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Once widely believed to cause madness, epilepsy, tuberculosis and death, absinthe was banned in much of Europe and the United States for a greater part of the 20th century. In the 1990s, in the time of re-evaluation of old ways and social transformation, absinthe has been found to be no more dangerous than any other spirit, cleared of all charges for madness and deadly diseases and made its big comeback in style.

Absinthe Spoon and Glass

History

While there is no hard evidence to suggest the time and the place absinthe was first brewed, the legend has it that the Swiss-French doctor Dr. Pierre Ordinaire made absinthe as an all-purpose health elixir late in the 18th century. It was regularly given to the French soldiers during the 19th century as a malaria preventive, so its popularity spread beyond the trenches as the soldiers got home. It became one of the most widely consumed drinks in France and in the neighbouring lands and remained so until a Swiss farmer named Jean Lanfray killed his wife and his children in a drunken rage one day in August 1905.

Artemisia Absinthium Absinthe

Bans

Although Lanfray was a long-time alcoholic, the blame for his crime was put solely on absinthe, despite the fact that he had consumed considerable quantities of wine and brandy prior to drinking absinthe that faithful night.  What followed were official bans on absinthe in the following years, until it was rediscovered in the early 1990s.

How to enjoy it

While not really lethal or poisonous, absinthe is one of the strongest drinks in the world. Because of its distinctive green color and its supposedly mind-twisting properties, it is still called ‘The Green Fairy’, and since it was popular in the romantic, decadent age, absinthe is now connected to class and decadence, poets and artists. It is a genuine European, classy drink.

Absinthe Preparation

To fully enjoy it, you will need a set of special absinthe accessories – an absinthe glass and a special slotted spoon, and, optionally an absinthe fountain for the ice cold water. First, you place the spoon on top of a glass with a measure of absinthe, then put a sugar cube on the spoon and deep ice cold water over it until the sugar cube is dissolved and the glass is filled. Absinthe now has a distinctive light green shade and is ready to be drunk. Enjoy.


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