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Absinthe, also called wormwood and nicknamed the Green Devil, is an alcoholic drink with an aniseed-flavored and bitter background by the herbs that complete the water and sugar of its preparation, mainly the Artemisia absinthium.
The beginning of this drink was in Switzerland, where it started as an elixir, however, this drink became popular in Paris at the end of the 19th century, where artists and writers drank absinthe of the brand Pernod Fils until it was prohibited in 1915.
The etymological origin of the word absinthe comes from the Latin absinthium, which in turn comes from the Greek apsinthion, and whose meaning can be translated as "non-drinkable".
What marks the tradition at the time of taking the absinthe is called "the rite of the drink", for it, besides absinthe, it is needed:
The first thing to do is to serve the absinthe in the crystal glass, then we put the spoon with the perforations on top of the glass, with the concave side up, we put the sugar lump on top of the spoon and we let the cold water fall on the lump, so that it enters the glass through the perforations of the spoon.
During this process, the mixture should acquire a color similar to that of milk called "louche" in French, and whose translation into Spanish would be "turbid".
The process of elaboration of the absinthe begins with a first maceration of the herbs that are going to be part of the process in distilled alcohol to later carry out a second maceration in the flowers of the fennel and the aniseed, this produces a colorless alcoholic dissolution of between 70°C and 80°C.
The next step is to add artificial coloring to add color, although color can also be added through a second maceration of the wormwood plant. When the desired color has been given, water is added to lower the alcohol concentration to the desired level.
Another option for the elaboration of this liqueur is through the maceration of the absinthe plant without distillation. This process is less expensive, but on the contrary, the resulting flavor is very bitter.
In general there are not, strictly speaking, several types of absinthe since what makes an absinthe different from the others is the ingredients used apart from the three main ones, however there is some classification that divides them into the following ones:
The mussel was born in Couvetm in Val-de-Travers, between the border of Switzerland and France, a desolate place covered with meadows and surrounded by limestone mountains that, due to its height and climate, is very good at the basic ingredient of absinthe, wormwood.
This drink arises from the formula of the local doctor Pierre Ordinaire, who made a preparation sold in pharmacies as a natural medicine, until, in 1797, Henri-Louis Pernod built the first distillery where, at the end of the 19th century, it began to be marketed as a fashionable drink among intellectuals.
The height of the absinthe craze was reached at the beginning of the 20th century, when Jean Lanfray shot his wife and two of his daughters in a drunken state. At the trial the man declared that the woman had refused to clean his shoes, but the reality was that he had drunk wine, cognac, brandy and mint cream, although all the blame fell on two glasses of absinthe.
After this, the drink was banned in the United States and most of Europe except Great Britain, it was also banned in Switzerland in 1910 and in France in 1915.
This drink is composed mainly of the aromas of the wormwood plant (Artemisia absinthium), fennel flowers and aniseed, which together are called "the holy trinity".
From these three ingredients, the following are added or not depending on the taste you want to give to the drink: hyssop, lemon balm, small mugwort, angelica root, calamus leaves, dictamnus leaves, coriander, veronica, juniper leaves, nutmeg or liquorice.
The taste of this alcoholic beverage is a slightly aniseed-flavored, with a bitter background and very complex due to the contribution of so many herbs it contains, the main one being Artemisia absinthium.
Several cocktails are known to be prepared with absinthe, among them we can mention:
The main brands of absinthe are: