What is Absinthe and other aniseed flavoured liqueurs?

negative effects of drinking absinthe

Absinthe is an anise-flavoured green spirit that is made from a neutral spirit(mostly grape-based) distilled with anise, fennel and wormwood and other botanicals from which it obtains its natural green colour. With its high ABV of around 70% and bitter, herbaceous taste profile.  

The name was derived from the Latin name for grand wormwood (artemisia absinthium) but in the historical literature is commonly referred to as “The Green Fairy”.

Absinthe probably originated in Switzerland in 18 century and then got abroad to a neighbouring France where it experienced in the late 19th century a boom in sales. That had a huge impact on society of heavy Absinthe consumption leading to Absinthe being banned in some countries Belgium, France, Netherlands, USA.

The effects of drinking Absinthe

Is there any chance that Absinthe has negative effects on your body? The true is that Absinthe contains wormwood which is noted for containing a chemical compound called thujone that carries with it mind-altering qualities and psychoactive effects. However, levels of thujone in Absinthe are relatively low so It doesn’t have a major effect on our body. So It’s rather the high amount of alcohol content that we need to be aware of.  

Other aniseed-flavoured liqueurs

Unlike Absinthe which is a spirit with no addition of sugar, these aniseed-flavoured liqueurs take advantage of all familiar flavours associated with Absinthe with lower alcohol content and additional flavourings.

Pastis – Aniseed-flavoured spirit or aperitif from France. After Absinthe was banned in France in 1915 they make a way to remove a wormwood, lowering alcohol content to 40-45  and flavoured with liquorice root. Pastis was firstly commercialised by Paul Ricard in 1932 and the brand Pernod Ricard remaining successful until today.

Arak – Traditional alcoholic beverage from Lebanon or other countries in the Middle East.

Ouzo – Anise-flavoured aperitif widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus. 

Sambuca – Italian anise-flavoured liqueur which comes in different varieties with the most common white sambuca.

If you’re looking for the ways to serve absinthe check the article bellow.

How to serve Absinthe and how to use it in cocktails?

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