In this article, we will focus on absinthe, also called "green fairy": its creation, its ban, then its return to the market. There will also be a bonus at the very end for those interested!
Briefly, what is absinthe? It is a spirit with an anise flavor and very strongly alcoholic. If you've never tasted it before, you'll have to prepare yourself! Absinthe takes its name from the aromatic plant "grand wormwood" which serves as the base for this alcohol.
Where it started:
The exact origin of the absinthe is uncertain, however in ancient Egypt, it would be question of the use of absinthe for medical purposes. This would be mentioned in the "Ebers Papyrus" between -1600 and -1500 BC. According to them, it would have a positive impact on health.
The first "real" traces of absinthe date back to the 18th century, containing fennel and anise. The recipe of the time would have been created by Doctor Pierre Ordinaire and it is Major Dubied who acquired it in 1797. This is how the very first absinthe distillery opened, located in Couvet in Switzerland.
For about thirty years, the "green fairy" remains only a simple regional drink. It was only after the colonization of Algeria in 1830 that absinthe will experience its development: French soldiers praise its qualities, according to them it would have helped them to relieve certain inconveniences.
First consumed by the bourgeoisie because it is very expensive, its cost will drop thanks to large-scale marketing.
Sales exploded before the First World War: French production rose from 700,000 liters in 1874 to 36,000,000 in 1910! At that time, a glass of absinthe is less at home than a glass of wine!
Absinthe, suspected of causing serious poisoning and having probably fueled the madness of several artists of the time such as the renowned Van Gogh for example, is prohibited.
The sanction will pass in 1908, the anti-alcoholic group formed in the Senate will vote for this ban which will come into force in 1915.
It was on November 2, 1988 that a decree, signed by Michel Rocard, authorized and regulated the presence of thujone in drinks (the main molecule of the essential oil of wormwood). In 1999, the first French absinthe since 1915 was created. This is the green Versinthe.If this return is possible, it is more or less thanks to its new name: the "spirit flavored with the wormwood plant" whose European regulations specify the composition: 35 mg / l of thujone maximum. It is therefore no longer "pure" absinthe.
The preparation of absinthe is almost a ritual because of all the accessories necessary to prepare it well!
The preparation is very important because it plays a capital role in its final taste by allowing the aromas of plants to be released and to gain momentum against the other aromas!
If you want to indulge yourself, here are the 3 essential absinthes available in France:
L'absinthe Jade 1901 - 68% 70CL - 65 euros
L'absinthe amer 72 - 72% - 70CL - 42 euros
L'absinthe La Clandestine - 53% - 70CL - 57 euros