Absinthe is traditionally a distilled, highly alcoholic (45%-75% ABV) beverage. It is an anise-flavored spirit derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb "Artemisia absinthium", also called wormwood. Absinthe has a characteristic natural green colour but can also be colourless. It is often called "the Green Fairy". Although it is sometimes mistakenly called a liqueur, absinthe is not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a liquor. ['Traite de la Fabrication de Liqueurs et de la Distillation des Alcools' Duplais (1882 3rd Ed, Pg 249)] Absinthe is unusual among spirits in that it is bottled at a high proof but is normally diluted with water when it is drunk.

Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. It achieved great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Due in part to its association with bohemian culture, absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and Aleister Crowley were all notorious "bad men" of that day who were (or were thought to be) devotees of the Green Fairy. Absinthe was portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug.cite journal | title = Absinthism: a fictitious 19th century syndrome with present impact| journal = Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2006, | volume = 1 | pages = 14 | doi = 10.1186/1747-597X-1-14| first = Stephan A. | last = Padosch | coauthors = Lachenmeier, Dirk; Kröner, Lars U. ] The chemical thujone, present in small quantities, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in most European countries except the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although absinthe was vilified, no evidence has shown it to be any more dangerous than ordinary liquor. Its psychoactive properties, apart from those of alcohol, had been much exaggerated.

A revival of absinthe began in the 1990s, when countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale. As of February 2008, nearly 200 brands of absinthe were being produced in a dozen countries, most notably in France, Switzerland, Spain, and the Czech Republic. [cite web | url = http://www.feeverte.net/guide/archives.html | title = The Absinthe Buyer’s Guide: Modern & Vintage Absinthe Reference: Archives | publisher = La Fee Verte Absinthe| accessdate = 2008-09-17]

Etymology, spelling, pronunciation

The French word "absinthe" can refer either to the alcoholic beverage or, less commonly, to the actual wormwood plant ("grande absinthe" being "Artemisia absinthium", and "petite absinthe" being "Artemisia pontica"). The Latin name "artemisia" comes from Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess of forests and hills. "Absinthe" is derived from the Latin "absinthium", which in turn is a stylization of the Greek αψίνθιον (apsínthion), for wormwood.

The use of absinthe as a drink is attested in Lucretius' De Rerum Natura (I 936-950), where Lucretius indicates that absinthe is given as medicine to children in a cup with honey on the brim to make it drinkable (as a metaphor to his presenting complex ideas in poetic form). [cite web | url = http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/lucretius/lucretius4.shtml | title = TITI LVCRETI CARI DE RERVM NATVRA LIBER QVARTVS | author = Lucretius | accessdate = 2008-09-17]

Some claim that the word means "undrinkable" in Greek, but it may instead be linked to the Persian root "spand" or "aspand", or the variant "esfand", which meant "Peganum harmala", also called Syrian Rue though it is not an actual variety of rue, another famously bitter herb.

That "Artemisia absinthium" was commonly burned as a protective offering may suggest that its origins lie in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root "*spend", meaning "to perform a ritual" or "make an offering." Whether the word was a borrowing from Persian into Greek, or from a common ancestor of both, is unclear. [cite web | url = http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Arte_vul.html#absinthe | title = Absinthe etymology| publisher = Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages | accessdate = 2008-09-17 ]

Variant spellings of absinthe are "absinth", "absynthe", and "absenta". In English it is pron-en|ˈæbsɪnθ(audio|en-us-absinthe.ogg|listen); in French, IPAlink|apsɛ̃t.

"Absinth" (without the final "e") is a spelling variant that is used by central European distillers. It is the usualname for absinthe produced in the Czech Republic and in Germany, and has become associated with Bohemian style absinthes. [cite web | url =http://www.feeverte.net/faq-absinthe.html#B16 | title = Absinth: Short explanation of the adoption of the "absinth" spelling by Bohemian producers| publisher = La Fee Verte Absinthe| accessdate = 2008-09-17]


Traditionally, absinthe is poured into a glass over which a specially designed slotted spoon is placed. A sugar cube is then deposited in the bowl of the spoon. Ice-cold water is poured or dripped over the sugar until the drink is diluted to a ratio between 3:1 and 5:1. During this process, the components that are not soluble in water, mainly those from anise, fennel, and star anise, come out of solution and cloud the drink. The resulting milky opalescence is called the "louche" (Fr. "opaque" or "shady", IPA [luʃ] ). The addition of water is important, causing the herbs to "blossom" and bringing out many of the flavors originally overpowered by the anise.

Originally a waiter would serve a dose of absinthe, ice water in a carafe, and sugar separately, and the drinker would prepare it to their preference. [cite web | url = http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe-faq/faq3.html | title = Professors of Absinthe] Historic account of preparation at a bar. | accessdate = 2008-09-18 | publisher = Oxygenee Ltd.] With increased popularity, the absinthe fountain, a large jar of ice water on a base with spigots, came into use. It allowed a number of drinks to be prepared at once, and with a hands-free drip, patrons were able to socialize while louching a glass.

Although many bars served absinthe in standard glasses, a number of glasses were specifically made for absinthe. These had a dose line, bulge, or bubble in the lower portion denoting how much absinthe should be poured in. One "dose" of absinthe is around 1 ounce (30 mL), and most glasses used this as the standard, with some drinkers using as much as 1½ ounces (45 mL).

In addition to being drunk with water poured over sugar, absinthe was a common cocktail ingredient in both the United Kingdom and the United States, [cite book |title=Savoy Cocktail Book |last=Dorelli |first=Peter |year=1999 |publisher=Anova Books |isbn=1862052964 |url=http://www.amazon.com/Savoy-Cocktail-Book-London/dp/1862052964/ ] and continues to be a popular ingredient today. One of the most famous of these is Ernest Hemingway’s "Death in the Afternoon" cocktail, a concoction he contributed to a 1935 collection of celebrity recipes. His directions are as follows: "Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly." [cite web | url = http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/dining/03curi.html?ex=1325480400&en=3fb2c549f0334e97&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss | title = Trying to Clear Absinthe’s Reputation | accessdate = 2008-09-17|first = Harold last = McGee| date = 2008-01-03]


Currently, most countries have no legal definition of absinthe, although spirits such as Scotch whisky, brandy, and gin generally have such a definition. Manufacturers can label a product “absinthe” or “absinth” without regard to any legal definition or minimum standard. Producers use one of two processes to make absinthe: either distillation or cold mixing. In the few countries which have a legal definition of absinthe, distillation is the sole permitted process. An online description of the distillation process (in French) is available. [cite web | title = Aide-Mémoire: production d’absinthe. |url = http://www.eav.admin.ch/dokumentation/00465/00518/index.html?download=M3wBPgDB/8ull6Du36WenojQ1NTTjaXZnqWfVp7Yhmfhnapmmc7Zi6rZnqCkkIN0fn5+bKbXrZ6lhuDZz8mMps2gpKfo&lang=fr]

The three main herbs used to produce absinthe are grande wormwood, green anise, and florence fennel, which are often called "the holy trinity." [cite news |last = Chu | first = Louisa | date= 2008-03-12|title = Crazy for absinthe |publisher = "Chicago Tribune" online | url = http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/chi-drink_absinthe_12mar12,0,3796843.story | deadlink = 2008-9017] Many other herbs may be used as well, such as petite wormwood ("Artemisia pontica" or Roman wormwood), hyssop, melissa, star anise, angelica, sweet flag, dittany, coriander, veronica, juniper, and nutmeg.

The simple maceration of wormwood in alcohol (as called for in absinthe kits) without distillation produces an extremely bitter drink because of the presence of the water-soluble absinthin, one of the most bitter substances known to man. Authentic recipes call for distillation after a primary maceration and before the optional secondary coloring maceration. The distillation of absinthe first produces a colorless distillate that leaves the alembic at around 72 percent ABV (144 proof).

The distillate can be bottled clear, to produce a "Blanche" or "la Bleue" absinthe, or it can be colored using artificial or natural coloring. Traditional absinthes take their green color from chlorophyll, which is present in some of the herbal ingredients during the secondary maceration. This is done by steeping petite wormwood, hyssop, and melissa (among other herbs) in the liquid. Chlorophyll from these herbs is extracted giving the drink its famous green color. This process also provides the herbal complexity that is typical of high quality absinthe. This type of absinthe is known as a "verte". After the coloring process, the resulting product is reduced with water to the desired percentage of alcohol. Historically, most absinthes contain between 60 and 75 percent alcohol by volume (120 to 150 proof). It is said to improve materially with storage, and many pre-ban distilleries aged their absinthe in neutral barrels before bottling.

Some modern absinthes are produced using the cold mix system. The beverage is manufactured by mixing flavoring essences, and artificial coloring in high-proof alcohol, and is similar to a flavored vodka or "absinthe schnapps".

Absinthe can also be naturally colored red using hibiscus flowers. This is called a "rouge" or "rose" absinthe. As of now, only one historical rouge brand has been discovered [cite web | url = http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe/posters1.html | title = Original Vintage Absinthe Posters at The Virtual Absinthe Museum: Tamagno, Privat-Livemont | publisher = Oxygenee Ltd. | accessdate = 2008-09-17] .

Absinthe kits

["Note": Absinthe kits should not be confused with hausgemacht absinthe.]

Numerous recipes for homemade “absinthe” are available on the Internet. Many of these require mixing a kit that contains store-bought herbs or wormwood extract with high-proof liquor such as vodka or Everclear. However, it is not possible to make authentic absinthe without distillation.

Besides being unpleasant to drink [cite web | url = http://wormwoodsociety.org/ABSfaq.html#swill | title = About absinthe kits | publisher = wormwoodsociety | accessdate = 2008-09-17] and not authentic absinthe, these homemade concoctions contain uncontrolled amounts of thujone and may be poisonous — especially if they contain wormwood extract. [ [http://www.gumbopages.com/nejm.html Evolution in Action!] Gumbo Pages. Dangers of drinking wormwood extract. Retrieved 26 August 2007] Many such recipes call for the use of a large amount of wormwood extract (essence of wormwood) with the intent of increasing alleged psychoactive effects. Consuming essence of wormwood is very dangerous. It can cause kidney failure and death from excessive thujone, which in large quantities is a convulsive neurotoxin. Thujone is also a powerful heart stimulant; it is present in authentic absinthe only in extremely small amounts.


Most alcoholic beverages have regulations governing their classification and labeling. Modern absinthe is not governed in this way and classification is difficult and, by nature, inaccurate. Historically, there were five grades of absinthe: "ordinaire", "demi-fine", "fine", "supérieure" and "Suisse" (which does not denote origin), in order of increasing alcoholic strength and quality. A supérieure and Suisse would always be naturally colored and distilled. Ordinaire and demi-fine could be artificially colored and made from oil extracts. These terms are no longer used as an industry standard, but some brands today still use the "Suisse" designation on their labels. Many contemporary absinthe critics use two classifications to denote quality: "distilled" and "mixed". Within these two process-based classifications there are substantial variations in quality due to variations in the raw materials used, and they should not be viewed as complete measures of quality.

Blanche, or la Bleue

Blanche absinthe (also referred to as "la Bleue" in Switzerland) is bottled directly following distillation and is unaltered. It is a clear liquid which contains the distilled oils of the herbs used in its production. The name "la Bleue" was originally a term used for bootleg Swiss absinthe, but has become a popular term for Swiss absinthe in general.Fact|date=September 2008


Verte (“green” in French) absinthe begins as a blanche. The blanche is altered by the “coloring step,” in which a new mixture of herbs is put into the clear distillate. This process greatly alters the color and flavor, imparting a peridot green hue and an intense flavor. Vertes are the type of absinthe that was most commonly drunk in the 19th century; they are what most people think of as absinthe. Fact|date=August 2007

Artificially colored green absinthe is also called “verte,” but it lacks the herbal characteristics that are imparted by the coloring step.


Absenta ("absinthe" in Spanish) is a regional variation and typically differs slightly from its French cousin. Absentas typically are sweeter in flavor due to their use of Alicante anise [cite web | url = http://www.absinthebuyersguide.com/Articles/finespirits_peterverte.html | title = Fine Spirits Corner | first = Peter | last = Verte | publisher = absinthe buyers guide | accessdate = 2008-09-17] , and contain a characteristic citrus flavor [cite web | url = http://www.feeverte.net/guide/country/spain/ | title = The Absinthe Buyer's Guide: Modern & Vintage Absinthe Reference: Spain Archives | publisher = La Fee Verte | accessdate = 2008-09-17] .

Hausgemacht absinthe

"Hausgemacht" (German for "home-made", often abbreviated as "HG") is a type of absinthe that is home-distilled by hobbyists. It is often called "clandestine absinthe". It should not be confused with the Clandestine brand, nor should it be confused with absinthe kits.

Produced mainly in small quantities for personal use and not for sale, hausgemacht absinthe enables experienced distillers to personally select the herbs and to fine-tune each batch. Clandestine production increased after absinthe was banned, when small producers went underground, most notably in Switzerland.

Although the Swiss had produced both vertes and blanches before the ban, clear absinthe (also known as "la Bleue") became more popular after the ban because it is easier to hide. Although the ban has been lifted, many clandestine distillers have not made themselves legal. Authorities believe that high taxes on alcohol and the mystique of being underground have given them a reason not to. [cite web | url = http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/swissinfo.html?siteSect=107&sid=6586791&cKey=1143621269000 | title = Absinthe bootleggers refuse to go straight | publisher = Swiss info| date = 2006-03-11 | accessdate = 2008-09-17] Those hausgemacht distillers who have become legal often place the word "clandestine" on their labels.

Bohemian-style absinth

Bohemian-style absinth (also called Czech-style absinthe, anise-free absinthe, or just "absinth" (without the "e")) is best described as a wormwood bitters. It is produced mainly in the Czech Republic, [cite news | url = http://www.praguepost.com/articles/2006/04/26/worthy-of-their-name.php | title = Worthy of their name | publisher = The Prague Post | date = 2006-04-26 | accessdate = 2007-05-20] from which it gets its designations as "Bohemian" or "Czech," although not all absinthe from the Czech Republic is Bohemian-style. It contains little or none of the anise, fennel, and other herbs that are found in traditional absinthe.

Typical Bohemian-style absinth has two similarities with its traditional counterpart, in that it contains wormwood and has a high alcohol content.


Absinthe that is artificially colored or clear is relatively stable and can be bottled in a clear container. If naturally colored absinthe is exposed to light, the chlorophyll breaks down, changing the color from emerald green to yellow green to brown. Pre-ban and vintage absinthes are often of a distinct amber color as a result of this process. Though this color is considered a mark of maturity in vintage absinthes, it is regarded as undesirable in contemporary absinthe. Due to this fragility, naturally colored absinthe is typically bottled in dark UV resistant wine bottles. Fact|date=September 2008

Absinthe should be stored in a cool, room temperature, dry place away from light and heat. They should also be kept out of the refrigerator and freezer as anethole can crystallize inside the bottle, creating a 'scum' in the bottle which may or may not dissolve back into solution as the bottle warms. Properly stored absinthes not only maintain their quality, but may improve in aroma, flavor, and complexity with aging.Fact|date=September 2008


The precise origin of absinthe is unclear. The medical use of wormwood dates back to ancient Egypt and is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, circa 1550 BC. Wormwood extracts and wine-soaked wormwood leaves were used as remedies by the ancient Greeks. Moreover, there is evidence of the existence of a wormwood-flavored wine, "absinthites oinos", in ancient Greece. [cite web |url = http://www.perseus.org/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2318892 "Apsinthitês oinos" | title = Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon | accessdate = 2008-09-18]

The first clear evidence of absinthe in the modern sense of a distilled spirit containing green anise and fennel, however, dates to the 18th century. According to legend, absinthe began as an all-purpose patent remedy created by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor living in Couvet, Switzerland, around 1792 (the exact date varies by account). Ordinaire’s recipe was passed on to the Henriod sisters of Couvet, who sold absinthe as a medicinal elixir. By other accounts, the Henriod sisters may have been making the elixir before Ordinaire’s arrival. In either case, a certain Major Dubied acquired the formula from the sisters and in 1797, with his son Marcellin and son-in-law Henry-Louis Pernod, opened the first absinthe distillery, Dubied Père et Fils, in Couvet. In 1805 they built a second distillery in Pontarlier, France, under the new company name Maison Pernod Fils. [Absinthe FAQ III] Pernod Fils remained one of the most popular brand of absinthe up until the ban of the drink in France in 1915.

Rapid growth of French consumption

Absinthe’s popularity grew steadily through the 1840s, when absinthe was given to French troops as a malaria treatment. [cite web|url = http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2005-04-07/news/behind-the-green-door/print | title = Behind the green door | accessdate = 2008-09-18 | publisher = phoenix new times | first = Stephen | last = Lemons | date= 2005-04-07] When the troops returned home, they brought their taste for absinthe with them. It became so popular in bars, bistros, cafés, and
cabarets that, by the 1860s, the hour of 5 p.m. was called "l’heure verte" (“the green hour”). Absinthe was favored by all social classes, from the wealthy bourgeoisie to poor artists and ordinary working-class people.

By the 1880s, mass production had caused the price of absinthe to drop sharply. This, combined with a wine shortage in France during the 1880s and 1890s, caused absinthe to become France’s drink of choice. By 1910, the French were drinking 36 million litres of absinthe per year, a quantity that was greater than their consumption of wine.cite web | title = Oxygénée’s History & FAQ III. "In 1874, France consumed 700,000 litres of absinthe, but by 1910 the figure had exploded to 36,000,000 litres…." | url = http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe-faq/faq3.html | publisher = Oxygenee Ltd.| accessdate = 2008-09-18 .]

International consumption

Outside of France, absinthe has been consumed in several other places including most notably Catalonia in Spain, as well as New Orleans and the Czech Republic.

Absinthe was never banned in Spain, and its production and consumption has never ceased. During the early 20th century it gained a temporary spike in popularity corresponding with the French influenced Art Nouveau and Modernism aesthetic movements. [cite web | url = http://www.absinthebuyersguide.com/Articles/finespirits_peterverte.html | title = The Fine Spirits Corner | first = Peter | last = Verte | work = Absinthe Buyers Guide | accessdate = 2008-04-11 ]

New Orleans also has a historical connection to absinthe consumption. The city has a prominent landmark called the Old Absinthe House, located on Bourbon Street. Originally called the Absinthe Room, it was opened in 1874 by a Catalan bartender named Cayetano Ferrer. The building was frequented by many famous people, including Franklin Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and Aleister Crowley. [cite web | url = http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe-america/neworleans.html | title = The Virtual Absinthe Museum: Absinthe in America - New Orleans | publisher = Oxygenee Ltd. | accessdate = 2008-09-18] [cite web | url = http://www.experienceneworleans.com/ruebourbon/history.html | title = Rue Bourbon ~ Home to four great New Orleans establishments| accessdate = 2008-09-18] Absinthe has been consumed in the Czech Republic (then part of Austria-Hungary) since at least 1888, notably by Czech artists, some of whom had an affinity for Paris, frequenting Prague’s famous Cafe Slavia. [ [http://www.reflex.cz/Clanek13219.html Cafe Slavia] ] Its wider appeal in Bohemia itself is uncertain, though it was sold in and around Prague. There is evidence that at least one local liquor distillery in Bohemia was making absinthe at the turn of the 20th century. [cite web | url =http://www.olivaabsinth.com/history-of-absinthe-buy-absinthe-pg-11.html | title = History of Absinth(e) | publisher = Oliva Absinth’s History of Absinthe| accessdate = 2008-09-18]

The banning of absinthe

Spurred by the temperance movement and the winemakers’ associations, absinthe was publicly associated with violent crimes and social disorder.

A critic said that: [cite book | first = Conrad III | last = Barnaby | year =1988 | title = Absinthe History in a Bottle | publisher = Chronicle Books | pages = 116 | isbn = 0-8118-1650-8]

Edgar Degas’ 1876 painting "L’Absinthe", which can be seen at the Musée d’Orsay, epitomized the popular view of absinthe addicts as sodden and benumbed. Although Émile Zola mentioned absinthe only once by name, he described its evil effects in his novel "L’Assommoir" : [Page 411 of the 1970 Penguin Classics English edition.]

In 1905, it was reported that Jean Lanfray murdered his family and tried to kill himself after drinking absinthe. The fact that Lanfray was an alcoholic who had drunk much more than his two glasses of absinthe in the morning, was overlooked; the murders were blamed solely on absinthe. [Conrad III, Barnaby; (1988). "Absinthe History in a Bottle". Chronicle books. ISBN 0-8118-1650-8 Pg. 1–4] Lanfray’s murders were the last straw, and a petition to ban absinthe in Switzerland was subsequently signed by more than 82,000 people. The prohibition of absinthe was then written into the Swiss constitution in 1907.

In 1906, Belgium and Brazil banned the sale and distribution of absinthe, although they were not the first. Absinthe had been banned as early as 1898 in the colony of the Congo Free State. [cite web | url = http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/11/27/wbdrink_ed3_.php | title = Fans of absinthe party like it’s 1899 | publisher = International Herald Tribune | first = Doreen | last = Carvajal | date = 2004-11-27 | accessdate = 2008-09-18] . The Netherlands banned absinthe in 1909; the United States banned it in 1912, and France in 1915.

The prohibition of absinthe in France led to increased popularity of pastis (and of ouzo, to a lesser extent), which are anise-flavored spirits that do not contain wormwood. The Pernod distillery moved its absinthe production to Catalonia, Spain, [cite web | url = http://www.avenuevine.com/archives/2007_07.html | title = Bacardi Invests More Than $250 Million in Dewar’s Scotch Whiskey | publisher = Avenue Vine | accessdate = 2008-09-18] where absinthe was still legal, [ [http://www.feeverte.net/guide/historic-absinthe-brands/pernod_fils_tarragona_circa_19/ The Absinthe Buyer’s Guide] - La Fée Verte] but slow sales in the 1960s eventually caused them to shut it down. [cite web | url = http://www.absinthebuyersguide.com/Articles/finespirits_peterverte.html | first = Peter | last = Verte | publisher = Absinthe Buyer’s Guide | title = The Fine Spirits Corner| accessdate = 2008-09-18]

In Switzerland, the ban drove absinthe underground. Clandestine (illegal) home distillers produced absinthe after the ban, focusing on "la Bleue", which was easier to conceal from the authorities.

Many countries never banned absinthe, notably Britain, where absinthe had not been as popular as in continental Europe.

Modern revival

In the 1990s an importer, BBH Spirits, realized that there was no UK law prohibiting the sale of absinthe, as it had never been banned there. They began to import Hill’s Absinth from the Czech Republic, which encouraged a modern resurgence in absinthe’s popularity. Absinthe had also never been banned in Spain or Portugal, where it continued to be made. These absinthes — Czech, Spanish, and Portuguese brands — date mostly from the 1990s, are generally of Bohemian-style, and are considered by many absinthe connoisseurs to be of inferior quality. cite web
title=Absinthe at la Fée Verte: FAQ


La Fée Absinthe, released in 2000, was the first absinthe distilled and bottled in France since the 1915 ban, initially for export from France, but now one of roughly fifty French-produced absinthes available in France. France had never repealed its 1915 ban on absinthe, but in 1988 a law was passed stating that only beverages that do not comply with European Union regulations with respect to thujone content, or are labeled "absinthe" explicitly, fall under the old ban. This has resulted in the re-emergence of French absinthes, which now must be labeled as "spiritueux aux plantes d'absinthe", "absinthes distillées" or equivalent. These labels are sometimes confused with those that carry the descriptors "liqueur à base de plantes d’absinthe" or "liqueur aux extraits d’absinthe" ('wormwood-based liqueur' or 'liqueur with wormwood extract'), which are sweetened anise liqueurs that while marketed as absinthe, do not fit the traditional definition of absinthe. Absinthes marketed openly in other countries must be relabeled to meet these guidelines to be sold legally in France. As the 1915 law regulates only the sale of absinthe in France but not its production, many manufacturers also produce variants destined for export which are plainly labeled "absinthe".


Absinthe has never been illegal to import or manufacture in Australia. Importation requires a permit under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulation 1956 due to a restriction on importing any product containing oil of wormwood. [ [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_reg/cir1956432/sch8.html Schedule 8] "Commonwealth of Australia" Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 Schedule 8. Retrieved 29 December 2006] In 2000 there was an amendment by Foods Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) as part of a new consolidation of the Food Code across Australia and New Zealand. This made all wormwood species prohibited herbs for food purposes under "Food Standard 1.4.4. Prohibited and Restricted Plants and Fungi", however it was found to be inconsistent with other parts of the pre-existing Food Code. [ [http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/P254_Final_Assessment.pdf#search=%22artemisia%22 Australian Food Standards PDF] "Food Standards Australia New Zealand" Food Standards Code Proposal P254. Retrieved 1 January 2007] [ [http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/Standard_1_4_4_Prohib_plants_v74.pdf Prohibited and Restricted Plants and Fungi] "Food Standards Australia New Zealand" Food Standards Code Standard 1.4.4. Retrieved 29 December 2006] The proposed amendment was withdrawn in 2002 during the transition between the two Codes, thereby continuing to allow absinthe manufacture and importation through the existing permit-based system. These events were erroneously reported by the media as Australia having reclassified it from a prohibited product to a restricted product. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/21/1066631424572.html Just add water] "Sydney Morning Herald" 22 October 2003. Retrieved 12 May 2006] There is now an Australian-produced brand of absinthe called "Moulin Rooz".


In the Netherlands, restrictions on the manufacture and sale of Absinthe were successfully challenged by the Amsterdam wine seller Menno Boorsma in July 2004, making absinthe legal once again.


Belgium, as part of an effort to simplify its laws, removed its absinthe law on 1 January 2005, citing (as did the Dutch judge) European food regulations as sufficient to render the law unnecessary (and indeed, in conflict with the spirit of the Single European Market).


In Switzerland, the constitutional ban on absinthe was repealed in 2000 during an overhaul of the national constitution, although the prohibition was written into ordinary law instead. Later that law was repealed, so from 1 March 2005, absinthe was again legal in its country of origin. Absinthe is now not only sold but is once again distilled in its Val-de-Travers birthplace, with Kübler and La Clandestine Absinthe among the first new brands to reemerge.


In 2007, two brands of absinthe (Lucid and Kübler) began to be sold in the United States. In December, 2007, St. George Absinthe Verte, produced by St. George Spirits of Alameda, California, became the first brand of American-made absinthe to be legally produced in the United States since the enactment of the ban. [Stacy Finz, [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/05/MNQJTO9FM.DTL "Alameda distiller helps make absinthe legitimate again"] , "San Francisco Chronicle", 5 December 2007] [Pete Wells, [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/dining/05absi.html "A Liquor of Legend Makes a Comeback"] , "New York Times", 5 December 2007] In 2008 the first Bohemian Absinthe became available in the United States as Mata Hari absinthe. [Market Watch [http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/contraband-cocktail-chic----mata/story.aspx?guid={24CADBD0-B424-4C75-B3DC-62AFA714DA1E}&dist=hppr "From Contraband to Cocktail Chic"] ]

Cultural impact

The legacy of absinthe as a mysterious, addictive, and mind-altering drink continues to this day. Absinthe has been seen or featured in fine art, movies, video, music and literature. The modern absinthe revival has had an effect on its portrayal. It is often shown as an unnaturally glowing green liquid which is set on fire before drinking, even though traditionally neither is true. In addition, it is most commonly known in the media for over-the-top hallucinations.


Numerous artists and writers living in France in the late 19th- and early 20th-century were noted absinthe drinkers who featured absinthe in their work. These included Vincent van Gogh, Édouard Manet, Amedeo Modigliani, Arthur Rimbaud, Guy de Maupassant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Paul Verlaine. Later artists and writers drew from this cultural well, including Pablo Picasso, August Strindberg, Oscar Wilde, and Ernest Hemingway. Aleister Crowley was also known to be a habitual absinthe drinker.
Emile Cohl, an early pioneer in the art of animation, presented the effects of the drink in 1919 with the short film, "hasher's delirium".Fact|date=September 2008

Absinthe has long held a place in European student culture....


The aura of illicitness and mystery surrounding absinthe has played into modern literature, movies, and television shows. Such depictions vary in their authenticity, often applying dramatic license to depict the drink as anything from an aphrodisiac to a poison.

Effects of absinthe

Absinthe has long been believed to be hallucinogenic. This belief got a contemporary boost in the 1970s when a scientific paper mistakenly reported thujone was related to THC, the active chemical in marijuana.Conrad III, Barnaby; (1988). Absinthe History in a Bottle. Chronicle books. ISBN 0-8118-1650-8 Pg. 152] Martin Paul Smith incorrectly argued that absinthe had narcotic effects due to the fermentation process in early 2008. [cite journal | last = Padosch | first = Stephan A. | coauthors = Dirk W. Lachenmeier and Lars U Kröner | title = Absinthism: a fictitious 19th century syndrome with present impact | journal = Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy | volume = 1 | issue = | pages = | publisher = [http://www.biomedcentral.com/ Biomed Central] | date = 2006-05-10|url = http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/content/1/1/14 | doi = 10.1186/1747-597X-1-14]

Ten years after his 19th century experiments with wormwood oil, the French Dr. Magnan studied 250 cases of alcoholism and claimed that those who drank absinthe were worse off than those drinking ordinary alcohol, and that they experienced rapid-onset hallucinations. [ [http://www.thujone.info/thujone-absinthe-13.html The Lancet 1874, ON THE COMPARATIVE ACTION OF ALCOHOL AND ABSINTHE] By Dr. Magnan Retrieved 29 November 2006]

Such accounts by absinthe opponents were embraced by its most famous users, many of whom were bohemian artists or writers. [ Salleh, Anna. [http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/05/01/2231727.htm Absinthe's Mystique Cops a Blow] , "ABC Science", May 1, 2008.] In one of the best known accounts of absinthe drinking, Oscar Wilde described the feeling of having tulips on his legs after leaving a bar. [Baker, Phil; (2001). "The Book of Absinthe: A Cultural History". Grove Press books. ISBN 0-8021-3993-0 Pg. 32] Two famous painters who helped popularize the notion that absinthe had powerful psychoactive properties were Toulouse Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh (who suffered from mental instability throughout his life).

Today it is known that absinthe does not cause hallucinations, especially ones similar to those described in 19th century studies. Thujone, the supposed active chemical in absinthe, is a GABA antagonist and, while it can produce muscle spasms in large doses, there is no evidence that it causes hallucinations. It has been speculated that reports of hallucinogenic effects of absinthe may have been due to poisonous chemicals being added to cheaper versions of the drink in the 19th century, to give it a more vivid color. [Ian Hutton, page 63, "Common adulterants were cupric acetate (to provide the valued green color)"]

However, the debate over whether absinthe produces effects on the human mind additional to those of alcohol has not been conclusively resolved. The effects of absinthe have been described by some artists as mind opening. The most commonly reported experience is a 'clear-headed' feeling of inebriation — a form of 'lucid drunkenness'. Some modern specialists, such as chemist, historian and absinthe distiller Ted Breaux, claim that alleged secondary effects of absinthe may be caused by the fact that some of the herbal compounds in the drink act as stimulants, while others act as sedatives, creating an overall lucid effect of awakening. [ [http://wired-vig.wired.com/wired/archive/13.11/absinthe.html The Mystery of the Green Menace - Wired Magazine (see page 3 of article)] ]

Long term effects of low absinthe consumption in humans remain unknown, although it is known that the herbs contained in absinthe have both painkilling and antiparasitic properties.


It was once thought that excessive absinthe drinking had worse effects than those associated with overindulgence in other forms of alcohol, a belief that led to diagnoses of the disease of 'absinthism'. One of the first vilifications of absinthe was an 1864 experiment in which a certain Dr. Magnan exposed a guinea pig to large doses of pure wormwood vapor and another to alcohol vapors. The guinea pig exposed to wormwood experienced convulsive seizures, while the animal exposed to alcohol did not. Dr. Magnan would later blame the chemical thujone, contained in wormwood, for these effects. [Conrad III, Barnaby; (1988). Absinthe History in a Bottle. Chronicle books. ISBN 0-8118-1650-8 Pg. 101]

Past reports estimated thujone levels in absinthe as high — up to 260 mg per kg of absinthe. [Ian Hutton, page 62, "quoted by Arnold"..."Arnold WN (1989) Absinthe: Scientific American 260(6):112-117"] More recent studies have shown that very little of the thujone present in wormwood actually makes it into a properly distilled absinthe, even when using historical recipes and methods. Most proper absinthes, both vintage and modern, are within the current EU limits. [Ian Hutton, pages 62-63] cite journal| quotes = no| author = Joachim Emmert| coauthors = Günter Sartor, Frank Sporer and Joachim Gummersbach| year = 2004| title = Determination of α-/β-Thujone and Related Terpenes in Absinthe using Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography| journal = Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau| volume = 9| issue = 100| pages = 352–356| publisher = Gabriele Lauser, Ingrid Steiner| location = Germany| url = http://www.emmert-analytik.de/DLR_100_9_S352-356.pdf| language = English| format = PDF| accessdate = 2007-11-26| quote = Tab. 1 Concentrations of thujone and anethole in different absinthe samples] [ [http://www.emmert-analytik.de/DLR_100_9_S352-356.pdf Determination of a/β Thujone and Related Terpenes in Absinthe using Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography] . Retrieved 5 March 2006.] [http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf703568f Chemical Composition of Vintage Preban Absinthe with Special Reference to Thujone, Fenchone, Pinocamphone, Methanol, Copper, and Antimony Concentrations] Dirk W. Lachenmeier, David Nathan-Maister, Theodore A. Breaux, Eva-Maria Sohnius, Kerstin Schoeberl, and Thomas Kuballa (2008). Retrieved 18 APR 2008.]

Tests on mice show an LD50 of around 45 mg thujone per kg of body weight, [http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/97/8/3826 Thujone Gamma-Aminobutyric acid type A receptor modulation and metabolic detoxification.] Hold K., Sirisoma N., Ikeda T., Narahashi T. and Casida J. (2000). Retrieved 22 May 2006.] much higher than what is contained in absinthe and the high amount of alcohol would kill a person many times over before the thujone became a danger. Although direct effects on humans are unknown, many have consumed thujone in higher amounts than present in absinthe through non-controversial sources like sage oil, which can be up to 50% thujone. [http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jafcau/1999/47/i05/abs/jf981170m.html Essential oils from Dalmatian Sage] . J. Agric. Food Chem 29 April 1999. Retrieved 12 May 2006.]

A study in the "Journal of Studies on Alcohol" [ [http://alcoholstudies.rutgers.edu/journal/september04/abstract.shtml Absinthe: Attention Performance and Mood under the Influence of Thujone] Journal of Studies on Alcohol, DETTLING, A. et al. Retrieved 21 May 2006.] concluded that a high concentration of thujone in alcohol has negative effects on attention performance. It slowed down reaction time, and caused subjects to concentrate their attention in the central field of vision. Medium doses did not produce an effect noticeably different from plain alcohol. The high dose of thujone used in the study was larger than what can currently be obtained, even in 'high thujone' absinthe that cannot be sold legally in the European Union. While the effects of this high dose were statistically significant in a double blind test, the test subjects themselves could still not reliably identify which samples were the ones containing thujone. As most people describe the effects of absinthe as a more lucid and aware drunk, this suggests that thujone is not the cause of any of absinthe’s alleged secondary effects.


Currently, most countries do not have a legal definition of absinthe (unlike Scotch whisky or cognac). Manufacturers can label a product 'absinthe' or 'absinth', whether or not it matches the traditional definition. Due to many countries never banning absinthe, not every country has regulations specifically governing it.


Bitters can contain a maximum 35 mg/kg thujone, other alcoholic beverages can contain a maximum 10 mg/kg [ [http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/fsc_1_4_1_Contaminants_v78.pdf Standard 1.4.1 Contaminants and Natural Toxicants.] Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Retrieved 25 May 2006.] of thujone. In Australia, import and sales require a special permit although absinthe is readily available in many bottle shops. It is unresolved as to whether or not absinthe is permitted in luggage in non-commercial quantities for personal use. While the legislation would appear to be clear, it is sold by duty-free retailers at 'Arrivals' at Australian international airports such as Kingsford Smith.


In Canada, liquor laws are established by the provincial governments. As with any spirit, absinthe can only be imported by a government agency; importation by individuals to a private address is prohibited.

*British Columbia has no limits on thujone content.
*Ontario allows only 1 mg/kg. The provincial stores sell Hills and Pernod Absinthe.
*Alberta, and Nova Scotia allow 10 mg/kg thujone.
*Manitoba allows 6-8 mg thujone per litre. [ [http://www.liquormartsonline.com/e/ins-products-display.shtml?pfl=products-search.param&op2.sf=absinthe&op2.so=all&op4.rf1=1&op4.rt1=25} Manitoba's Liquor Marts Online. Our Products. (site search for "absinthe"] ]
*Quebec The government wine and spirit shops (SAQ) sell several brands.
*New-Brunswick NB Liquor only sells Absente, which has no thujone.
*All other provinces do not allow the sale of absinthe containing thujone (although, in Saskatchewan, one can purchase any liquor, with a minimum of one case, usually 12 bottles x 750 ml or 8 x 1L). Individual liquor boards must approve each product before it may be sold, and currently only Hill’s Absinth, Czech Absinth s.r.o., Elie-Arnaud Denoix, Pernod, Absente, Versinthe and, in limited release, La Fée Absinthe are approved.

Production is regulated by provincial governments. Recently, Okanagan Spirits in British Columbia released the Taboo brand, which is presently the only commercial absinthe crafted in Canada.cite web
url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080924.wlabsinthe24/BNStory/lifeFoodWine/home B.C. distiller pins his hopes on the green fairy
title=B.C. distiller pins his hopes on the green fairy

European Union

The European Union permits a maximum thujone level of 10 mg/kg in alcoholic beverages with more than 25% ABV, and 35 mg/kg in alcohol labeled as bitters. [ [http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scf/out162_en.pdf Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on Thujone] , European Commission. SCF/CS/FLAV/flavor/23 ADD2 Final 6 February 2003.] Member countries regulate absinthe production within this framework. Sale of absinthe is permitted in all EU countries unless they further regulate it.


In addition to EU standards, products explicitly called 'absinthe' cannot be sold in France, although they can be produced for export. Absinthe is now commonly labeled as "spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe" ('wormwood-based spirits'). France also regulates fenchone, a chemical in the herb fennel, to 5 mg/l. [ [http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/texteconsolide/ADHJA.htm Décret n°88-1024 du 2 novembre 1988] . Retrieved 5 March 2006.] This makes many brands of Swiss absinthe illegal without reformulation.

Republic of Georgia

It is legal to produce and sell absinthe in the Republic of Georgia.

Georgia has several absinthe production facilities. All the ingredients used are produced domestically.Fact|date=September 2008


A ban on absinthe was enacted in Germany on 27 March 1923. In addition to banning the production and commerce of absinthe, the law even went so far as to prohibit the distribution of printed matter that provided details of its production. The original ban was lifted in 1981, but the use of "Artemisia absinthium" as a flavoring agent remained prohibited. On 27 September 1991, Germany adopted the European Union's standards of 1988, which effectively re-legalized absinthe. [cite web | url = http://www.alandia.de/images/absinthe-ewg-1988-richtlinie-88-388.pdf | title = European Union PDF document | accessdate = 2008-09-18 see "thujon" in table on page 11.] Unlike Switzerland and France, there are no further restrictions.

New Zealand

Although the substance is not banned at national level, some local authorities have banned it. The latest is Mataura in Southland. The ban came in August 2008 after several issues of misuse drew public and police attention. One incident resulted in breathing difficulties and hospitalization of a 17 year old caused by alcohol poisoning. [cite web | url = http://www.stuff.co.nz/4674100a11.html | title = Liquor ban after teen's near death| accessdate = 2008-09-18 | first = Sonia | last = Gerken | publisher = The Southland Times | date = 2008-08-30] The particular brand of absinthe that caused these effects contained 89.9% vol. alc.


Sale or production of absinthe has never been prohibited in Sweden but since the sale of alcoholic beverages that contain more than 3,5% (by volume) alcohol is exclusive to Systembolaget absinthe was never imported or sold for many years. [cite web | url = http://www.systembolaget.se/Uppslagsbok/Sprit/Absint.htm | title = Absint - "Den gröna feen" | publisher = Systembolaget | language = Swedish) | accessdate = 2008-09-18]


In Switzerland, the sale and production of absinthe was prohibited from 1910 to 2005; the ban was lifted on 1 March 2005. To be legally made or sold in Switzerland, absinthe must be distilled [cite web | url =http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/817_022_110/a80.html | publisher = Confédération Suisse | title = Ordonnance du DFI sur les boissons alcooliques : Art. 80 Absinth | accessdate =2008-09-18| date = 2008-04-01] and must be either uncolored or naturally colored. [cite web | url =http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/as/2005/1065.pdf | publisher = Confédération Suisse | title = Download from Confédération Suisse Website: see pages 3–4] | accessdate =2008-09-18| date = 2005-02-07]

United States

The prevailing consensus of interpretation of United States law and regulations among American absinthe connoisseurs is that, with the revision of thujone levels by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), it is now legal to purchase such a product for personal use in the US..

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food and beverages that contain Artemisia species must be thujone free [ cite web | url = http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/FCF172.html | title = Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Chapter I, Part 172, Section 172.510 - Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption| publisher = US Food and Drug Administration| accessdate =2008-09-17] . There is no corresponding US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulation.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is inconsistent in saying whether Absinthe may or may not be imported. The "Know Before You Go" booklet flatly states "The importation of Absinthe and any other liquors or liqueurs that contain Artemisia absinthium is prohibited." [cite web | url = http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/newsroom/publications/travel/knowbeforeyougo.ctt/knowbeforeyougo.pdf | title = Know Before You Go | publisher = U.S. Customs and Border Protection | accessdate =2008-09-17] while the CBP's "Prohibited and Restricted Items" web page states that the importation of absinthe is not "prohibited" but subject to FDA and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approval like other distilled spirits. [cite web | url = http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/prohibited_restricted.xml#AbsintheAlcohol | title = Prohibited and Restricted Items. | publisher = US Customs and Border Protection| accessdate =2008-09-17] Absinthe can be and occasionally is seized by United States Customs if it appears to be for human consumption and can be seized inside the US with a warrant. [cite web | url = http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode19/usc_sec_19_00001595----000-.html | title = US CODE: Title 19,1595 Searches and seizures| publisher Cornell University Law School | accessdate =2008-09-17] [cite web | url = http://www.feeverte.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=2186 | title = Fée Verte Essential Absinthe FAQ "14. So will I get arrested for possession of absinthe in the U.S.?" | accessdate =2008-09-17 | publisher = Lehrman Beverage Law]

A faux-absinthe liquor called Absente, made with "southern wormwood" ("Artemisia abrotanum") instead of grande wormwood ("Artemisia absinthium"), is sold legally in the United States. This was the first US approval referring to "absinthe" on the front label; the front label says "Absinthe Refined" but the TTB classified the product as liqueur.

In 2007, TTB relaxed the US absinthe ban, and approved several brands for sale. [cite web | url = http://www.bevlaw.com/absinthe.htm | title = Absinthe, a Collection of TTB Label Approvals | accessdate = 2008-09-17 | publisher = Lehrman Beverage Law | accessdate = 2008-09-17] These brands must pass TTB testing, which is performed by the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry method [cite web | url = http://www.ttb.gov/ssd/screening.shtml | title = Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau "Screening of Distilled Spirits for Thujone by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry | publisher = Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau | accessdate = 2008-09-17] . The TTB considers a product to be thujone-free if the FDA’s test measures less than 10ppm (equal to 10mg/kg) thujone. [cite web | url = http://www.ttb.gov/industry_circulars/archives/2007/2007_05.html | title = Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau Industry Circular Number 2007-5 | accessdate = 2008-09-17] A US distillery also began producing and selling absinthe, the first US company to do so since 1912. [cite web | url = http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/05/MNQJTO9FM.DTL | title = Alameda distiller helps make absinthe legitimate again | publisher= San Francisco Chronicle | date= 2007-12-05 | accessdate = 2008-04-14| last = Stacy | first = Finz]


The Absinthe (Prohibition) Act 1915, passed in the New Hebrides, has never been repealed, and is included in the 1988 Vanuatu consolidated legislation, and contains the following all-encompassing restriction: The manufacture, importation, circulation and sale wholesale or by retail of absinthe or similar liquors in Vanuatu shall be prohibited. [cite web | url = http://www.paclii.org/vu/legis/consol_act/aa215/ | title = Absinthe (Prohibition) Act 4, Laws of the Republic of Vanuatu Revised Edition | yera = 1988 | accessdate = 2008-09-17]




*Adams, Jad. "Hideous Absinthe: A History of the Devil in a Bottle." Tauris Parke Paperbacks: 2008. ISBN 1-84511-684-4.
*cite web| url=http://www.absintheonline.com/myth_reality_absinthe.pdf |format=pdf| title=Myth, Reality and Absinthe| author=Hutton, Ian|month=September | year=2002|publisher=Republished by Thomson Scientific cite web| url=http://www.absintheonline.com/acatalog/about.html |format=html| title= − Myth, Reality and Absinthe
*cite web| url=http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe-faq/faq3.html| title=Oxygénée’s Absinthe History & FAQ III|year=2007| work= [http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe-faq/ Absinthe FAQ at The Virtual Absinthe Museum: History and Origins of Absinthe] | publisher=Oxygenee Ltd| accessdate=2007-11-30

External links

* [http://www.absinthefrenchmanspoon.com/histoire/index.html The Pernod Catalogue of 1896]
* [http://www.oxygenee.com/ The Virtual Absinthe Museum] — An online museum of absinthe history, lore, art and antiques.
* [http://www.feeverte.net La Fée Verte] — An online user forum and absinthe guide with user reviews and a reference library of absinthe-related articles.
* [http://www.wormwoodsociety.org/ The Wormwood Society] — An independent organization supporting changes to the U.S. laws and regulations concerning absinthe. Provides articles, a forum and legal information.
* [http://www.thujone.info/ Thujone.info] — A data bank of peer-reviewed articles on thujone, absinthe, and absinthism, with independent thujone ratings of some commercial brands.


* [http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=absinthe-history&page=1 Absinthe’s History] — June 1989 Scientific American article about the history of Absinthe.
* [http://www.winespectator.com/Cigar/CA_Archives/CA_Show_Article/0,2322,220,00.html Absinthe’s second coming] — An April 2001 article in Cigar Aficionado about the first absinthe commercially produced in France since the 1915 ban.
* [http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/features/20050323-0500-life-absinthe.html Swiss face sobering future after legalizing absinthe] — A March 2005 Reuters article about the legalization of absinthe in Switzerland.
* [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.11/absinthe.html The Mystery of the Green Menace] — A November 2005 WIRED Magazine article about a New Orleans man who has researched the chemical content of Absinthe and now distills it in France.
* [http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/11-02/11_02_absinthe.htm The Return of the Green Faerie] — A wine and spirit journal article about the history, ritual, and artistic cult of Absinthe.
* [http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/content/1/1/14 Absinthism: A fictitious 19th century syndrome with present impact] Padosch, S.A., Lachenmeier, D.W., and Kroener, L.U. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2006, 1:14.
* [http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf703568f Chemical Composition of Vintage Preban Absinthe with Special Reference to Thujone, Fenchone, Pinocamphone, Methanol, Copper, and Antimony Concentrations] Dirk W. Lachenmeier, David Nathan-Maister, Theodore A. Breaux, Eva-Maria Sohnius, Kerstin Schoeberl, and Thomas Kuballa. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2008).

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