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TheGreenOne

American Absinthe - The Time Is Now

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Doing a little bit of research I should add that I was partially wrong. The FDA is required to prove food products are harmful to keep a ban, unlike drugs which need to prove themselves safe (what a good job they are doing at that). Dietary supplements are classified as food products. So basically as Hiram said, all it would take is someone with the money and reason to challenge the FDA and they would have to prove the thujone in absinthe was harmful or the ban would be struck down.

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It's illegal to produce or import for sale and consumption in the US. Period. There's no such thing as "quasi-legal." It's simply over-looked... mostly. Most of us here know someone who's had a shipment seized.

 

You're right Hiram, I'm not sure why I said "quasi." I completly forgot about the untaxed thing. That is a big "no-no" As far as seeing it legalized in the US, I meant in my life time. I'm in my 30's, but the Government moves so ssslllloooww.

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Back from Halloween in Louisiana - guess there's no point in checking Fee Verte from what I've read here - might as well cast my bread upon these waters.

 

I had hoped to hook up with Ted down there, but it was not to be. He is apparently drowning his woes elsewhere.

 

I didn't understand how dead and almost buried New Orleans is until this weekend - everything out in the country that depended upon NOLA in any way is affected. For example, you can't get a poboy because they're made with french bread and almost all those bakeries were in New Orleans. Even good restaurants only have Budweiser and that trash, because shipping that stuff doesn't depend upon the port of New Orleans. No Newcastle Ale on draft at Copeland's, for example.

 

Anyway, that Wired article was okay, and I thank those who pointed it out - otherwise I would have never seen it. Ted plays the absinthe messiah very well - I suppose the "media" can't be blamed for taking him a little too seriously and people new to absinthe can't be blamed for accepting what they read verbatim. To Ted's credit, he must have mentioned Fee Verte and/or this place, or the magazine would not have mentioned them (that still cracks me up - a magazine about the Internet somehow never stumbled across Fee Verte - it's only been there for years).

 

I don't want to argue the fine details of absinthe legality. For all PRACTICAL purposes, it is illegal in the U.S. and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. Perhaps I'm prejudiced by the fact I really don't care. Its legal status means nothing to me, never did.

 

I am pleased that a new, intelligent audience has found the forums due to the article. A damned site more intelligent than the sorry lot that Maxim dragged in sometime back, I must say.

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As a consumer (if you will) I would just like absinthe to be legalized so that I won't have to pay these exorbitant courier charges.

 

As for American production - I don't think it could hurt. I'm sure there would be some quality products and some that would give the Czechs a run for their money. Thank goodness we have this forum and experienced absintheurs to help newbies like me.

 

I'll just keep my fingers crossed. I keep telling my wife, "Hiram says within five years."

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As a consumer (if you will) I would just like absinthe to be legalized so that I won't have to pay these exorbitant courier charges.

 

That's a good point. That's where the ban causes the greatest harm to U.S. absintheurs, in my opinion.

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:cheers: Maybe Ted can talk the alcohol retailers into footing the bill and challange the FDA and broker a deal with the Big Boys and allow the import.

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I hope absinthe stays illegal forever.

 

 

You just want to corner the market with a low cost alternative.

 

GrimSinthe.jpg

 

Note the appealing color and convenient 40oz screw top.

 

Looks like it's been pre-aged for that funk de siecle reproduction authenticity.

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Hahahaha, that's awesome. I now must have a drink in honour of dead bottle. :cheers:

 

Bit of information (not directed at your work) the tip on most historical tantos was curved and smooth, the triangular "tanto tip" seen on many knives is an American creation.

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I guess I could argue both sides, but I really would hate to see the mystique (exclusivity) of absinthe's "contraband" status disappear. More worrisome would be the consequence of a "flood" of cheap, if drinkable, absinthe hitting the market. Where would that leave the small distilleries and the artisanal producers? Would enough folks buy such absinthe at 2, 3, 4 times the price of the commercial stuff? I suspect the answer is "yes", but is that enough to keep 'em in business?

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I would expect that if the market for absinthe were to be suddenly increased exponentially, so would the demand for the best absinthes.

If legalization brought hundreds of thousands of new drinkers into our community, don't you think a lot of them would start to look for the best absinthe they could find? Absinthe is a sipping drink, after all. You drink it for taste, as much as to get drunk. I can't imagine that a massive flood of crap onto the market would cause people to stop drinking good stuff. It would simply introduce a large number of newbies to the drink, and like here, the smarter ones will gravitate to the better end of the spectrum once they see what's available.

The people who would try one glass of crap, and decide that absinthe sucks, are not going to be the kinds of people who would be connoiseurs of anything at all, most likely, and are not going to "dumb down" the rest of the population.

 

IMHO, a larger number of consumers will result in a larger number of afficianados, and a larger variety of absinthes, including a greater number of better brands as well as bad ones.

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I can understand the mystique that being "illegal" brings but that also brings a lot of mistakes as well. Being legal again might help reduce the drug crowd and those that prey on them.

Many people come to absinthe because of the artists that drank it, I just think that for most of them there wasn't an illegal mystique to the product and it was a majority popular drink, yet the absinthe culture did fine then.

 

If it becomes legal I get the feeling I will go from saying, "no you don't get high from it" to "No it doesn't all taste like crap and yes you are supposed to add water not shoot it straight." In the end, ignorance abounds. :)

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Instead of NORML there would be NORAL. The next step would be to pass a law for medical Absinthe use. :blink:

 

I don't think the resistance of legalization will come from any misinformed scientific data, but rather, from people who will blame Absinthe for every stupid thing someone does after ingesting it.

 

Sometimes people are just crazy, dumb, or evil. Nothing to do with Absinthe, but there will be those that blame it, if it becomes legal. (to distribute)

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Absinthe is legal in almost all countries except for the U.S.

 

The situation here is almost exactly like in the U.S.: same misinformation, same drug crowd, same shipping charges (because there is only crap or mid-range on the shelves anyway). The crap, preying on the ignorant, is there. The dedicated, artisanal distillers are there. Legalization won't change much, if anything.

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Not sure if you have ever seen the evening news in the greater Los Angeles / San Bernardino counties but....There will be a Fox File and an O'Reilly factor as soon as it is really discussed being legalized for sale. Also it will be compared to marijuana no doubt. By the time it is popular enough for enough people to want it to be legalized, there will have been some nut that wanted to blow his wife, kids, neighbors, and boss to smithereens, and happened to do it after drinking absinthe. It will be on the news everynight, 5 times a night, and every possible myth about absinthe will be retold in the media. Maybe I'm wrong, and it will be legalized without any hooha whatsoever, and we'll all rejoice. :cheers:

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:P Anybody out there remember those Maddog 20/20, Thunderbird and the other designer wines in your disco days.

 

As for thinking about blowing the wife and kids away, that is happening already without the Absinthe.

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More worrisome would be the consequence of a "flood" of cheap, if drinkable, absinthe hitting the market.  Where would that leave the small distilleries and the artisanal producers?  Would enough folks buy such absinthe at 2, 3, 4 times the price of the commercial stuff?  I suspect the answer is "yes", but is that enough to keep 'em in business?

They would be exactly where the microbreweries/craft breweries/brewpubs and craft wineries are today: doing just fine with a smaller, but strongly devoted, market who will gladly pay more for a higher-quality product. Considering the relatively low-cost of the materials, equipment, and space requirements compared to craft brewing/winemaking on an even remotely commercial scale, I don't think there would be any problem making it financially feasible.

 

The only difficulty would be obtaining the necessary licensing.

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Actually, the herbs needed for making absinthe, if the maker cares about the QUALITY of the herbs, are expensive and difficult to source.

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Perhaps it would be more feasible to buy the hard-to-find herbs as seeds, and buy some land to plant them on? If a microdistillery were at just the right balance between customer base and total output, it might be a good investment.

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Agriculture dedicated to supplying the distiller would be the way to go, alright. That was the case at the end of the 19th century in the Val de Travers. But it's not the case now. The plants of course still exist, but you can't use just any old plants and expect to make good liquor from them. This is one of many reasons there are so many substandard absinthes out there.

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Actually, the herbs needed for making absinthe, if the maker cares about the QUALITY of the herbs, are expensive and difficult to source.

Not where I'm located. I can find at least two different shops I can get all the herbs involved, fairly inexpensively. Not in the bulk quantities needed for commercial distilling, admittedly, but they're hardly rare.

 

And the numerous herbal-medicine manufacturers don't seem to have any difficulty obtaining them in commercial quantities; nor do the high-volume commercial distillers. (Aside from the artemesia spp. all of the other herbs are used in some sort of commerical distilled product) The only concern I can see is the need to depend on a particular supplier, to minimize the plants' expected natural variation (which will occur, regardless, to some degree). But again, the herbal-medicine industry depends on standardization of quality as well; so I don't see an issue with quality or availability. Actually, the problem may be just the opposite, obtaining quantities small enough for a craft distiller, rather than the massive quantities used by high-volume commercial distillers or the herb industry.

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It's not hard to track down some herbs of the right species, but chances are that they won't be of a very good quality for this particular purpose. There is as much variation between wormwood plants or fennel seeds as between different grapes used for wine, and the quality ideal for the herbal medicine industry may not be ideal for making absinthe.

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