Absinthe is an anise flavored liquor which is made from distilling alcohol with a blend of herbs including wormwood (artemisia absinthium), aniseed and fennel. It is commonly known as the Green Fairy, La Fee Verte, because of the characteristic emerald green coloring of classic verte styles of Absinthe.
Absinthe is usually consumed diluted with iced water according to the Ritual. You have to drip the water over a sugar lump on a slotted spoon and into the Absinthe which causes the Absinthe to louche – a lovely effect.
Absinthe was banned in the early 1900s not because of its high alcohol content but because of the wormwood in it. Dr Valentin Magnan tested worwmood on guinea pigs in 1845 and found that a guinea pig given wormwood oil had convulsions, whereas, a guinea pig given alcohol just got drunk. By 1872 Magnan had isolated the chemical thujone from wormwood and, after tests on dogs, established that thujone was far more dangerous than ethanol (alcohol) and so Absinthe was much more harmful than other types of spirits. He and others in the medical profession were convinced that thujone was psychoactive and caused psychedelic effects. Absinthe was therefore banned.
Even in 1975, a nature magazine claimed that a thujone molecule was similar in structure to THC from the drug cannabis and that they therefore acted in a similar manner.
We now know that all these claims are inaccurate and false. Thujone is not like THC, although it does act on the GABA receptors of the brain, when taken in large amounts. We also know from testing Absinthes, including vintage Absinthe, that Absinthe only contains very small amounts of thujone, nowhere near enough to be harmful. You would have to drink vast amounts of Absinthe and die of alcohol poisoning before suffering any effects from thujone!
Although Absinthe will not cause us to hallucinate or convulse, it is a highly alcoholic drink which needs to be consumed with care because it will get you drunk quite quickly.
What is Absinthe proof?
Let’s see what the proof of well-known brands of Absinthe is:-
Lucid Absinthe 62% abv (124 proof)
La Clandestine Absinthe 53% abv (106 proof)
Sebor 55% abv (110 proof)
Pere Kermanns 60% abv (120 proof)
Pernod Absinthe 68% abv (136 proof0
Mari Mayans Collectors 70 70% abv (140 proof)
La Fee XS Absinthe Suisse 53% abv (106 proof)
La Fee XS Absinthe Francaise 68% abv (136 proof)
La Fee Bohemian 70% abv (140 proof)
La Fee Parisian 68% abv (136 proof)
Kubler 53 53% abv (106 proof)
Doubs Mystique Carte D’Or 65% abv (130 proof)
Roquette 1797 75% abv (150 proof)
Jade PF 1901 68% abv (136 proof)
Jade Edouard 72% abv (144 proof)
Jade Verte Suisse 65% abv (130 proof)
Jade Nouvelle Orleans 68% abv (136 proof)
If we compare that to other alcoholic beverages we can see that Absinthe is very strong:-
Absolut Blue Vodka 40% abv (80 proof)
Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila 38% abv (76 proof)
Beer tends to be 4 or 5% alcohol by volume (8-10 proof).
Table Wine 9-12% alcohol by volume (18-24 proof).
Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whisky 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).
Everclear 95% abv (190 proof)
If you make homemade Absinthe using essences from AbsintheKit.com then your homemade Absinthe’s proof will depend on what neutral alcohol you use.
What is Absinthe proof? Very high is the answer!