What is absinthe liqueur?“ If you drink enough this drink, then will see everything that want to see - fine, surprising things... “. Oscar Wilde.
Absinthe liqueur (Absinthe) is the alcoholic drink made from extract of a wormwood of bitter (Artemisia absinthium). For one and a half thousand years B.C. Egyptians estimated this drink as excellent medicine. Ancient absinthe liqueur differed from liqueur which was drunk by Verlaine and Picasso, leaves of a wormwood were just soaked in wine or alcohol. It is the most probable that the word absinthe liqueur comes from the Greek word “ apsinthion “ what means “ non drinkable “ perhaps from - for its bitter taste. Pythagoras recommended absinthe liqueur as the means promoting a child-bearing. Hippocrates registered it as jaundice, rheumatism, anemia and menstrual pains medicine. The Roman scientist Pliny Sr. called " tincture; apsinthium “ in the first century of our era. It is known that the champion in chariots races needed to drink an absinthe liqueur cup that he did not forget that even the glory has the bitterness …
Centuries later wormwood alcoholic drinks stop being medicine. Independent alcoholic beverage plants made the absinthe liqueur made of the dried-up leaves of a wormwood and wine. In England of times of the Tudor dynasty there was a drink from hot ale and dry leaves of a wormwood though mainly it was to the taste to workers. Samuel Pepis reported in the famous diary that he enjoyed several glasses of wormwood beer " one night; in the small house... undoubtedly obscene “. Absinthe liqueur united in itself both the legendary Greek Olympic Games and quite primitive tastes of peasants.
Modern absinthe liqueur allegedly was invented in 1792 by the extraordinary French doctor by the name of Pierre Ordiner who ran away from the French revolution to the small village in the western Switzerland. During the poyezdkok astride, doctor Ordiner as consider, found a bitter wormwood, wild-growing on hills in this district. Like most of doctors of the country, he prepared own means, and having got acquainted with use of absinthe liqueur in Ancient Rome, he began to experiment with it. The recipe of doctor Ordiner possibly included the following herbs: wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), anise (Pimpinella anisum), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), fennel, melissa (mint grade) and quantity of a coriander, Veronika, camomile, parsley, and even spinach. The seventy-degree elixir quickly became popular as all diseases medicine in the town and it was nicknamed by the Green Fairy (La Fee Verte). After his death, perhaps, Enrio`s sisters who sold the recipe to the major Dyubye who in turn together with the son and the son-in-law Henry - Louis Perno opened the first enterprise for production and sale of absinthe liqueur got the recipe.
It izumrudno - green drink, very bitter (from - for presence of an absentin) and therefore traditionally poured through a special spoon with sugar in a glass with water. After that drink becomes mutno - white as essential oils drop out of spirit solution. In the 19th century absinthe liqueur becomes bohemia drink. It was drunk and Maupassant, Van Gogh, Rimbaud, Edgar Poe, Baudelaire, Apollinaire, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Degas, Manet, Picasso, Remarque, William Thackeray, O eulogized. Henry. Absinthe liqueur becomes very popular in the circle of actors, artists, poets and writers.
Was considered that it stimulates creative process. However in 50 - x years of the 19th century the concern began to be shown by results of its chronic consumption. It was necessary that chronic consumption of absinthe liqueur led to the syndrome called absenteeism which was characterized by accustoming, superexcitability and hallucinations. The association of absinthe liqueur with lifestyle of bohemia also added fears about its effect as it happened to marijuana in America. Subsequently absinthe liqueur was forbidden in many countries at the beginning of the 20th century. There is one more interesting opinion on the absinthe liqueur prohibition reasons - purely economic. The matter is that promptly growing popularity of absinthe liqueur began to lead to decrease in consumption of wine - the main drink in many European countries. Being afraid of it, the lobby of producers of wine achieved absinthe liqueur prohibition.
What is an active component of absinthe liqueur? This issue is completely not resolved. Definitely, one of the main components - alcohol. However, other candidate - monoterpin (monoterpene), tuyon which is considered a konvulsant. The mechanism of action of a tuyon is not known though structural similarity between tuyony and tetrahydrocannabinol (an active component of marijuana) leads to assumptions that both substances have similar zones of impact on a brain. Essence from which make absinthe liqueur contains from 40 to 90% of a tuyon (on weight). Thus, tuyon in the best way approaches in candidates for the second active component of absinthe liqueur. Really, long time was necessary that tuyon is the neurotoxic reason of absenteeism. However, it is not enough direct proofs in support of this idea.
Absinthe liqueur contains 75% of alcohol. Therefore, effect of alcohol limits quantity of the accepted tuyon. Everything is simple - you can drink only limited amount of absinthe liqueur before you strongly get drunk with alcohol. Tuyon has to be active in very low doses or be present at large numbers to have any noticeable effect. Besides, symptoms of absenteeism seem similar to alcoholism. Hallucinations, sleeplessness, a tremor (shiver), paralysis and convulsions can be also noticed also in cases with alcoholism. It forces to assume that a syndrome “ absenteeism “ it could be caused by alcohol.
Large-scale researches of influence of absinthe liqueur on health were not conducted. Reports on toxicity of tuyon / absinthe liqueur generally are available in reports of the beginning of the century or earlier. Lack of later researches forces to accept reports on toxicity of a tuyon with scepticism. In essence, there are data to believe that active components of absinthe liqueur were something another, than alcohol. However, some people who accepted self-made absinthe liqueur or who drank it (where it legally there), claimed that it results in the intoxication not similar to alcoholic.
Doctor Paul Woolf from the Californian university submitted on 52 - m annual meeting of the American association of clinical chemistry the curious report. In he is mute told that the great artist Vincent Van Gogh regularly drank the absinthe liqueur containing a component tuyon. The long-term research of absinthe liqueur conducted by doctor Woolf showed that this substance positively influences working capacity, but its overdose leads to change of perception of color: the person sees everything in yellow tones. Except absinthe liqueur Van Gogh used a preparation digoxin (he tried to be treated for epilepsy), which leads to similar effect. His well-known picture “ Starlit night “ with yellow circles around stars - a typical syndrome of poisoning with digoxin. Doctor Wolf drew a conclusion that absinthe liqueur and digoxin led to the fact that over the years in Van Gogh`s pictures there is more and more yellow. “ Or perhaps he just loved yellow " color; - the doctor thoughtfully added.