Faux Absinthe

Faux Absinthe

These are products which are labeled as absinthe but, for one or more reasons, do not qualify as such according to the Wormwood Society's criteria.  These criteria are based on the characteristics of properly-distilled absinthes made at the height of absinthe's popularity in the late 19th century. Briefly, the criteria are:

• Minimum 90 proof.
• May not contain sugar or other sweeteners.
• Must contain Artemisia absinthium wormwood as a main ingredient.
• Must have a main characteristic flavor of anise and wormwood.

Literally every genuine pre-ban brand of absinthe of which we have knowledge fits these criteria, and any evidence that any differing expression of absinthe ever existed is completely absent. Unfortunately, just as there were impostors and inferior products in the pre-ban era, so there are opportunistic and deceptive brand-creators today.

Deception: Some of the brands in this section do not contain wormwood of any kind.  Some may contain some species of Artemisia, but not absinthium. Most are made by simply blending neutral spirits, flavorings, and artificial colors. Most also contain very little or no aniseed, and some achieve a louche effect with additives such as resins and gums, just as imitations did in the 19th century. Some may approximate absinthe technically, but their flavor profile is idiosyncratic and uncharacteristic of absinthe

Sensationalism: We strongly advise consumers to avoid brands making claims about alleged psychedelic, hallucinogenic or aphrodisiac properties of absinthe.  These claims are false, and the hallmark of inferior and spurious brands. There are no known authentic brands which employ these questionable tactics.

If you would like to add a review, please use the criteria in the Wormwood Society Absinthe Scoring Guide to determine your score.

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