Absinthe (AB-sinth), Glossary and Terms, Meat, Fish, Fruit, Grocery Food Stores

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"Absinthe (AB-sinth)"

An anise-flavored liqueur that is made by steeping wormwood and other aromatic herbs (hyssop, lemon balm, and angelica) in alcohol. The drink is distinguished by its dazzling blue-green clarity due to its chlorophyll content. It was traditionally served with water and a cube of sugar; the sugar cube was placed on an "absinthe spoon" and the liquor was drizzled over the sugar into the glass of water. The sugar helped take the bitter edge from the absinthe, and when poured into the water the liquor turned milky white. Absinthe was believed to raise the drinker's consciousness, insights, and emotional experience to another level altogether. Unfortunately, it also caused terrible hallucinations, permanent neural damage, as seen in the dazed condition of dedicated drinkers, and even its own diseases, known as absinthism, recognized as early as the 1850s.
History: Dr. Pierre Ordinaire as an all-purpose remedy invented Absinthe in 1792. Used as a cure-all for epilepsy, gout, drunkenness, kidney stones, colic, headaches, and worms, it was nicknamed "La Fee Verte" meaning The Green Fairy. In 1797, the heirs of Dr. Ordinaire sold the recipe to Henri-Louis Pernod. Pernod opened the first absinthe distillery in Switzerland and then moved to a larger one in Pontarlier, France in 1805. After the Algerian War (1844-1847), the demand for absinthe rose dramatically. The soldiers had developed a taste for absinthe, as they were given rations of absinthe along with their drinking water as a bacterial deterrent, and began drinking it after the war.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the drinking of absinthe was so popular that the cocktail hour in France was called "l?heure verte," meaning the "green hour." Absinthe was exported to New Orleans and reached the same popularity in the United States. It was a drink considered ladylike and women freely enjoyed it in the coffee houses, where it was commonly served. In New Orleans, as well as in the rest of the United States, it became banned in 1912. Absinthe is still available in other areas of the world where it is not illegal.
Read my web page on Absinthe Drinks - Learn how to make and drink absinthe.

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