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monkeycurious

Worst Absinthe Misinformation You Have Ever Heard

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Thanks so much, T73. All I did was stand on the shoulders of giants. The folks here are so incredibly knowledgeable. And because of the dedicated long time absintheurs and Professors of Absinthe, it's actually not that difficult to find reliable information now. But people will believe what they want to believe.

 

Changing the world, one absinthe at a time. I think it's time for another absinthe. :cheers:

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Well played Dakini.

 

However, modern science indicates that absinthe contains very little of this ingredient, 10 mg/L or less. This is also the EU regulation.

 

I've run across two different sets of info on this. I've seen the limits quoted as 35 mg/L and also at 10 mg/L.

 

Does anyone know which is the correct information? I believe it's 10, but not positive.

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Don't have a citation for this, so flame away if I am wrong, but as I understand it, the EU laws have a 10 mg/L limit on drinks and 35 mg/L limit on anything classified as Amer or "bitters". Some absinthes which have gone over the 10 mg/L limit label themselves as Amer, such as the Blanchette.

 

It's been discussed here before. If you hunt around, you should be able to find the exact wording of the law (or at least a link to it).

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I was just looking at this today. I probably won't be able to describe it properly, but the 10mg limit is for spirits while the 35mg limit are for "bitters". Apparently they are an additive to a cocktail. They're called bitters, because they're, well, bitter. According to The Internet Cocktail Database there is such a thing as "absinthe bitters".

 

But I'm not a cocktail person at all. Hey, wait a minute. Dr. Cocktail! Paging Dr. Cocktail. Please pick up the green paging phone nearest you. Paging Dr. Cocktail...

 

Dang I type slow... :D

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According to The Internet Cocktail Database there is such a thing as "absinthe bitters".

 

But I'm not a cocktail person at all. Hey, wait a minute. Dr. Cocktail! Paging Dr. Cocktail. Please pick up the green paging phone nearest you. Paging Dr. Cocktail...

 

We classified absinthe as a bitters NOT in the sense of anything wildly bitter but because I have always perceived absinthe as an aperitif and I believe all aperitifs have a bitter component that stimulates the production of gastric juices. Now, this may not be bitter enough to even register as such on your tongue - but your stomach will know. Other such products are vermouth, Lillet, Dubonnet, Byrrh (where quinine is the bitter component) and a host of others using gentian, quassia or other bitter agents. Many of these show very little bitterness in the mouth but the resulting beverage is dry enough and refreshing enough that, in conjunction with the subterranean bitter action, it bolsters the appetite, thus "aperitif", thus "aperitif bitters" (versus aromatic bitters which are non-potable alcohol because they are too bitter to be consumed straight, ever. Angostura would be one of those.)

 

Very similar to a prepared absinthe drink would be a Picon Punch where a jigger of Amer Picon, a very slightly bitter aperitif bitters, is put in a tall glass with 3 or 4 ice cubes. To it is added a small quantity of grenadine and a float of Cognac. when stirred, this drink is superbly pleasant and neither sweet nor bitter. It is balanced, refreshing and it stimulates the appetite.

 

So that's my long-winded explanation as to why I directed that placement for absinthe. --Doc.

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Don't have a citation for this, so flame away if I am wrong, but as I understand it, the EU laws have a 10 mg/L limit on drinks and 35 mg/L limit on anything classified as Amer or "bitters". Some

Bingo. I wish I had a Citation for that.

350px-Citation_II.jpg

 

However for a plain citation,

"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.[21]"

Absinthe Regulations.

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oops, it's feeverte.net, not .org. For next time.

 

The entry for Absinthe in Wikipedia is actually excellent, and has been edited by folks from here/Fee Verte. It's a reference that the average person won't see as biased.

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Canada: Thujone containing absinthe is available legally in 3 provinces (Ontario & Quebec allow 10ppm thujone, BC has no limit). All other provinces have laws against thujone containing absinthe.

 

Althought I can't quote specific law on the limits or in the other provinces, but from what I have heard from others in Ontario, people who wish to purchase :chop: containing Absinthe are being told there is a 1 mg/per kg limit that is required by Health Canada, but inquiries to Health Canada have revealed that they don't have one therefore Canada as a whole does not.

 

I have been quoted the same alleged limit here in B.C. and some have even said that the Absinthes that are available here aren't real and don't have any thujone in them at all, which is also untrue. One doesn't, the rest do and more than the 1mg/kg

 

I am not sure about the other provinces, however, wether or not there is an actual law on the books or if there is a policy or eveyone just assumes it is illegal and so it remains. But, I can find at least one store that does sell all the same crap Absinth we get here in BC in Alberta, so I doubt the claim that it is illegal when containing thujone.

 

Now, if you look at the Absinthe on wikipedia (Canada Regulations) you get a slightly different story:

 

...British Columbia has no limits on thujone content; Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec allow 10 mg/kg thujone...

 

I have never heard 10mg/kg here and I have talked to a lot of folks. I have either heard no limit anywhere or 1mg/kg limit imposed by Health Canada that doesn't seem to exist.

 

Also the claim that only in Saskatchewan you can buy anything from a LDB if buy a case, I have been told the same thing here, in B.C. and in Ontario at least.

 

The problem in Canada, it seems, is that no one, not even the Liquor Distrubution Board employees, seems to have any idea what the law really is, if any, or seem to be imposing restrictions because they feel they are warranted or because of bad information.

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The problem in Canada, it seems, is that no one, not even the Liquor Distrubution Board employees, seems to have any idea what the law really is, if any, or seem to be imposing restrictions because they feel they are warranted or because of bad information.

 

You are right!

 

I am trying to sell La Fee to the LCBO: they tell me about the limit of 1 mg/kg you quote which is based on apparent Health Canada advice. Impossible to get this in writing from either LCBO or HC, but HC confirm to me verbally that this is their advice. This is based on their view that absinthe with less than 1 mg/kg is available; therefore all absinthe should be able to achieve this!

 

Writing to LCBO as a consumer gets the response that they sell Absente (supplied via USA) and they quote that as containing 3.5 mg/kg!!

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To me, Canada has always seemed a little less caught up in red-tape (unless of course you get into the whole French as Second language isssues I suppose). I'm wondering if perhaps there might be some wiggle room into which to get somebody, somewhere, official within the government to re-open the whole "what is thujone's relationship to real absinthe, and how dangerous is it really?" issue.

 

The acceptance of Absinthe by our European friends hasn't altered perceptions here in the states at all, but I wonder if a lifting of bans in Canada might have more effect?

 

-Robert

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There never was a ban in Canada. The problem is that only about half of the people who should know that here in LDB seem to understand it.

 

There is a lot of red tape here, especially surrounding alcohol. It is illegal here to receive alchohol in the mail, but no neccessarily by courier, which is not mail. It has to be sent in bond.

 

Duties must be paid, usually you have to buy a whole case of something through the LDB and they tell you what it will cost and if it isn't worth it to the them, you don't get it.

 

Alchohol is treated as a dangerous, but legal substance.

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The acceptance of Absinthe by our European friends hasn't altered perceptions here in the states at all, but I wonder if a lifting of bans in Canada might have more effect?

As soon as the US follows Canada by legalizing gay marriage and marijuana, it should all fall into place. I am not holding my breath.

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InAbs, if you do some more reading on Erowid, you'll also find that they promote home-maceration to make AUTHENTIC absinthe, and if memory serves, give you a great recipe to make something called "tina" from Sudafed and household chemicals.

 

I believe there's also a section on the powerful hallucinogenic properties of dried banana peels.

 

Erowid is not a respected resource to anyone with a functioning brain. I'd suggest not quoting them except perhaps as a humorous aside.

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TAZ, are you speaking from the experience of trying to replicate their results? Maybe you had the wrong bananas. :drnkbanana:

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Erowid is crap, by the way.  How can you expect them to get anything right when  they're all stoned half the time?

 

Good to know - that's why I hang out here. There's plenty of info out there on the Wild Wild Web and it's hard to know what has any sort of respectability. The Erowid page on legality around the world looked okay, although I thought the treatment of the US law was vague.

 

Speaking of the web, I'm sure that both of these links have come up before, but I thought I'd throw them out so I can learn more about them:

 

This one looks like a bad vendor that has been talked about here before:

http://www.absinthesupply.net/absinthe/his...f-absinthe.html

 

This one is one of those 'gee whiz, isn't this wicked' articles. It even mentions "Betina, a self-proclaimed “absinthe smuggler”". Man, reading this crap is tiring to me, and I've only been looking at it for a few weeks...

 

http://www.lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=2252&IssueNum=107

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The acceptance of Absinthe by our European friends hasn't altered perceptions here in the states at all, but I wonder if a lifting of bans in Canada might have more effect?

As soon as the US follows Canada by legalizing gay marriage and marijuana, it should all fall into place. I am not holding my breath.

 

Don't forget normalizing relations with Cuba and allowing importation of Habanos...

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How about this definition of absinthe, as found in The Columbia Encyclopedia, Student Edition, 2000:

 

Absinthe, an emerald-green, toxic liqueur distilled from wormwood and other aromatics, including angelica root, sweet-flag root, star anise, and dittany, which have been macerated and steeped in alcohol. It was invented by a Dr. Ordinaire, a Frenchman who lived in Switzerland. Genuine absinthe is 70% to 80% alcohol. Because of the harmful effect it has on the nerves, it has been banned in most western countries.

 

Is it any wonder college kids are searching out absinthe for its "effect on the nerves"? How many inaccuracies can you count? I count at least eight.

 

EDIT: I found a link on the web to this "definition":

 

http://www.bartleby.com/65/ab/absinthe.html

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The acceptance of Absinthe by our European friends hasn't altered perceptions here in the states at all, but I wonder if a lifting of bans in Canada might have more effect?

As soon as the US follows Canada by legalizing gay marriage and marijuana, it should all fall into place. I am not holding my breath.

 

 

:laf:

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Well, it's not THAT bad.

There are genuine absinthes at 70-80%. The ingredients possible for absinthe are of course other than those, but those can certainly be a part of absinthe, yes. Alcohol in any liquor in large amounts have effects on the nervous system. It once was banned in many western countries . It is distilled. It's often emerald-green.

 

The only thing that's REALLY screwed is that they list absinthe in particular as a toxic liqueur. Other than that all I can say is that I've read far worse definitions of absinthe than that one.

 

It's far from complete and exact though.

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Well, I listed the eight things I found in it as either falsehoods, exaggerations or misconceptions on the InAbsinthia web site. I'm not as familiar with how bad it really gets, but it seemed like a very poor short intro to absinthe.

 

Here's another one I came across, in the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicines, in the Wormwood entry:

 

Wormwood has a historical dark side: absinthe. This clear green alcoholic beverage, which contains essential oil of wormwood and other plant extracts, is highly toxic and presently banned in many countries. A favorite liqueur in nineteenth-century France, absinthe was addictive and associated with a collection of serious side effects known as absinthism (irreversible damage to the central nervous system). The toxic component of wormwood that causes absinthism is thujone. Wormwood may contain as much as 0.6% thujone. On the other hand, wormwood soaked in white wine is used to produce the liqueur called vermouth (derived from the German word for wormwood, Wermuth), which contains very little thujone.

 

I particularly like the "dark side" illusion. And this is from the year 2005!

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In most cases it's clear they never did any fact checking. And, to my knowledge Vermouth does not contain wormwood these days, if it ever did. I believe it only took its name from a similar German fortified wine that did include wormwood. Say, 200 years ago.

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