Absinthe History?


Rudolf II (Holy Roman Emperor) painted as Vertumnus, Roman God of the seasons, c.1590-1


Did Absinthe start life in Prague in the 1500s? This article in an respected Australian newspaper seems to suggest that it did.

Absinthe: “The drink’s origins are disputed: wormwood distillations started in Bohemia (the Czech Republic) in the 1500s, but they appeared in France and Switzerland around the 1750s. Modern absinthe dates from 1792, when Dr Pierre Ordinaire commercialised it as a cure-all. Then Henri-Louis Pernod founded the Pernod Fils absinthe company in 1805, seeing its aperitif potential. Absinthe’s moment came with the 1840s Algerian wars, when French soldiers drank it as a prophylactic against disease. They brought it home, and by the 1860s Parisian cafes had established 5pm as l’heure verte – “the green hour”.

Source: Bohemian Green by Felicity Carter, The Age

One interesting possibility is that wormwood distillation began under Rudolph II, The Holy Roman Emperor. Rudoplh’s reign (1552-1612) was marked by a scientific revolution in the Bohemian lands (now Czech Republic). Rudolf was fascinated by the subjects of alchemy and science and attracted the greatest minds – along with their stills – to Prague. Names like John Dee and Edward Kelley may not mean much today, but they were the leading alchemists of the age. Rudolph himself maintained an extensive laboratory.

103 responses to “Absinthe History?

  1. The origins of the drink known as “absinthe” – a distillation of wormwood, fennel and anise, coloured with petite abinthe and hyssop – lie unequivocably in the Val de Travers in Switzerland, in the late eighteenth century.

    Pure distillations of wormwood (actually far more usually, simple macerations in wine), made for medicinal purposes, are an entirely different thing, and existed all over Europe hundreds of years earlier. No doubt they might have been made in Czechoslavakia, but they certainly didn’t “start” there.

    Mod: Wormwood distillations “didn’t :start” there” There is evidence that they are native to the region – Polish texts from this era show this as well. Where did they start, David? Because academics that I have spoken to suggest that these wormwood distillates are from round this neck of the woods. Don’t confuse with wine macerations, which are from Antiquity.

  2. “lie unequivocably”

    No serious historical research has been conducted by a professional historian. There are a series of coffee table books which respin the same data. Also, what about Mademoiselle Grand-Pierre? The point being that the history of absinthe is not certain, and most reliable non biased sources use qualifying remarks such as “according to some reports”.

    Does the Ordinaire formula still exist? Are there any documents that show the sale by the Henroid sisters to Major Dubied? It’s quite a romantic tale, and one wonders if early 20th century marketing hasn’t blurred the accuracy of the tale we hear today.

    I am interested to learn that you are an expert on 16th and 17th European history. Would you happen to know what the wormwood distillations in the court of Rudolph II were called. Could it have been absinth?

    . Si je n’avais trouvé notre petit Livry tout à propos, j’aurais été malade. J’avalai là tout doucement mon absinthe ; M. de Pomponne et sa famille, et Mme de Vins, font tout de même.

    Words written in 1679. When was Ordinaire’s formula commited to paper? Before or after that date?

  3. The fact that pernod named their drink after wormwood makes research into earlier incarnations hard. As you must distinguish between absinthe = wormwood and absinthe = a liquor made by distilling wormwood, anise, fennel, etc.

    While interesting I wouldn’t trust news stories without sources, otherwise we might think absinthe was aged in wormwood barrels, among other entertaining claims.

  4. Drabsinthe writes:
    “No serious historical research has been conducted by a professional historian. There are a series of coffee table books which respin the same data. ”

    Amongst several learned papers I would refer you to:
    “L’absinthe au Val-de-Travers: Recherches sur ses origines” by Pierre-Andre Delachaux, published in La Revue Historique Neuchtateloise No. 1/97.

    Drabsinthe writes:
    “Are there any documents that show the sale by the Henroid sisters to Major Dubied?”
    Yes, I’ve handled the recipe myself at the Neuchtel cantonal archives.

    The history of absinthe is not certain, in the sense that its precise origins in the Val-de-Travers in the late 18th century are murky.
    But there’s not a shred of evidence that absinthe – the green coloured drink with wormwood, anise and fennel – existed anywhere else prior to that.

    You’re confusing macerated or distilled wormwood concoctions – which have existed at least since Roman times – with the drink absinthe.

  5. Ari raises an important point. What of the distillates made in the 1530s in what is now Poland? I am sure, if my memory serves me correctly, one of these contained wormwood and anise.

    Wormwood distillates existed in what became Poland. Isn’t it correct that they also have a drink named wormwood?

    The history of these folk remedies – the Polish one was probably intended as an aphrodisiac – remains unresearched. The recent history of these lands – Nazi invasion and Communist oppression – means that much may have been lost. The Communists in particular ideologically altered the diet and drinking habits of the countries they occupied. This was partly because of the idea of bourgeois decadence, and partly ecomonic. Absinthe, or Absinth, would have been consider highly decadent and it’s manufacture stopped. This is in line with what Mr Hill has said on the subject.

  6. I would like to have the opportunity of inspecting that document in the Neuchtel cantonal archives. You are a lucky man.

    Si je n’avais trouvé notre petit Livry tout à propos, j’aurais été malade. J’avalai là tout doucement mon absinthe ; M. de Pomponne et sa famille, et Mme de Vins, font tout de même.

    Do you notice the word absinthe in this segment of a letter dating to 1679. It predates Dr Ordinaire doesn’t it. What was the writer referring to? Was it a liquid named absinthe which was taken for medicinal reasons?

  7. It would have been a maceration of wormwood in wine. It’s the language that causes the confusion: in English we generally use the word wormwood to refer to the herb itself, or decoctions made from it, we generally use the word absinthe specifically to mean the aperitif. In French, there’s only the one word, absinthe, for both concepts. So you can find hundreds of French references to drinking absinthe, from the earliest French translations of the Bible in the 15th century onwards (and probably earlier). But they’re referring to wormwood, or wormwood concoctions, not the green coloured drink made from wormwood, anise and fennel.

    Wormwood – and for that matter, pretty much every other herb under the sun – has been macerated (and sometimes distilled) in water or wine from ancient times onwards, and drunk for medicinal or curative purposes.

  8. The point is she calls it “mon absinthe”. She is making reference to a wormwood draft, and not the herb. This draft was clearly known as absinthe at that time. This absinthe wasn’t distilled, but was a macerated beverage, as you rightly suggest.

    The document that you had the honour of handling: what reference is made to the term absinthe? How is it organised?

  9. “The Communists in particular ideologically altered the diet and drinking habits of the countries they occupied”

    Did Castro close the absinthe factories in Cuba?

  10. “wormwood draft”


  11. Draught. There is no way to edit typos.

    The point being that prior to Dr Ordinaire’s alleged discovery, there were products known as absinthe. I assume that they were sold by the apothecary. Dr Ordinaire may have chosen distillation to avoid the bitterness of original absinthe?

  12. and answer there was none…this isn’t the first time this has happened

  13. To repeat things already said, “absinthe” is french for wormwood, so everything named after wormwood was called absinthe but not everything called absinthe was directly connected to the drink pernod ended up marketing.

    Dr Ordinaire most likely didn’t exist, however I would guess one reason it was distilled was to remove the bitterness (another being that distilling was thought of as concentrating the beneficial herbs).

  14. “Dr Ordinaire most likely didn’t exist”

    😮 really????

  15. “Dr Ordinaire most likely didn’t exist”

    Well what a surprise! What about Charlotte?

    I might point out that Alan Moss has been spending his time making disparaging remarks again at Fee Verte such as:

    “Ari, Oxy and I have continued to respond to some of the “stranger” comments made by him/her and the blog owner”

    This on a thread entitled “Slapdown”

    Alan has also recently used his blog to have a sly shot at his former employer:

    “eAbsinthe are also listed on both sites, although the Wormwood Society states that these are provisional recommendations, given that they also stock Czech and novelty products”

    Another development is the arrival of absinthelovers.com where someone called DrAbsinthe is posting. It is not me, although it is intended to trick readers into thinking that is the case. I wonder if this is another of Alan’s online games?

    All deeply silly.

  16. Dr Absinthe: Do you really think it fair to absintheur to keep complaining about me on his blog? You are free to comment on Fee Verte if you disagree with what is said, or on my blog. Why can’t you have the courage of your convictions? What are you hiding?

    Yes, they were strange comments: you guys are trying to re-write absinthe fact and history. Good luck.

    eabsinthe: only you would turn this into another ad hominem attack. I am not taking a sly shot: I am stating an absolute fact.

    Absinthe Lovers: your guess on who is drabsinthe there is as good as mine. They are ridiculing many other people too: including Claude-Alain, Ted Breaux, etc etc. Personally I find it amusing as do many others. I thought you had a sense of humor.

    Anyway keep posting away here if you want. I don’t guarantee to respond since I have a business trip coming up. And a few other things to do.

  17. “eabsinthe: only you would turn this into another ad hominem attack. I am not taking a sly shot: I am stating an absolute fact”

    A “fact”? An opinion actually. Published as part of your strategy for selling La Clandestine. Why mention it at all? Unless you are trying to drive customers to your web shop? and undermine eabsinthe’s reputation. It seems underhand and mean spirited. eabsinthe are highly regarded web shop, sell La Clandestine absinthe, and guarantee delivery.

    “They are ridiculing many other people too: including Claude-Alain, Ted Breaux, etc etc. Personally I find it amusing as do many others”

    It is childish. What does Claude-Alaine think? I wouldn’t have thought Ted Breaux would find it amusing. Do you know anything about that site, Alan?

    “I have a business trip coming up. And a few other things to do”

    Business Class I’ll warrant. What other things? You are going to try to sell some La Clandestine, rather than slagging off your competition? Good idea. Bon voyage!

  18. “It seems underhand and mean spirited.” This from someone who prefers to stay completely anonymous (or, assuming he/she is also Dr. Sam, actually lies about his/her background). Who does so that he/she can criticise individuals, whole groups of forum members, etc. Dr Absinthe: YOUR behaviour is cowardly and exceedingly underhand. Whatever nationality you are, that country should be ashamed of you! If you are Czech, you are an absolute disgrace to that fine country. Is that how the great heroes of that country’s past would have behaved? Hiding???

    “It is childish. What does Claude-Alaine think? I wouldn’t have thought Ted Breaux would find it amusing. Do you know anything about that site, Alan?”

    Yes. As much as a few minutes research on the other forums, and in various other places can provide. I feel no real need to share that information with you.

    “What other things?” With your charming style of intercourse, why would you possibly think I would answer?

  19. You need to answer the questions, and desist from theatrical displays of outrage.

    Why are you publishing negative remarks about competitors – both regional and ecommerce? It is not ethical.You should reconsider this strategy as it undermines, rather than enhances, your credibilty.

    Also, why have you publicly denounced the decision of your former employer to market a high quality own brand Bohemian absinth?

    Please stop questioning my integrity, Alan. It is simply a machiavellian attempt to defuse a situation that you single handedly created.

  20. Drunken Master

    What a ridiculous abuse of history — absinthe and other related drinks go all the way back to the Romans! Pliny the freaking Elder recommended it, fer chrissakes. The idea that absinthe “originated” in Prague is blatantly bogus. The article proves NOTHING because it quotes absolutely no primary historical source. (Somehow, I doubt the people supporting this viewpoint actually know the difference between a “primary” and “secondary” historical source…)

  21. Dr Absinthe:

    As soon as you stop your criticism of what I post elsewhere that is not pertinent to the topics here, I’ll stop questioning your integrity.

    Do we have a deal?

    Of course, I’m more than happy to answer your questions in the appropriate place.

  22. I read this article when it came out.

    The Age is certainly well respected as a publication, but it should be noted that Felicity Carter is a food and wine critic, not an historian.

    The article appeared in ‘Epicure’, the food/restaurant section of the paper, and probably shouldn’t be cited for it’s historical accuracy.

    It should also be noted that her list of ‘recommended’ absinthes are practically the only ones available in Australia, and even then, they are not common products.

    Reliable information regarding absinthe and its history is even rarer, and comes mostly from marketers and distributors, and not historians.

  23. “As soon as you stop your criticism of what I post elsewhere that is not pertinent to the topics here,”

    Pertinent? Give me a break!

    You never post ANYTHING about Switzerland, you only post hate messages about some manufacturers from the Czech Republic. This blog is about Czech absinthe! It is pertinent.

    I cannot help but wonder why you find it necessary to continually attack other manufacturers? Is this come kind of personal vendetta?

    The point about your latest swipe at http://www.eabsinthe.com, an ecommerce competitor and your former employer, is also suspect. It illustrates that you have chosen “negativity” as the foundation of your marketing strategy. Why can’t we hear about Charlotte, the female bootlegger who created La Clandestine in the 1930s? Why must we only witness crude attacks on others in the industry? It seems a great shame to me, and a betrayl of the daring spirit of Charlotte.

  24. For the record this is what the Wormwood Society writes:

    “eabsinthe.com – Provisionally recommended. Located in the UK. While there is a good variety of better absinthes in the Swiss and French sections, be careful to avoid the Czech section, which is primarily stocked with “novelty liquors” and poor quality, faux absinthe.”

    I have no affiliation with the Wormwood Society although I do post there. These are their words, not mine. I gave a precis which actually omitted their comments about “the Czech section, which is primarily stocked with “novelty liquors” and poor quality, faux absinthe.” Their words, not mine. Your debate should be with the Wormwood Society.

  25. The Wormwood Society do not sell anything, except charming pottery absinthe fountains. The issue is why you chose to publish this ugly “precis”. What was the point?

    I suggest that the point was a crude attempt at gaining commercial advanatge.

    One the same footing: It also amazes me that you have the audacity to publicly denounce the decision of those guys at eabsinthe to produce a great own brand Bohemian absinth. What were you thinking?

  26. 🙄 enough already!

  27. I agree with absintheur. I am about to go off on a trip as promised and I don’t want to miss any action!

  28. “I am about to go off on a trip as promised”

    You should take a notebook computer.

    Kindly reply to the points that I have raised regarding your controversial marketing strategy.

  29. ““Dr Ordinaire most likely didn’t exist”
    ” really????”
    From what I understand the original recipe was bought from the Henriod sisters and the Doc story was most likely created to give it a more solid history.

    “Kindly reply to the points that I have raised regarding your controversial marketing strategy.”
    DrAbsinthe, this is Not your blog, contrary to what you appear to think. (Alan does have a blog, amazingly you don’t appear to post there)

  30. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “Kindly reply to the points that I have raised regarding your controversial marketing strategy.”

    Drab, you should practice what you preach. There are five or six questions that I’d asked you over the other two threads that you conveniently avoided, especially the one regarding the article you cited. It’s really not surprising, in that the article, in actuality debunks your statements regarding thujone.

    Are you a politician? Because you certainly show the uncanny ability to shift the topic to something other than the original argument at the exact moment that you are about to be proven wrong on something.

    Also, I like eabsinthe. They have a great range of product. I also appreciate their ‘reviews’ section, as they certainly tend to show the difference in quality between top shelf absinthes and the others that just hype thujone and flames.

  31. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Funny too, how you spin the Fee Verte forums. You’re VERY good at trying to propagandize information to your benefit. Maybe you should stop doing that, and try to focus on the real issues at hand.

  32. Ah, the “chemise verte” have arrived.

    “From what I understand the original recipe was bought from the Henriod sisters and the Doc story was most likely created to give it a more solid history”

    This is most peculiar. Are you suggesting that the Henroids used deception for pecuniary advantage when selling their medical recipe to Major Dubied? This is a curious development I must say. I would be most grateful to learn more, Ari.

    Oxy apparently has handled the recipe document. My question concerning it’s title, layout and so forth, remains unanswered.

  33. Two proposals:

    a. The Henroid sister were 18th century grifters who used Dr Ordinaire to sell a formula which was not uniquely theirs.

    b. The story was invented at a later date. Note the tale suggests that absinthe is French, and would appeal to the nationalist sentiment of the age.

    Also, the idea of this large Doctor riding around on a small horse sounds like a Don Quixote joke to me. The name of Ordinaire’s horse : Rocket. Don Quixote’s horse was called Rocinante.

  34. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Interesting you bring that up, as Rocket and Rocinante are quite opposite in meaning and etymology.

    You’d think that if someone had enough knowledge of literature to intnetionally draw parallels with Don Quixote, they’d do a better job of it.

  35. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Also interesting that you seem to get upset every time we find where you next pop up, but you won’t show your face in any of the forums into which you’ve been invited to have a civilized and knowledgable discussion on the topic.

  36. I enjoyed Oxy’s “Mother Shipton post” today. He has a absinthe pitcher in the shape of a dog that I couvet.

    Don Quixote

    Do you know Sheridan, B? Mrs Malaprop. Perhaps the intention was to have a private joke? Please share your erudition regarding Rocket vs Rocinante.

    Anyway, whoever invented the unlikely Doctor on horseback, was not necessarily wishing to have his creation exposed as a hoax. I imagine the tale served a commercial purpose, by positioning absinthe as a French drink. If there was a joke, it may have been a hidden inside gag.

  37. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Before I share my knowledge of Don Quixote, let me bring you back to my original point: Answer some of the questions posed to you before you go off on another tangent. I still haven’t heard back from you regarding your ORIGINAL post regarding the study on thujone.

    Anyway, back to Don Quixote. I studied Spanish literature as part of my degree in Spanish, which I graduated with Magna Cum Laude. I also lived in Madrid while studying the works of Cervantes.

    Regarding Rocinante. The word Rocin in Spanish can mean two separate things. It can mean a ‘work horse’, and also it can mean an ‘unpolished’ man, usually illiterate and/or ignorant. However, the descriptor ‘ante’ means several things, based on where it is placed in a word or phrase. Cervantes did this on purpose to add to the pattern of ambiguity in his work (similar to his use/ non-use of accent marks, which lends ambiguity to the meaning of the words, such as ‘esta’).

    So, when Quixote names his horse Rocinante, he did so, supposedly to show that his horse was no longer to be considered a work horse, but instead, somewhat of a steed or stallion. However, it can also be construed as ‘Supernag’.

    The word Rocket, which comes from the old french word Roquette doesn’t show that ambiguity in the sense of a lowly horse elevated to a higher status.

    But anyway, I’ve helped you digress enough. Let’s get back to the topic, shall we?

  38. I still think there is a hidden joke behind the invention of Dr Ordinary. The figure of Don Quixote was much more resonant then, and this peculiar figure on horse back has a burlesque look to me. Maybe I’m just tilting at windmills?

    Oxy has had the pleasure of handling the original document. We would have a better idea of what the Henroid sisters were up to, if we knew it’s form. Do you have any idea about that?

    Madrid was a pleasant enough city. Did you drink absinthe during your time there?

  39. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Most definitely. 🙂 However, it wasn’t of the best quality. I was able to get my hands on Absenta Deva, Serpis 65 (which can be used pretty well in mixed drinks), Mata Hari, and several homemade absinthes from friends of mine who distilled.

    I couldn’t tell you anything regarding the documents that Oxy’s been able to examine. He’s much more connected in those circles than I am.

  40. I have read somewhere that the original Henroit recipe listed wormwood oil, extract of wormwood, sage, violet root, cinnamon. No anise! Can this be right? The source is an commercial webiste, but I forget the url.

    Marie-Claude Delahaye has suggested that this was the recipe of Henroit’s mother. An old folk remedy perhaps, of which there were countless others, and not necessarily of the Val de Travers region? Anyway, it seems that “real absinthe” a la Ma Henroit might have been something other than that commercialised by Pernod.

    Hausgemacht: I am led to believe, although I am not 100% sure, that one can legally distill in the Czech Republic for own consupmtion.

    Nice way to spend student life, not the usual cheap vino and beer. The Barrio district of Barcelona, where Hemmingway used to drink, allegedly favour the sugar and fire method of absinthe drinking.

  41. The earliest known recipe (from the major’s books) does contain anise, wormwood and fennel but not in the same proportions as the commercialized versions made by pernod and others at end of the 19th century. A limited edition distillation was made based on this recipe called 1797 (and there may be more versions, I’m not sure).

  42. B. - Formerly anonymous

    I don’t know where you go that from, but that’s definitely a no. I spent much time in Barcelona, studying culture and literature (as I did in many cities throughout Spain), and drinking absinthe. Not one of the historians that I talked to regarding absinthe mentioned the fire ritual. Do you have a source for that?

    Also, there is NO ‘Barrio’ district in Barcelona. ‘Barrio’ means district in Spanish (Barri in Catalan), so you must be mistaken.

  43. Ari, where are the major’s books? Is it true that Ma Henroid’s recipe didn’t list anise? The original absinthe recipe was corrupted, was it?

    “there is NO ‘Barrio’ district in Barcelona. ‘Barrio’ means district in Spanish (Barri in Catalan), so you must be mistaken”

    Highly logical. I missed out one word in my haste: Rival. I believe that one may witness the “firey wonder” at the Marsella Bar on San Pau.

  44. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Nowadays, you can see the fire ritual at many bars that serve absinth, sambuca, absente, goldschlager, etc all across the world, including Spain. But that doesn’t mean that they were fond of that method back in the vintage days.

    The fire ritual is a recent development, even at that bar. As the bar began the be more frequented by foreigners and tourists, they began to emulate the ritual because it’s popular amongst the youth because it’s the new ‘cool’ thing to do. Flaming shots are popular for that demographic, regardless of which alcohol gets set aflame.

  45. Don’t teach Grandma how to suck eggs:

    “My French Grandmother used to make Absinthe when I was a wee child. She was an amazing woman Ma Mere’.

    She would pour a small glass and then would dip the spoon with sugar cube into the liquor and let it drain off some. Then she’d light the cube on fire, let it carmelize then stir it in.

    She’d then add a little bit of water and then point out the fairy (which was green/brown) dancing in the glass. We were in awe. ;-} She didn’t light the liquid on fire, but she WAS from France”

    A piece of oral history – one of many from across Europe. Do not forget that absinthe was a curative potion to these folks, and the addition of caramelised sugar was traditional in such drinks.

    You are confusing it with the modern day cocktail phenomenon of the 80s. This is a European tradition dating back many, many years. Don’t believe what you read by Alan Moss on Wikipedia.. about what he might have heard from someone who once met Mr Hill. Note the thread quoted on Fee Verte suddenly goes dead, with no further explanation.

  46. B. - Formerly anonymous

    No worries there. I’m not confusing anything. I’m going off of personal experiences with absinthe historians and restauranteurs/bar owners throughout Spain. Not one of them, including the owner of your aforementioned mentioned the fire ritual being fequently used until recently. And even then, it’s mostly used by the young crowd looking for the newest and coolest thing to do.

    Have you been to the bar Dr.? If so, you’d know that they serve absinthe in the traditional manner, with a spoon, sugar cube, and a small caraffe of water. You have to specifically ask for it to be served the bohemian way.

  47. “the young crowd looking for the newest and coolest thing to do”

    LOL. If that’s the case the “young crowd” are about 17 years out of date. Do you actually interogate bar owners about such things? The early 90’s craze in Prague was started by a theatre group called Sklep.

    Anway, we are talking at cross purposes. I have asked elderly persons about this method with absinth. There is also other evidence of the method’s use in similar beverages; it exists in a beverage enjoyed at an ancient festival in the Slavonic speaking world. None of these people that I have spoken to are trying to sell wall clocks or t-shirts. The fact is that it is not just a “trendy” cocktail bar invention, it has a pedigree.

    It is a very esoteric subject, and you won’t find many people who consider it of any note. It seems to me that it is a convenient “whipping boy” for those who wish to position absinthe as an elitist tipple. It never was an elitist beverage, before the hobbyists tode into town.

    Don’t forget that some people enjoy playing with fire.

  48. Drabsinthe said, “Ari, where are the major’s books? Is it true that Ma Henroid’s recipe didn’t list anise? The original absinthe recipe was corrupted, was it?”
    Correction it’s from “Abram-Louis Perrenoud” and I haven’t seen anything that would suggest the sister’s recipe didn’t list anise.
    You can see it here,

    Drabsinthe said, “A piece of oral history – one of many from across Europe.”
    So one unsupported piece of oral history proves it? In that case aliens are running the government.
    While I don’t doubt others figured out high proof alcohol burns so far evidence links the “fire ritual” to recent times. Unless you have solid evidence to the contrary?

  49. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “Do you actually interogate bar owners about such things?”
    Interrogate no, but serious conversation about absinthe is a pretty common thing among those who enjoy it. A friendly conversation is always a wonderful thing when you go to a bar during off hours.

    The ‘fire’ ritual of course has been done for many years, but it has just recently come into vogue among the travelling youth. I don’t think you can really dispute that fact.

    “It seems to me that it is a convenient “whipping boy” for those who wish to position absinthe as an elitist tipple.”

    I don’t know anyone in the WS or FV forums who would postulate that Absinthe is an elitist drink of any sort. If you read the history of absinthe on either site, you’d see that’s by far not the case.

    Why do you insist upon making dramatic statements like that? They aren’t true to begin with, but also aren’t getting us any closer to a common understanding.

    If you’d have done any research, you wouldn’t have made that statement to begin with. It shows your penchant for propoganda, and your lack of preparation, just like your citation of the thujone article. Which, by the way, I still haven’t seen a response from you.

  50. “So one unsupported piece of oral history proves it? In that case aliens are running the government”

    I’ve asked and have other pieces of oral testimony – this is mainly coming from rural Moravia. I’ve only just started, and I am also after First Republic menus.
    History in that part of the world is tricky –

    1. People do not undersatnd the interest. This has been a constant problem, and one is often viewed as eccentric for even being interested. This applies to absinth, and also other subjects I have tried to rescue from the dying collective memory.

    2. Much of the history is lost. Nazi occupation, and the ugly influence of the USSR, left people with other priorities. I have already commented on the possibility of absinth being viewed as “decadent” (like asparagus..which was banned by the Communists)

    The elitist thing for B: What other impression should one get from the constant sneering and sniping? This predates any comments by me. I get annoyed by the constant sharp comments directed on a regional – rather than brand – basis.

    BTW: You two gentleman are the good parts of the curate’s egg. I even noted Oxy’s recent generous statements about Bairnsfather products. This is at odds with the ugliness that began a few years back, when Kyle started a debate about filtration technology.

    Perhaps the times are a changing. One positive step would be to have Alan Moss stop his ill judged anti Czech campaigns.

  51. B. - Formerly anonymous

    He isn’t anti-Czech. I am also most definitely not. He is a proponent of a classification system of different types (and qualities) of absinthe/absinth/absente, etc. I am as well.

    He is also against the improper marketing campaigns that are predominantly used by Czech marketers that hype hallucinogenic drinks. Thujone is not hallucinogenic, and neither are ANY absinthes/absinths/absentas I’ve tried, including all of those you have previously mentioned.

    That sort of marketing gives absinthe a bad name, and takes us further away from the possibility of legalizing absinthe in the U.S.

  52. Drunken Master

    The problem with statements like “Much of the history is lost…people [had]… other priorities. ” is that you will never be taken seriously by historians without a single primary source.

    If what you really care about is the way the product is perceived by the public, all you need to do is proclaim your position loudly and repeatedly; never mind the proof.

    What you need is a primary historical document the proves that absinthe in Czech bohemia predates its earliest mention of Pliny the Elder. If what you claim is true, you should be able to find something at least close to that date.

  53. “improper marketing campaigns”

    Some might suggest that this is a definition of the way Alan markets his (?) own product:

    Virulent attacks on other brands, peculair puritancal suggestions about “date rape” drugs, the already mentioned issue of sly observations about ecommerce competitors, and the unbelievably arrogant public proclamation about La Fee Bohemian Absinth:

    “Personally I don’t think that La Fee should have or market a Bohemian-style absinth (why make something that you have to burn to appreciate?)”


    What will we see next from this misguided, cheap, and unethical form of advertising? I predict an attack on the French macerates:

    “only Switzerland has laws insisting that absinthe made and/or sold in Switzerland is distilled and that it has no artificial colourings: the French do not have such a law in place”

    “That sort of marketing gives absinthe a bad name”

    See above!

    “takes us further away from the possibility of legalizing absinthe in the U.S”

    That’s the crux of the issue, is it?

  54. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Well, that IS one of the main goals of the Wormwood Society.

    The other main goal is to educate the masses regarding the truths behind absinthe. Marketing campaigns that hype ‘hallucinogenic’ properties (which most czech brands do) spread lies and misinformation.

    Can you honestly tell me that you don’t mind people flat out lying like that when advertizing their product?

    Alan may have controversial views of some brands, and may occasionally make some crass statements, but I don’t think you can hold yourself above that, as I’ve seen you make some pretty nasty (and mostly untrue) accusations.

    “see above!”
    Are you really going to play that game? Are you going to say that, since Alan does it, so can other brands? That’s a little immature, wouldn’t you say?
    Plus, trying to compare Alan’s statements with those of ‘ballz tripping’ ads from the likes of Sebor and such is like comparing apples and oranges.

  55. “spread lies and misinformation”

    Rather a strong statment.

    I have seen some websites where English usage is a problem. Also, by saying that thujone was something like “the cocaine of the 19th century” they are merely following the historical understanding of absinthe. The writers of the Belle Epoque also seem to have viewed absinthe as a mind altering experience, Charles Cros, Rimbaud and so forth.

    You are the ones that are suggesting that thujone, or absinthe, isn’t capable of altering cognitive function. This despite the fact that chemical effects on the brain cannot be objectively studied at this time.

    Interestingly I note that some of you allow that the herbal amalgam in absinthe may cause such effect, but not thujone! Rather a convenient explanation, isn’t it? Is this the first example of a new wave of anise and fennel marketing?

    ‘ballz tripping’..I have often seen this phrase, what does it mean? What on earth is “ballz”?

  56. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “Rather a strong statment. ”

    From http://www.czechabsinthe.com : “It is recommended to drink it in small doses for its well known hallucinogenic effects and ecstasy.”

    Would you not say that’s a lie? Have you ever hallucinated while drinking absinth/absinthe/absenta? I’ve drank over 60 brands in the past 10 years, including many MANY czech absinthes (also including those from the specified website), and NEVER hallucinated.

    Please explain how that is not deceptive marketing.

    “This despite the fact that chemical effects on the brain cannot be objectively studied at this time.”

    And what of the article you cited in the other thread, studying the effects of thujone? Are you saying your own source data is incorrect???

  57. B. - Formerly anonymous

    And by the way, ‘ballz tripping’ means getting high.

  58. The quote from the website seems to be a warning rather than a marketing ploy. How does advising the consumption of only small amount of a product make any sense commercially?

    I also told you that English usage may be an issue, so perhaps that is the case here.

    “well known hallucinogenic effects”: The Belle Epoque writers? the many articles that have mentioned this?

    Anyway, this does not constitute a lie, it is merely a statement based upon previous observations made over the years. Perhaps the gentleman who wrote it has not had the priviledge of CONSIDERING the point of view of the Wormwood Society. That is an opinion, and not objective fact, based upon your many years of absinthe consumption.

    There is a unique effect connected with absinthe drinking, do you deny this?

    Thanks for the explanation of the vernacular.

  59. B. - Formerly anonymous

    You’ve got to be kidding. You don’t think marketing something as hallucinogenic won’t elicit purchases from people looking to get high???

    That’s the crowd they are looking to entice by making those claims.

    English is not the issue here, since there is no doubt someone that they use to translate the entirety of their site into Engligh. It’s pure and simple hype.

    Do some reading on the hallucinogenic properties of absinthe. Every one of the articles I’ve read addresses the issues of Belle Epoque writers and artists, and their descriptions of absinthe, as well as other drinks. It’s widely accepted amongst those who have scientifically studied absinthe that the deliterious effects were most like due to the addition of other chemicals by disreputable producers looking for cheap ways to color their beverage.

    I’d still like you to answer the question: Have you ever hallucinated by drinking absinthe??? I’ll answer your questions once you’ve answered that simple one.

  60. I would not use that term personally. However, I believe that there is a unique effect which can be attributed to thujone – either as part of a herbal amalgam – or as a singular factor.

    I do not dispute that if someone sits in a corn field looking at the stars, and drinking absinthe, they may experience a self created effect. This is an argument that has not been raised. The brain is quite capable of creating it’s own “narcotics, merely by suggestion. I do not believe that my own experience can be attributed to this suggestion.

    I have noted that some of the allegedly ‘high thujone” brands have an extraordinary effect. I would not necessarily term this halluciogenic, and it is therefore only a question of English usage.

  61. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Or maybe a question of untruth in advertising to attract a certain crowd????

    Show me the words that you think they should use when describing these ‘effects’, and we’ll translate them, to see if it truly is just a problem in translation. There’s a high degree of probability that there wouldn’t be as much confusion as your making it out to be. I think you put too much faith in the marketing teams of companies that base their popularity on that segment of the world population.

    Let me ask you this: Have you felt that same effect when you eat stuffing? You should, as sage has MUCH more thujone in it than wormwood.

    There are also well known clarifying/stimulating effects of other herbs that are constituents in some brands of absinthe. You get the same effects when you drink teas that have those ingredients. If that’s the so called ‘effect’ you’re talking about, then you may want to re-examine your standpoint.

  62. B. - Formerly anonymous

    You also may want to take a gander at this study, which was recently published. It pulled from more than 100 sources, which you can peruse at the bottom.


  63. “Have you felt that same effect when you eat stuffing?”

    No. Have you? The process of making absinthe releases oils, doesn’t it? One of these creates the louche effect. Simply munching on a herb in an onion mix is hardly a valid comparison. It is an amusing diversion, and part of a repertoire of comparisons oft used to hoodwink in this debate.

    Is there such a thing as wormwood tea? Anyway, we are talking about the effect of thujone in conjunction with alcohol; of a herbal oil suspended in alcohol. Again, an invalid comparison.

    Your comments about “a certain crowd” may be based upon ethnocentric values. As with this “ballz tripping” phrase, I am not sure what you mean.

  64. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “ethnocentric values” – Why is that your fall back accusation? Every time you get close to being stuck in an argument, you have to throw out the bigot card. I was talking about the certain demographic of people who are looking to get high. There are plenty of those out there, and those are the people that those advertisements are aimed at. Don’t be coy.

    Please do not presume you know me. Your wild accusations of ethnocentrism and/or bigotry are deeply offensive, and not indicative of someone such as myself, who has spent his life travelling the world, studying other cultures and appreciating them all. If you continue these unfounded and imflammatory insinuations, I will not hesitate to cease this discussion.

    “The process of making absinthe releases oils, doesn’t it?” – Yes it does. Cooking does as well. However, studies have shown that ethanol inhibits the toxic effects of high levels of thujone.

    The study on mice found the LD50 at around 45 mg/kg and LD100 at around 60 mg/kg. However if they administered 1 g/kg of ethanol to the mouse before they gave it thujone it could survive an otherwise lethal dose of 100 mg/kg thujone.

    If that is the case in humans, then not only will you die many times over of ethanol poisoning before you reach dangerous doses of thujone but as the ethanol is killing you it is protecting you from thujone poisoning.

    And as for ‘tripping ballz’, how many more times do I need to explain it?

    Still eagerly awaiting your response regarding this question I posted earlier:

    [This despite the fact that chemical effects on the brain cannot be objectively studied at this time.]
    And what of the article you cited in the other thread, studying the effects of thujone? Are you saying your own source data is incorrect???

  65. B. - Formerly anonymous

    FYI, hyssop also has comparable levels of thujone. It is also one of the primary ingredients in Benedictine, and an ingredient in Chatreuse. Have you experienced these effects with those as well?

  66. B. - Formerly anonymous

    damned typos…

  67. B. - Formerly anonymous

    All of these plants contain thujone. Many have also been used in producing different liquors:

    Tansy — Tanacetum vulgare L.
    Artemisia Spp
    Common Sage — Salvia officinalis L.
    gum rockrose — Cistus ladaniferus L.
    Rosemary — Rosmarinus officinalis L.
    Winter Savory — Satureja montana L.
    Micromeria croatica
    Micromeria juliana
    Micromeria thymifolia
    Hyssop — Hyssopus officinalis L.
    Cordoba’ Sage — Salvia gilliesii BENTH.
    Spike Lavender — Lavandula latifolia MEDIK.
    Acinos alpinus var. meridionalis
    Spanish Heal-All — Cleonia lusitanica (L.) L.
    Greek Sage — Salvia triloba L.
    Golden Germander — Teucrium polium var. valentinum
    Applemint — Mentha x rotundifolia (L.) HUDSON
    Slenderleaf Mountain Mint — Pycnanthemum tenuifolium
    European Pennyroyal — Mentha pulegium L.
    Balkan Sideritis — Sideritis scardica GRISEB.
    Orosped Thyme — Thymus orospedanus H. del VILLAR

  68. A specific chemical, is a specific chemical, no matter where it came from or how you got it. The thujone you get when chewing on Sage is the same thujone you get when extracting it from wormwood. This is what makes the FDAs regulation so laughable.

  69. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Many of the above plants are also on the FDA list as substances considered safe.

  70. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Ah, Ari! The perfect time for you to arrive. : ) I’ve been pulling some information from your scholarly research. Thanks for all of your efforts by the way.

  71. B, please do not take offence. I have the highest respect for you, and the quality of your arguments. I am certainly not suggesting that your opinions are bigoted! I am also not questioning your very obvious erudition, nor your experience of other cultures. I was most grateful for your remarks about Ordinaire and Don Quixote, for example.

    What I said was: “Your comments about “a certain crowd” may be based upon ethnocentric values. As with this “ballz tripping” phrase, I am not sure what you mean” ….”AS WITH” means that I do know what you mean by “a certain crowd”. Human beings?

    There may be ” a certain crowd” that you are making reference to from a cultural perspective, that I do not understand. I do not think that you can ascribe the charachteristic of “wishing to get high” to any “crowd”. Can you?

    “ethnocentric” may carry a perjorative sense, which was not my intention.

  72. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Whe I speak about the crowd wishing to get high, I’m talking about the people who are looking to get high.

    Ever read through some of the Erowid forums? I would consider the people who post there as a ‘certain crowd wishing to get high’.

  73. “I’m talking about the people who are looking to get high”

    There is a convenient cordon sanitaire between those that quaff a Chateau Cantemerle, and those that seek another form of liquid “high”? Won’t CC make you intoxicated? Where’s the line?

  74. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Oh come on. There’s a difference between someone drinking something to get drunk, and someone drinking something that they think is hallucinogenic so they can ‘trip ballz’.

    Now you’re just stretching.

  75. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Also, I don’t know anyone who would drop a few hundred dollars on a bottle of wine, and drink it just to get drunk.

    I do, however, know plenty of people who would buy something that they think tastes nasty, and whack it back just to try to ‘get the effects’.

  76. “Now you’re just stretching”

    Many people drink absinthe to get drunk. It’s high proof. There is a reported sensation that is associated – a kind of clear headed inebriation. I wouldn’t call it hallucinogenic, as I have said, but I can understand why others might.

    I think that there is a big difference between a glass of absinthe and a glass of scotch. What is that? You know what I mean, B.

  77. B. - Formerly anonymous

    I get the same feeling from absenta as I do from absinthe, which shows that the stimulation I’m feeling is either psychosomatic, or created by the anethole from anis and fennel.

    I do not, however hallucinate. Hallucinate:
    1. a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images.
    2. the sensation caused by a hallucinatory condition or the object or scene visualized.
    3. a false notion, belief, or impression; illusion; delusion.

    Czech word for hallucination: halucinace

    Conclusion: based on the above vocabulary, you’d be hard pressed to find a way to convince me it’s a ‘language barrier’ that causes them to use that term in their advertising.

  78. B. - Formerly anonymous

    By the way, I meant to say Absente, the U.S. produced absinthe substitute (thujone free).

    I also get it from Arak, Pastis and Ouzo.

  79. “or created by the anethole from anis and fennel”

    But not an amalgam of anis, fennel and wormwood? Convenient.

    “visual or auditory images”

    Visual and auditory distortion are also a known effect of alcohol. Noise sensitivity is a condition of post – alcohol syndrome… and double vision? Your point is? Semantics.

    “I get the same feeling from absenta”

    Brain chemistry can also allow negative suggestion.

  80. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “But not an amalgam of anis, fennel and wormwood? Convenient.” Obviously not, if you can get the same reaction from something that DOESN’T CONTAIN WORMWOOD! At that point, the addition of wormwood would be a moot point, since the stimulation is there with or without it.

    Are you now defending their use of the word hallucinogen?

    You’re again trying to spin fact. The definition says “a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind…usually manifested as visual or auditory images.

    That’s not distortion. That’s images/sounds/feelings, etc created by the mind.

    I can’t believe that someone like you, who is holding themselves out as an educated person, would try to argue the meaning of the word hallucination. That’s absolutely absurd.

    How do you expect to have a meaningful discussion when you make arguments like that?

    “negative suggestion” – so even though I know I’m not drinking absinthe, when I’m drinking Ouzo or Arak, I’m convincing myself that they are close enough to create the same effects? Please.

    You’re not arguing with anything concrete. You keep trying to use vagueries and spin in reaction to facts that I put forth.

  81. B. - Formerly anonymous

    And please don’t try to argue that what I’ve said isn’t fact, but opinion. You’ve tried that before, but the only people that have produced any fact (i.e. results of studies, scholarly research, personal experience, etc etc). It’s meaningless. You know what a fact is, and you know what an opinion is. You’re smart enough to differentiate the two.

  82. “But not an amalgam of anis, fennel and wormwood? Convenient”

    Keep your hair on. Anethole is a “chemical precursor for paramethoxyamphetamine” How do you know what happens when you add thujone to the herbal amalgam?

    “if you can get the same reaction from something that DOESN’T CONTAIN WORMWOOD”

    That’s just your experience. I have suggested that your mindset is not a desirable objective standard.

    You are quoting technical definitions of the term “hallucinogen”, and I was merely pointing out that the effect of alcohol can be viewed as hallucinognic if one wishes. Semantics. You have a particular position and this colours your use of language. It is also very apparent in your use of the term “crowd” in my humble opinion.

    “I can’t believe that someone like you, who is holding themselves out as an educated person”

    I never claimed that. I am just an interested diletante.

  83. B. - Formerly anonymous

    How can one use anything other than the technical definition of the word hallucinogen, when the company says specifically that the drink is hallucinogenic?

    Do you think anyone in their right mind would read that, and think that they meant “This drink will get you drunk”? No.

    Any normal, rational person would deduce that they are making a claim that you will see things/hear things, etc.

    You’ve come to their defense, but you argue your point rather poorly.

    If you sit there and tell me that you would assume anything other than what I’ve stipulated above, then there is no point in discussing it any further, as you cannot have a rational discussion with an irrational person.

  84. “an irrational person”

    I have no idea what this ad hominem remark means. If you are currently reading Graham Robb, then I might take it as a compliment.

    “there is no point in discussing it any further”

    Could be so. Your arguments are certainly more considered than the usaual tripe we hear, but they come from the same stable. If you declared an interest that might help us see your position. Are you an absintheur?, a chemist manufacturer? or just a a passionate diletante like me? Speak up now.

  85. B. - Formerly anonymous

    My arguments come from no stable. They come from my personal studies on the matter, as well as personal tastings of more absinthes than most people see in their lifetimes. None of which, by the way, have made me hallucinate in ANY sense of the word.

    I’ve already declared my interests. Having to say it again shows me that you aren’t even reading have of what is put forth in this and any of the previous threads.

    I am most certainly an absintheur. I have tried dozens upon dozens of different types of absinthes/absinths, etc. I have a current collection of over 40 types, including czech brands and others. Not included in that 40, I also have more than a dozen vintage bottles dating anywhere from 1910 to 1935.

    I’ve travelled to several different countries studying the history of absinthe, and have attended seminars on the subject put on by the foremost absinthe historians in the field.

    By the way, it’s not an attack when I called you irrational. Your argument regarding the syntax used for the word hallucinogen was exactly that: irrational.

    Please answer the question above regarding what a normal person reading that advertisement would think.

  86. We both agree that absinthe drinking has an effect. Probably caused by an amalgam of anise, fennel – anethole being the chemical precursor for paramethoxyamphetamine – and thujone.

    Someone decides to call this effect : hallucinogenic. I wouldn’t use that phrase, but I understand why it was used. The enhanced cognitive function and audio-visual stimulation, that is the reported experience of some absinthe drinkers, might be termed hallucinogenic.

    Didn’t Oscar Wilde feel flowers brushing against his leg? “After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not”

    Any idea who wrote this:

    “Remember that absinthe was first created in Switzerland. We didn’t have so much time as the French to write books about it, because we were always drinking it!”

    This may be the first case of absinthe induced anthropomorphism.

  87. B. - Formerly anonymous

    I’ve already addressed the poetic and artistic license that writers have used regarding absinthe. They’ve used the same freedom to describe many other things as well.

    I’m tired of arguing in circles.

    Other than in poetry and art, who do YOU personally know that has experienced “audio-visual stimulation”? Please invite them to post here.

    I’d like to find out what they drank, and how much of it. I probably have a bottle of whatever absinthe they drank, so I’d be happy to faithfully reproduce their experiment with several willing participants.

    Funny how the only tales of hallucinations are second hand, and never specify what brand, and how much was drank. I’ve drank absinthe with literally hundreds of people over the past 10 years, and not a one has experienced anything that could be described as hallucinations.

    The only people I know who have had those effects are people who drank absinthe in combination with other drugs that are already known to cause hallucinatory behavior. Yet, somehow, they end up blaming the visions on absinthe, and not the acid, peyote, opium, or whatever else they were taking.

    “Remember that absinthe was first created in Switzerland. We didn’t have so much time as the French to write books about it, because we were always drinking it!”

    I know exactly where you got that quote from. But what exactly does it have to do with anything? And how do you consider it anthropomorphism?

  88. The individual is using cyberspace to exist as a bottle of absinthe with a geriatric female personality. The attribution of human qualities to inanamte objects is defined as anthromorphism. This is perhaps delusional anthromorphism.

    “I’ve drank absinthe with literally hundreds of people over the past 10 years, and not a one has experienced anything that could be described as hallucinations”

    How can you presume to understand the effect on another party? It’s a question of definition – you don’t like the term for some reason. So, use another to describe the effects of absinthe. Feel free, what is your suggestion?

  89. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Slight stimulation and/or clearheadedness is the furthest I would go to describe the secondary effects of absinthe. The same effect I get when drinking a coffee based coctail, or a red bull and vodka.

    I’ve never experienced “audio-visual stimulation” at all, and neither has anyone I’ve drank it with.

    “How can you presume to understand the effect on another party?”

    Oh, I don’t know, maybe from talking to them???? I’ve brought many people over to my home to drink absinthe because they ‘think’ they are going to get high and/or hallucinate.

    Although I never tell them that they won’t, I follow through with the experiment by gauging their reactions. And even though all of them fully expected to hallucinate or get high, none of them have. The only reported ‘secondary effect’ was the same as I mentioned above.

    Yes, I’m doing my part in researching the effects of absinthe, and doing so impartially.

    I’ve even started with the stronger Czech brands (and even your beloved Bairnsfather bitter), because of their high thujone levels, because that’s what everyone thinks is going to get them to ‘trip ballz’ the fastest. But to date, not one tulip. : )

    And although many of them can’t stand the taste of czech brands (some don’t mind it, but none of them have loved it), most of them HAVE enjoyed some of the higher quality absinthes including the Jades (1901 is one of my favorites), 1797, L’Artisanale, Eichelberger, Wormwood Blanche, La Clandestine, and many HG absinthes based on historical recipes that I’ve collected during my travels. Bairnsfather isn’t ‘bad’ per se, like many other Czech brands, but it does lack a depth of flavor and mouth feel. It’s certainly drinkable, but there’s much better out there.

    It’s similar to comparing J&B scotch to Johnny Walker Blue Label.

  90. Well, I am not as well heeled as you. I also don’t think I like the idea of inviting people to my home and conducting experiments on them.

    I am not at all surprised that Jade is top on your list. Ahem…did you try that tobacco drink that was cooked up in New Orleans. Any noticeable effects, there?

  91. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Again the spin. I wasn’t conducting experiments. I was having drinks with friends. There’s nothing wrong with that in the slightest.

    And why would you say you’re not surprised that Jade is at the top of my list?

  92. Take a look at the life of Tycho Brahe, an astronomer- alchemist at the court of Rudolf II.

  93. I forgot to reply to “Drunken Master” – (master of what one wonders?)

    Hieronymous Brunschwig “Das Buch zu Distillieren” :1500.

    Portae: 1570

  94. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Please provide a link the above document.

  95. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Also, DM had said: “What you need is a primary historical document the proves that absinthe in Czech bohemia predates its earliest mention of Pliny the Elder.”

    Pliny died in 79 A.D. Your source was from 1500 A.D.

  96. Try the national library at Berlin.

    We are talking about wormwood distillation in the age of alchemy – not Pliny, irrelevant.

    Talking of alchemists, conducted any “experiments” this weekend?

  97. B. - Formerly anonymous

    I don’t appreciate your immature sarcasm. It gets you nowhere and doesn’t build a lot of respect for you or your position.

  98. Drunken Master

    Pliny and Galen are NOT irrelevent: they both mentioned alchoholic infusions of wormwood centuries before you claim that czech bohemian “alchemists” invented the same thing!

    Also, you need to place the semantic shenanigans to the side: anyone who claims that absinthe causes hallucinations is lying, period., and you know it.

    So unless you can produce a primary historical document from czech bohemia that predates the 2nd century, this discussion seems to be at a standstill.

  99. Do you understand that alchemists were using stills? That is the point. Do take a look at Hieronymous Brunschwig and Portae if you have the opportunity.

    Coffee table history books about absinthe won’t help much.

    Thujone (yawn)..Why don’t you build a time machine Drunken Master..you could then argue your point with Rimbaud, Wilde, Cros. etc., If that proves a problem try:

    Wilfred Niels Arnold of the University of Kansas Medical Cente,r or Karin M. Höld, Nilantha S. Sirisoma, John E. Casida at Berkeley.

  100. Where did he say thujone? Or did you just equate “hallucinations” with “thujone”?

    “Rimbaud, Wilde, Cros.”
    What would they know about tjones?

    “Wilfred Niels Arnold of the University of Kansas”
    Who’s late 80s and early 90s paper used an estimate with no solid evidence and is outdated.

    “Karin M. Höld et al”
    Who’s paper provides evidence against the thujone myth.

    I’m not sure of your point, what was it?

  101. “Drunken Master” and his girlfriend are back at:


    This sounds like Alan – or perhaps he’s handing out hymn sheets? LOL

    Mod: No more flame wars on this thread 😡

  102. So, keeping mildly on track, what was your point in your previous post on this entry?

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