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Thread: Absinthe

  1. #1
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    Absinthe

    Has anyone tried it...?? Is it legal in the U.S. I'm thinking of buying a bottle online. Did anyone in the U.S buy it online? All suggestions are welcome. There are several websites that sell absinthe to customers living in the U.S. I dont wanna name websites, but you know where to find em...

  2. #2
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    'Fraid it's illegal in the U.S. But it is legal in a number of Canadian provinces. Including B.C., which your state borders. Hop the line, indulge, head back. But don't bring any back with you. You get in trouble that way.

    Now here's a question that I've had churning around my head for a while: is absinthe safe? It's legal in Ontario as well, and I'd like to see what it's about (when I turn 19). But I don't want to put anything more harmful than alcohol into my system. from what I've read, with the restrictions on thujone levels mandated by law, there is no danger. But I want to check anyway.

  3. #3
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    Um, remind me of what the stuff is someone? Thanks.

  4. #4
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    This stuff. Made of wormwood, has a small amount of thujone in it. (Thujone being an intoxicant)

  5. #5
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    Some commercially sold Absinthe isn't actually Absinthe too, so be careful.

  6. #6
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    True. And watch out if you do go to B.C. There are no legal limits on the amount of thujone that a food product can contain in that province.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    True. And watch out if you do go to B.C. There are no legal limits on the amount of thujone that a food product can contain in that province.
    thats a good thing...rite..

  8. #8
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    No, in high concentrations, thujone is lethal. Just watch it.

  9. #9
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    I've tried it.

    Leave it alone, trust me on this.

  10. #10
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    You didn't drink it neat, I hope...

  11. #11
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    absinthe makes the heart grow fonder....

    but be careful, randb..

    (i've never tried it..don't intend to either)

  12. #12
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    If I am thinking of the correct liquor, this is the aniseed drink, it turns water white?
    The French drink it quite a bit. I am quite fond of spirits, this is a lovely drink with water.
    I would suggest, Mahesh, drive over to France for the day (or Eurostar to Paris), enjoy their food and wine and buy a bottle on your way home. Pick up one for me too !!

  13. #13
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    You're probably thinking of Ouzo or Arak, it's not the same thing.

    Absinthe does have anise, but it's the wormwood that gives it its characteristic bitter taste.
    Last edited by HenrikOlsen; 2006-Mar-22 at 05:00 PM.
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  14. #14
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    No, actually, absinthe does the same thing. You pour a small amount of the liqueuer into an absinthe glass and place a suger cube on an absinthe spoon on top. You then dribble ice water onto the suger and into the glass. When it's full, you drop the remaining sugar into the glass and stir. Now, when the water mixes with the absinthe, it turns it white. This is called the "louche" and is a result of insoluble anise oils becoming suspended in the water.

  15. #15
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    I sit corrected.
    I've only tried it neat.
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  16. #16
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    You could try drinking antifreeze .. much the same effect!

  17. #17
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    I had about a milliliter of it about fifteen years ago. Home-manufactured from real wormwood following a Swiss recipe. It had an interesting flavor. I had far to little to notice any intoxicating effect.

    It is illegal because Thujone has some long term side effects to the nervous system. Lots of ninetenth century writers and painters were less functional in later life, and Absinthe is supposed to be why.

    There is an interesting chapter in Joyce's Ulysses about Stephen's experience on an absinthe trip.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  18. #18
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    Some european country, can't remember which, have a coffee with absinthe as a kind of scum on top.

    Friend of mine reported that his son encountered that, but I can't remember where he was.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen
    I've only tried it neat.
    Glah! There's a reason for the sugar, you know.

    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb
    It is illegal because Thujone has some long term side effects to the nervous system. Lots of ninetenth century writers and painters were less functional in later life, and Absinthe is supposed to be why.
    That's where the debate is. It has been proposed that the negative effects may be a result of either very high thujone levels, very high alcohol content, or impurities no longer present in modern absinthe.

    So. Hence my question as to the safety of the stuff.

  20. #20
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    If I'm not mistaken (I could be, as I wouldn't touch the stuff if you paid me), there is stuff available in the US that calls itself absinthe. However, since the toxic chemicals that make it true absinthe are illegal in beverages sold in the US, it isn't. Wormwood sure isn't good for you, though it isn't, apparently, the worst of the ingredients in the stuff. If you must consume poison (and don't kid yourself; alcohol is, technically, a poison), one a little less lethal is probably your best bet.
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  21. #21
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    Yep, the stuff you're thinking of is called absente and it has no thujone.

  22. #22
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    So the absinthe is absent in the absente? (Just nod your assent. Or abstain.)

  23. #23
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    But it is a close relative to absinthe. Just contains little or no thujone.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    'Fraid it's illegal in the U.S.
    It is illegal to sell it in the US, but not to buy it or possess it.

  25. #25
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    Right. But I simplified. Since it is illegal to sell in the U.S., and since it is illegal to import into the U.S., the only way to get some is to break the law.

  26. #26
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    As long as you limit yourself to purchases of 2 liters or less, you should be exempt from any import laws (more than that and it would not be considered 'for personal consumption').

  27. #27
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    Right, but customs will still seize any amount of absinthe. Now, if you want to not declare the stuff, you might get it through. But I'm sure you don't want to get caught doing that.

  28. #28
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    Looks like Listerine, tastes like Listerine. I had real stuff from Czechoslovakia (yes, it was made before they split up). No psychotropic effects to report, except maybe that colours seemed a little brighter. That might have been the sun coming out, though. There might be a significant psychological component involved.

    I noticed the same effects for the B.C. stuff. I think the B.C. stuff was imported from somewhere, though. Tasted the same.

    Neat preparation method, though. On the other hand, you could add a whole bag of sugar and it would still taste awful. I love bitter foods and volatile drinks of all sorts, but that stuff goes way beyond.... *shudder*

    My suggestion is to try it once for the experience, and twice to prove you're man enough to take it... and then never again!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by snarkophilus
    I had real stuff from Czechoslovakia (yes, it was made before they split up).
    A timely reminder, cheers - my friend's son encountered coffee with absinthe on top in (post split) Prague!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebo-the-fat
    You could try drinking antifreeze .. much the same effect!

    As we can't guarantee ill-informed people don't visit this site
    As I can't - dunno why ever this thought comes to mind - even exclude that some may already have
    And as a few years ago here a number of people died as a result of wine adulterated with a percentage of antifreeze
    Maybe it would not be overcautious to say this is dangerous and maybe suppress or modify this post?

    BTW Whilst on the subject there was an authoritative article an absinthe by Arnold in Scientific American 260 June 1989 and there is a quite extensive treatment of its history, toxicology, distinguished drinkers and folklore in Wikipedia.

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