Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It rose to great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Recent studies have shown absinthe’s psychoactive properties have been exaggerated, apart from that of the alcohol.
About Absinthe in brief
Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It rose to great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Absinthe has often been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen. Recent studies have shown that absinthe’s psychoactive properties have been exaggerated, apart from that of the alcohol. By the early 21st century, nearly 200 brands of absinte were being produced in a dozen countries, most notably in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and the Czech Republic. The precise origin of absinth is unclear. The medical use of wormwood dates to ancient Egypt and is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, 1550 BC. Wormwood extracts and wine-soaked wormwood leaves were used as remedies by the ancient Greeks. According to popular legend, it began as an all-purpose remedy created by Dr Pierre Ordina. The first evidence of absints is in ancient Greece called absinthites oinos, which means wine-flavoured wormwood. The French word absintre can refer either to the alcoholic beverage or, less commonly, to the actual wormwood plant. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a liqueur, but is not traditionally bottled with added sugar and is, therefore, classified as a spirit.
Absinth is the spelling variant most commonly applied to absinthes produced in central and eastern Europe, and is specifically associated with Bohemian-style absinthhes. It has not been demonstrated to be any more dangerous than ordinary spirits. The chemical compound thujone, which is present in the spirit in trace amounts, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absintine had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria–Hungary, yet it is not actually a variety of rue, another famously bitter herb. The word may instead be linked to the Persian root spand or aspand, or the variant esfand, which meant Peganum harmala, also called Syrian Rue. It may also have come from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language root *spend, meaning ‘to perform a ritual’ or’make an offering’ or a common ancestor of both. It can also mean ‘undrinkable’ in Greek, but some claim that the word means ‘to be drunk’ or to be ‘drinkable’, which may be a reference to the Greek root ‘aspand’ or its variant ‘epsínthion’ It is also known as a’spirit’ in the sense of a distilled spirit containing green anise and fennel, as well as other medicinal and culinary herbs, such as Artemisia absinthium and anise, sweet fennal.