style)
and depending on the bitterness and your tastes you dip a more or less
substantial piece of sugar in the Absinthe, set it on fire and let it
drip into your glass, before you pour in the water.
If you forget about the myths around it and the slightly dramatic way it
is served, Absinthe is just another hard liquor. Some people like it,
some people don't.
You can buy Absinthe in a number of countries (UK, Czech Repub., etc). I
have purchased from this site and know it to be reputable:
You cannot buy real absinthe in US or Canada because of the thujone
content, so anything you see in a store that looks like absinthe is
simply an anise based liquor.
I've had a few different kinds, ranging from cheap oil mix to high
quality distilled. The distilled is much better. Stay away from anything
czech made. It's all swill and tastes like nyquil. If you can afford it,
the Swiss Le Bleue is, IMO, by far the best. One that is high quality
without getting too expensive is Un Emile 68 (but it's still not cheap).
Absinthe is way too expensive for what it is because of the mystery
surrounding it. You will get roughly the same effect by drinking your
alcohol of choice and a pep drink (red bull). If you like the anise
taste like licorice, you'll like absinthe as that's the most dominate
ingredient. I, personally, like the taste a good deal but don't drink it
very often as there are so many other alcohols that are better and much
Some people like to put a sugar cube on a spoon and drip water over it
to disolve into the absinthe but every absinthe I've tried has been so
sweet already, I like it just as it is. I've tried it on a couple of
different ones though and it's just too sweet for me to stomache. I
usually just pour a couple ounces in an absinthe glass and about 6
ounces of water.
Anyway, it's something to try and I'd suggest doing so, but I doubt
it'll become your drink of choice.
"joseph b. rosenberg" skrev i melding
I tested that theory once, pouring Pernod to two girlfriends of mine. And
very right, eventually the one said "Do you want to sleep with me?".
"Yes!" the other said, and then they both left...
I had some bootleg absinthe about 10 years ago and found it to be quite
interesting- a hypnotic tranqilizer very unlike alcohol in it's effect.
At first I tried mixing it with sweet wine but didn't like the alcohol
feeling, I then mixed it with 7-up and found it much better. It made me
feel mellow with a capital MELL- I found I could REALLY concentrate on
the music I was listening to.