Lucid : zero thujone absinthe?

Lucid Absinth

Interesting news from America: Yet ANOTHER thujone free absinthe is about to appear, competing with bizarre performer Marilyn Manson’s “Mansinthe”. It’s called Lucid absinthe – a name perhaps derived from this quote from  creator Ted Breaux:

“The thing about absinthe is, despite the alcohol you feel very lucid,” Breaux says. “If you look at the different herbs that are used in absinthe, they’re employed in very high concentrations, and those herbs have different effects. Some are excitatory, some are sedative. So it’s kind of like an herbal speedball. It’s a very subtle thing. Absinthe is not like taking an illicit drug. That’s all highly exaggerated.”

As the drink presumably has absolutely no thujone content (if it did it would be illegal in the USA) it will be interesting to see how it fairs as “an herbal speedball” The strange bottle might compensate for the lack of thujone, but even that has already ruffled some feathers in absinthe communities. Lucid absinthe clocks in with a very moderate 62% alcohol and, according to the manufacturer, “Lucid’s color may appear slightly different from one bottle to the next” Is it even green?

69 responses to “Lucid : zero thujone absinthe?

  1. Great pic!
    What a bottle with those accusing eyes!
    LOL
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles

  2. LOL! It is apparently something to do with your own great poet, Rimbaud!! and Le Chat Noir….according to our American friends😉

  3. According to another poster, Vapeur, there is a hint that Lucid absinthe may even contain a bit of thujone! This means there will be a stampede of low thujone absinthe products to the USA – Lucid is an EU manufactured product, and there are many others with very low thujone mg/l level and a much older pedigree.

    This assumes that the FDA have not accepted the EU imposed limits, and then the whole ball game changes.

  4. So is Lucid absinthe thujone free or not?

  5. “Some are excitatory, some are sedative”

    I would like to know which herb is “excitatory” and which “sedative”. As one Ted Breaux product is now FDA approved, I assume he will share this information with the absinthe drinking community.

  6. I believe that it is not marketed as ‘thujone free’ but rather ‘low thujone.’ This, suffice it to say means that they more than likely have used a cultivar of A. Absinthium which has been selected because if its low thujone content. This most likely works because the method by which it is prescribed that the FDA tests for thujone is rather antiquated and my guess is that when the thujone level is small enough the test cannot detect it, thereby making it legal for sale in the US.

    Further, and example of an “excitatory” chemical within one of the herbs used in a traditional absinthe (i.g. not most [if any of] the ones you sell on this site, or have linked for sale) would be fenchone contained within fennel. There are many chemicals contained within the herbs used to distill traditional absinthe and they all have very real effects. Fenchone in fact has other uses such as increasing efficacy of hydrophilic drugs (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11250108&dopt=Citation)
    and oddly enough is metabolized via the Cytochrome P450-2A6 and 2B6 (http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/29/12/29_2354/_article) which means that it can even cause problems with other drugs which are metabolized via those two enzymes (2A6 and 2B6). One such drug is Warfarin (Coumadin) which is a common anticoagulant. There others, but the point is that while you may have some sort of disdain T.A. Breaux, one thing those of us in the absinthe community as a whole have not found him to be is a liar. Further, there’s no need for him to share his information, it’s public knowledge all one need do is look.

    I’d also like to address your comment on the possible color variation of his product. While I have obviously yet to taste it, it seems to me that a person with the name of “Dr. Absinthe” ought to know that a traditionally crafted absinthe will have variations in color due to the dynamic nature of the coloring process. Cheaper, mass produced, and normally Czech-style absinthes will generally have coloring added artificially, making your comment about color fluctuation only relevant to a lower class of absinthes.

    Good luck. Feel free to email me if you’d like some links, it seems a little more reading might be in order.

    S.

  7. So an official test says a product has NO thujone, but it is then sold to American consumers as LOW thujone! This is an extraordinary notion, in my opinion.

    What level of thujone are we talking here to outwit the FDA test? 0.5 or 0.05, or 0.005?

    US Customs and Border Protection STATE: “The importation of Absinthe and any other liquors or liqueurs that contain Artemisia absinthium is prohibited.” So, you’ve past the NO thujone test, how do you pass Customs? This liquid is already being supplied to New York Times journalists, so it is not an academic question.

  8. Shinsain (aka Aaron) has commented elsewhere on his speculation about the FDA test:

    Oh, and Alan, was that you who posted that Dr. Absinthe link? What a tool. That idiot really made me mad, so I posted a response. Did anyone notice that he’s got a “Czech Absinthe Buyer’s Guide?” I chuckled when I saw that and thought “Wow…that ought to be a blank page.” But alas, it was pages of brands with the ability to leave reviews. I wonder if he filters the ones that say stuff like “This shit tastes like Windex, Dr. Absinthe! I want my money back you asshole!” Probably does.

    Also, I read someone also on here said that their idea is that the method for thujone detection here in the US is probably to old and not finite enough to detect low levels of thujone? That was mine as well. I posted that on Dr. Assbinth’s site. It’s funny that two of us had the same thought. I’d guess that somewhere on the way to less than one mg. is undetectable, but that’s only speculation from looking the way they do the analysis. It’s a very simple and outdated thing. I’d never looked at it before today…my gosh.

    Aaron

    Source: Wormwood Society.

    For the record: I do not FILTER any remarks made by anyone.

  9. Very uncouth language, where do these people come from?

    Aaron’s point about outwitting the FDA test is just silly self-aggrandizing speculation. Still, if Lucid absinthe is already being served to journalists in New York City, it must have been cleared by the FDA.

    Why can’t Ted Breaux tell us the basis for this FDA clearance? If it has no thujone – fine, why not say so? It then falls into the same category as absente, which is already widely available in the USA as absinthe redefined (i.e without thujone content)

    Technical question: Is it possible to have a NO thujone bearing variety of Artemisia absinthium? I assume that this would need to be genetically modified?

  10. Doesn’t Absente have ZERO thujone content becuase it uses Artemisia abrotanum and not Artemisia absinthium?

  11. Well, I hadn’t wanted my personal comments to make it here, I would have rather kept it less personal…but the bubble’s burst I guess, so what the hell.

    1. Do not take me as a representative of the whole of the Wormwood Society population. I am an individual among them who when in friendly company uses unprofessional language and speaks my mind. That said, I call it like I see it…my variation on them is that I can’t stand bullshit. So please, have a mind to separate me from them, thanks.

    2. My *guess* was that it will be marketed as “low thujone,” but the Lucid website actually makes no mention of how it will be marketed. After reexamining their site it occurs to me that they will probably make no mention of it whatsoever in marketing as they have yet to do so. On whether Lucid contains thujone, their site states simply “Lucid has been tested and it meets US and EU standards for content.” So speculate away. They obviously know that thujone hype plays a role more in marketing lower quality drinks.

    2. As to the method of analysis I would guess that somewhere lower than one mg, however, upon reading the methods again, I’d revise that to say less than .5mg. You should read the method sometime it’s fun reading. Of course, it does require a basic knowledge of chemistry to understand.

    3. While the US Customs does prohibit importing absinthe , or “A. Absinthium containing liquor or liqueurs” rather, the statute does not reference which law this statement is based upon. If you can find it, please let me know, many of us have been eagerly awaiting it’s discovery for some time.

    4. Many Artemisia species contain thujone, not just A. Absinthium (you *should* know this). There has been some speculation that Absente itself (the US version) may actually contain some, although I’d highly doubt anyone’s going to pay for a GC/MS test to find out.

    Further, the requirement for absinthe to be “absinthe” has nothing to do with thujone. It in fact has almost everything to do with A. Absinthium. So, the whether or not it contains thujone, as long as the sub species A. absinthium is used, it will not be in the same category as Absente as Absente is not an absinthe.

    5. It should also be noted that the FDA’s regulation technically prohibits the use of ALL Artemisia species in food/for human consumption. Not to mention that finished food must be thujone free. You’d better clear your kitchen of Sage and Juniper my friend! In fact, Gin’s got to go too.

    6. It’s a shame that the apex of your issues with Lucid seem to be “Will it be NO thujone, or LOW thujone Ted?” When in point of fact, it doesn’t matter and you’re missing the point.

    Oddly enough, if I didn’t know better I’d say you have some personal issue with Ted. Is that the reason you’re quibbling over the semantics of thujone? You are, after all, “Dr. Absinthe” are you not? You do of course know that thujone makes no difference in absinthe, so why the focus on such an irrelevant issue?

  12. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “You do of course know that thujone makes no difference in absinthe, so why the focus on such an irrelevant issue?”
    Because that’s been the basis of his argument for months now! For some reason, Drabsinthe needs to try to prove his point that thujone is so important, and it’s ‘effects’ are the only reason to drink it, hence his continual references to Bairnsfather, which he states gives the strongest effects of those that he drinks.

    He still has yet to realize (or at least acknowledge) that the effects he speaks of are from the other herbs and botanicals in absinthe, and not from the thujone.

    “Why can’t Ted Breaux tell us the basis for this FDA clearance?”

    Um, how about trade secrets or proprietary methods? I’m sure he will explain the FDAs decision, but I would never expect him to divulge anything that might weaken his position with his competition.

    “It then falls into the same category as absente, which is already widely available in the USA as absinthe redefined.”

    Absente isn’t absinthe. It neither tastes like true absinthe, nor is it produced like true absinthe.

    And to answer your questions, yet again, about the legitimacy of the brand, I’ll quote my passage from a previous thread:

    As for Lucid, finished product is made by Viridian LLC, which is a U.S. based company formed by the following people:
    corporate attorney Jared Gurfein (formerly of Skadden Arps, NTL Incorporated and Jones Day), and includes partners Simon, Jerome and Leon Falic (whose major holdings include Duty Free Americas and luxury brands such as Christian Lacroix, Hard Candy, Urban Decay and the license to manufacture Perry Ellis fragrances and cosmetics); Jonathan Bonchick (formerly with Brown-Forman and currently with Duty Free Americas); and Eddie Soleymani and Leon Redensky (co-founders and Managing Directors of Lynx Capital Partners, LLC, an equity trading firm).

    Obviously, these people have done their homework, and found that Grande Wormwood, as an ingredient is not illegal, as long as the finished product passes current testing procedures for detecting thujone.

    I’m sure we’ll be finding out much more on these issues in the coming weeks, but don’t expect someone like Ted or the FDA to bow to Drabsinthe’s demands to come out with it RIGHT NOW!

  13. “the FDA to bow to Drabsinthe’s demands to come out with it RIGHT NOW”

    Why can’t the rest of the absinthe industry be allowed to also offer the American consumer their products?

    If there has been a dramatic policy shift by a US Govt body, then it is right and proper to put this information in the public domain immediately, and allow others access to this market.

    B, there are many absinthes with low thujone content available. There was no need for anyone to create a new one!

    “these people have done their homework, and found that Grande Wormwood, as an ingredient is not illegal, as long as the finished product passes current testing procedures for detecting thujone”

    This argument, which was also raised by Aaron, seems very extraordinary. You pass an official Govt. test that says a product has NO thujone – and is therefore legal – and then proceed to market the product as LOW thujone? Anyway, we simply don’t know as the whole affair is shrouded in mystery.

    Where has Lucid, or Ted, said this is LOW thujone, please? I simply want to know the facts – why all these smoke and mirrors?

  14. “The good news is, given that the first real absinthe to be approved in the U.S. in the past 95 years”

    T. Breaux (Wormwood Society)

  15. 5) Green Fairy Returns To New World
    For those of us who’ve been sweating smuggling Absinthe from Prague back to the States, I have some wonderful news. The tasty, near-toxic treat may soon be appearing in a liquor store near you. That’s right, the New York Times is reporting that Viridian Spirits has hired “Ted Breaux, a chemist known for his detailed analyses of vintage absinthes,” (sounds like a guy I knew in college), to “produce an absinthe that would pass regulatory muster with American authorities.” The end result is Lucid (124 proof), “the first legal, genuine American absinthe in nearly a century,” which will be available starting next month for $59.95 per 750ml. Please lose your mind responsibly.

    Source: Washington Post

  16. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “Why can’t the rest of the absinthe industry be allowed to also offer the American consumer their products?”

    I’m sure they could, if they went to the expense of getting the FDA to test them, and make sure they pass their regulatory restrictions.

    “If there has been a dramatic policy shift by a US Govt body, then it is right and proper to put this information in the public domain immediately, and allow others access to this market.”

    We don’t even know if there has been a shift yet. Are you familiar with the federal government Drab? Sometimes it takes AGES for information to become public. That’s not because they are trying to withhold information, it’s just due to slow moving government processes. RELAX!

    “There was no need for anyone to create a new one!”

    Obviously there was, since it’s the only one currently being allowed into the U.S. So, are you saying no new brands should ever be created? That wouldn’t be too good for business, would it?

    “You pass an official Govt. test that says a product has NO thujone – and is therefore legal – and then proceed to market the product as LOW thujone?”

    We don’t know what the government’s testing procedure actually is. You are presuming, dear sir.

    “Anyway, we simply don’t know as the whole affair is shrouded in mystery.”
    As are most new business practices as they are first coming out. I don’t understand how you don’t get that.

    There’s no smoke and mirrors, it’s new information that has been worked on behind closed doors, as all new business is done, and information will be coming out as the product and the sales begin. It’s still in it’s infancy.

    It seems to me that, if other producers REALLY wanted to get approved, they would have explored the options already, and would be aware of the process and the testing procedures. If they haven’t, it’s just laziness on their part.

  17. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “Source: Washington Post”

    More media drivel.

  18. “Why can’t the rest of the absinthe industry be allowed to also offer the American consumer their products?”

    – I’m guessing because most producers/importers/distillers, etc. are European and do not have the multitudes of American absintheurs in mind when they develop/mold their business model. Not only that, but a good bit of distilleries are smaller operations without the backing of larger distributors. This would say to me that they have neither the thought in the front of their mind to distribute to America nor do they have the capital to undertake the odyssey. The fact that the *perception* seems to be that absinthe and importation of absinthe in general are “illegal” probably plays a lot into it. Of course, the reality is that the laws (of which there are none…laws mind you) — or rather the regulations are fairly shaky and able to be circumvented.

    “If there has been a dramatic policy shift by a US Govt body, then it is right and proper to put this information in the public domain immediately, and allow others access to this market.”

    – There hasn’t been. Someone with capital is finally giving it a go, however, and probably realizing that there are way to skirt the regulations to their advantage.

    “B, there are many absinthes with low thujone content available. There was no need for anyone to create a new one!”

    – Marketed as such? Because unless thujone or oil of A.A. is added (such ones in France must be titled as “Amer” or “Bitters” to be legal), almost all historical and modern *real* absinthes (i.e. NOTHING Czech…well, I take that back, there’s ONE Czech one that is actually produced as absinthe) contained very little thujone. In one study the average was 1.3-1.6mg/kg of α and β-thujone! The study had not only a vintage 1930’s Pernod Tarragonna but other contemporary, traditionally produced absinthes from the Val-de-Travers (http://www.fsijournal.org/article/PIIS0379073805001945/fulltext).

    So, I guess you are correct…almost all traditional absinthes are “low thujone.”

    “This argument, which was also raised by Aaron, seems very extraordinary. You pass an official Govt. test that says a product has NO thujone – and is therefore legal – and then proceed to market the product as LOW thujone? Anyway, we simply don’t know as the whole affair is shrouded in mystery.

    Where has Lucid, or Ted, said this is LOW thujone, please? I simply want to know the facts – why all these smoke and mirrors?”

    – There’s no “smoke and mirrors” — you simply cannot correctly follow and interpret the discussion as of yet. You’re too busy concentrating on your Ted-bashing to actually *read* what has been written. My *speculation* was that IF marketed with ANY words relating to thujone, it would say “low thujone” as opposed to “no thujone.” Though, after reading their site, I’d doubt that will be the case. I expect Ted to take the high road. That said, I’d doubt there will be any mention of it at all on the bottle.
    ______________________________________

    I’m still waiting on a reply to my other post.

    If you’d like, it’s obvious now that you’re on the Wormdood Society, so why not come on there and we’ll get this discussion cranked up a notch. I’m sure this topic is begging for more views than the few people who stumble upon your blog daily and this has been quite fun.

    It is true that your opinions (and choice of absinthe-style drink) may not be favored on there, but I think if we laid out terms for this discussion, or heck, any discussion you’d like, that they’d let us have our own thread and not interfere.

    And I’ll even leave my personal feelings out of it. You’ve been courteous enough to to it on your site as well, so I think it could be done.

  19. DrAbsinthe, “You pass an official Govt. test that says a product has NO thujone – and is therefore legal – and then proceed to market the product as LOW thujone?”

    Well technically the regulation says that any products using artemisia species must appear thujone free based on their testing. The fact they use an outdated testing method is their problem.
    Although I really don’t expect the product to be marketed on thujone anyway.

    “B, there are many absinthes with low thujone content available.”

    Frankly I would be surprised if more haven’t attempted to meet regulations, or at least considered it and thought of it as a bad idea (since thujone is connected to so many marketing claims, it might not be in a companies best interest to undercut their own marketing).

  20. “i.e. NOTHING Czech…well, I take that back, there’s ONE Czech one that is actually produced as absinthe)”

    Which absinthe gets your approval, Aaron?

    “since thujone is connected to so many marketing claims, it might not be in a companies best interest”

    This is the reason for all this “confusion” about thujone free Lucid, Ari? That is my guess, and I feel sorry they decided to not openly declare the thujone level & how it relates to FDA approval. This was a mistake:

    The questionable thujone free nature of Lucid seems to be a hot topic amongst American absinthe drinkers:

    (i) “Is this Absinthe? It’s got the wormwood, so it seems to qualify. With no wormwood it’s a pastis, but this has the wormwood sans Thujone. It’s seems like a perversion of nature”

    (ii) “I just polished off a nice bottle of Verte Suisse. I liked it very much. Would I want some Lucid if it tasted just like the Verte Suisse but without the Thujone? I don’t know. It just seems wrong somehow”

    (iii)”I have inside sources and have known about this for quite some time. I also know that a $15 bottle of Arak will taste more like Abisnthe than this rip-off piece of xit. This is a freakin’ joke”

    http://www.louchedlounge.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4574

    It’s a shame that this product has had such an ignominious birth; this might have been avoided if we were given the facts of the matter up front, and not the spin.

  21. Chemist and New Orleans native Ted Breaux has figured a way to extract the thujone element that has taken the blame over the years for inducing hallucination, disorientation and sheer madness.

    Mr. Breaux sent his new absinthe recipe to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and guess what? It passed! Next step – import as Breaux happens to be working in France. Up steps Viridian Spirits of New York, and now we’re looking at $60 for a 750-milliliter bottle of legal and safe absinthe, called, “Lucid.”

    Source: North Lake Tahoe Bonaza

    Note about the author: McAvoy Layne lives in Incline Village and visits schools throughout Nevada as the ghost of Mark Twain🙂

  22. (1) and (11) are from a new poster who is either joking or doesn’t understand the lounge. (111) is from Jack. I would hardly call that a hot topic among american absinthe drinkers.

    Drabsinthe wants facts up front and no spin. I will hold you to that next time we talk about absinthe and it’s marketing especially by French, German and Czech companies (among others) that promote high-thujone and/or hallucinations.

    I’m curious how you think Lucid is being ‘spun’?

  23. >I’m curious how you think Lucid is being ’spun’?

    Obfuscation over Lucid’s thujone status, and how it relates to FDA approval for this drink. Markus Lion didn’t do it with Mansinthe, so why can’t T.A. Breaux say ONE WAY or THE OTHER whether this drink is thujone bearing?

    This tawdry affair scuppers any remaining hope that Stateside thujone regulation over absinthe will be rescinded. This closes the door to the real artisnal absinthe range, and allows in only non thujone absinthe mutants.

  24. where can buy lucid? i wanna play with the pussy cat of absinthe

  25. Lucid does not appear to be of the same category as Absente and/or Mansinthe.

    As per a previous blog, Mansinthe isn’t distilled from Artemisia absinthium, Lucid is.

    Absente (U.S. version) isn’t distilled from Artemisia absinthium. In fact, I’m doubtful as to if it is distilled at all.

    Lucid is distilled from “a full measure of Artemisia absinthium”.

    FYI

  26. Vapeur, Artemisia absinthium: is it a mutation variety? Ari already mentioned elsewhere that such a genetic variety was refered to in a 2005 report. I assume this is a “Frankenstein” variety of herb created to be non thujone bearing? Won’t it affect the delightful bitterness of real absinthe?

  27. >”so why can’t T.A Breaux say ONE WAY or THE OTHER whether this drink is thujone bearing?

    This tawdry affair scuppers any remaining hope that Stateside thujone regulation over absinthe will be rescinded. This closes the door to the real artisnal absinthe range, and allows in only non thujone absinthe mutants.”

    – My guess is that Ted’s not worrying about it for a couple reasons, A) it’s irrelevant to the drink itself as it is already made with proper ingredients and properly distilled; and B) to avoid lending more hype to the myth of thujone that is so avidly perpetuated by those like yourself.

    And how could this *possibly* hurt the cause of getting outdated and poorly based thujone FDA regulations repealed? Further, this *is* an artisanal *and* traditional absinthe, not a “mutant.”

    It’s obvious you know nothing about the distilling process as well. It is very possible that with practice if one tried (and their goal was specifically the reduction of thujone) they could highly reduce or almost completely stifle thujone levels in the finished product.

    >”Which absinthe gets your approval, Aaron?”

    – Any drink which is correctly produced with the proper base of herbs. Absinthe must be distilled and must contain at minimum Green Anise, Fennel and Grande Wormwood. You should know this as you title yourself as “Dr. Absinthe;” however, many of the absinthes you to peddle and (purportedly, yet doubtfully) drink yourself are not absinthes any more than corn and peat moss soaked in vodka is a single malt Scotch whiskey! If one adds grape juice to Everclear and then dilutes it to the proper alcohol content, is it wine? Hardly.

    Honestly, on a note directly to you, how is it that you’ve come to name yourself “Dr. Absinthe” and NOT know (or rather, if you do, you sure don’t let on) simple facts such as this? A little reading is all that’s required to know such things. and if you did know them it would clear up much of your confusion regarding things like this.

    Dr. Absinthe, you’re like the Bill O’Reily of absinthe. While your whole issue with Lucid and Ted seems to be at best misplaced (and at worst founded in ignorance) some of your statements border on pure absurdity!

    The Wormwood Society debate offer is still open, by the way.

  28. “Dr. Absinthe, you’re like the Bill O’Reily of absinthe”
    😆 😆😀

  29. You are like a drunk who turns up late at a party, Aaron. Acquaint yourself with past discussions:

    (i) The Alan Moss and Hills issue – “wormwood, and that’s in Hills”
    (ii) Doubs, Oxygenee & the misunderstandings
    (iii) Ordinaire as nationalist myth / joke
    (iv) The history of absinthe before the Henroid’s written recipe (including the unresolved issue of it’s description by the person who claims he has held the original)

    I have read the mantra that you post many times before – it is from the hymn sheet of the chemise verte. I do not intend to repeat the arguments of the past. If I was given a piece of cake for every time I’ve heard these “peat” type remarks, then I could feed the people of Truro for a year.

    Don’t bore me with these coffee table historian’s views, nor the misguided absinthe orthodoxy of the Seattle clique.

    >to avoid lending more hype to the myth of thujone that is so avidly perpetuated by those like yourself.

    He is playing the thujone issue well enough, by not denying it’s presence in Lucid absinthe. If it is of so little consequence, why doesn’t he admit that Lucid is thujone free?

    >And how could this *possibly* hurt the cause of getting outdated and poorly based thujone FDA regulations repealed?

    a. It establishes a precedent for thujone free beverages to be sold as absinthe to the American consumer.

    b. It denies the right of American consumers to choose from the excellent range of true thujone bearing absinthe.

    This will not assist in the removal of this law, it will enhance it. A proper lobbying action was required – not the effete pretension of the Wormwood clique – to remove this ban on thujone for good. Instead we have a naff feline predator slipping under the fence!

  30. Actually, no laws have been changed, and the FDA stance on matters absinthe haven’t officially changed. Thujone content is just one sticking point.

    T.A. Breaux (Wormwood Society)

  31. >(ii) Doubs, Oxygenee & the misunderstandings

    Whilst we all know that Lucid Absinthe is made in France there seems to be YET more misunderstanding about Doubs!

    http://buyabsinthe.wordpress.com : an Australian absinthe has been awarded a Gold Medal at some Spirits competition.

    I note that Doubs Premium Absinthe won an award at the same affair in 2006 under the 55% category. Why is this South African absinthe listed as “France”?

    http://www.iwsc.net/productPage.cfm?Page=AwardsS&ProductID=1536

  32. “You are like a drunk who turns up late at a party”

    – I’d rather be a late drunk than the party dunce. You do realize that only unsuspecting bloggers and your one cohort on here take you seriously, right? With a very quick search for easily accessible information any person can expediently rule out any argument you espouse.

    I had thought that maybe you’d take me up on my offer to debate you, but of course a debate would involve citations, which you inevitably will not be able to produce.

    “Acquaint yourself with past discussions:

    (i) The Alan Moss and Hills issue – “wormwood, and that’s in Hills”
    (ii) Doubs, Oxygenee & the misunderstandings
    (iii) Ordinaire as nationalist myth / joke
    (iv) The history of absinthe before the Henroid’s written recipe (including the unresolved issue of it’s description by the person who claims he has held the original)”

    – Where might I acquaint myself with these prior discussions?

    “I have read the mantra that you post many times before – it is from the hymn sheet of the chemise verte. I do not intend to repeat the arguments of the past. If I was given a piece of cake for every time I’ve heard these “peat” type remarks, then I could feed the people of Truro for a year.

    Don’t bore me with these coffee table historian’s views, nor the misguided absinthe orthodoxy of the Seattle clique. ”

    – If you’d read it so many times before, one would assume you’d stop lying about it, eh? Why, I’d hate above all else to bore you with the truth. I apologize for wasting your time, I realize you’ve got to make a buck somehow and if you didn’t lie about thujone, no one would want to buy your swill.

    Do you actually *know* anything about the pharmacology/pharmacokinetics of thujone? I ask in all seriousness. To espouse such a view, it would behoove one to know the purported effects on the human body.

    Again, as I’ve offered above, if you’d like some references or some information, I’d be more than glad to point you in the right direction. It seems you’re more than a little misguided, not to mention a little undereducated in this area to be having this discussion with me.

  33. >I realize you’ve got to make a buck somehow

    Don’t judge others by your own standards. Neither myself, nor my correspondent “B”, have any connection with trade. I am an absinthe dilettante – I do not seek to sell.

    Some of the points that you raise – despite your coarse tone – are worthy of further comment, I will however delay response:

    Penny Merriments; Street Songs of 17th Century England.

    A CD given as a gift and a great joy! Happy Birthday!

  34. >”a little undereducated in this area to be having this discussion with me”

    Really? Given your disgusting language, I wondered if you were educated in anything but the vernacular of the slum. I am not used to talking to people of your “calibre”, that’s true:

    “What a tool…. That idiot…. This sh*t …you a**hole!”

    Do your really expect anyone to think that your opinion is an educacted one? Don’t make me laugh! This is the language of the gutter, and it would “behoove” you to conduct yourself in a more mature manner, unless you wish to be judged as merely a blue collar oik.

    Anway, what is your point about the thujone content of Lucid absinthe? That it is irrelevant? Many disagree, including European Union regulators, http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20000401/fob4.asp etcetera.

    Aaron, if you bothered to read what B and I have discusssed you, would learn that we have reached a form of consensus on the herbal amalgam (including Artemisia absinthium) that is responsible for the effect of absinthe.

    I will turn down your invitation to participate on the Wormwood Society forum- you are Hiram I assume? The reason that you offer is that you wish to humiliate my person -not explore the inconvenient truth – in conjunction with the flamboyant, verbose, patronsing and vulgar inhabitants of that community.

    Do we yet have any further data regarding Lucid’s thujone content? When do you suppose that we will be informed?

    PS: Real wing collars are starched and detachable -they are usually worn at formal dinners. Real absinthe contains thujone -always has, and always will. Ersatz (thujone free) absinthe, like imitation dress shirts, is a modern mutation.

  35. Funny you should mention it, as Wormwood Society member Brooks and myself met Ted and 3 of the guys behind Viridian Spirits last night at a cocktail bar in NYC. They had a bottle of Lucid in tow as well as a bottle of Ted’s Perique liqueur.

    I thought as an entry level US absinthe, Lucid was impressive. While I was in no environment or condition to properly evaluate it (already had a rather strong Pegu club cocktail in me), I thought it smelled clean and floral, and also tasted clean and floral. It was not as full bodied or intense as the Jades or a few other top shelf distilled European imports, but it still tasted good and refreshing. The louche on the first glass poured was average, only partially opaque, but the second glass poured using the Cusenier see-saw Broullier had a great louche that was entirely opaque, so I suppose it’s sensitive to drip rate like most absinthes. As for taste, I remember wormwood being detectable, though not as pronounced as L’Artisinale or PF 1901. I also expected it to be light on the anise given the US market’s tendency to not like anise, but it tasted like it contained an adequate amount of anise, so that was a pleasant surprise. I honestly went in skeptical, and was afraid a US entry product would be more of a Doubs-style product, but Lucid is much better than Doubs, and I would consider it a quality distilled absinthe, albeit a junior absinthe to the higher end Jade or Duplais or L’Artisinale (it’s worth pointing out those are all more expensive). In summary, I don’t expect Lucid to blow away many of the more experienced absinthe drinkers here who have already had outstanding absinthes…..

    It’s also worth pointing out the Viridian guys were very inquisitive and wanted as much feedback as possible about the product and their website, were open to criticism, and genuinely seemed concerned about quality, not just marketability, which is a rare find when it comes to the US liquor market.

    As a side note, it’s also worth mentioning that the Perique Tobacco liqueur is outstanding. It isn’t overly sweet for a liqueur (contains the legal minimum of sugar allowed in a liqueur), and the aftertaste is all the good things about tobacco with none of the bad. If Perique ever becomes legal in the US too I’d probably drink it regularly, though it straddles a weird line between being both an alcohol AND a tobacco product, so the regulatory mountains to climb are double.

    Source: Donnie Darko, Fee Verte

  36. Forbidden Fruit: The Absinthe Drinker by Henry Harrison (a retired neurosurgeon!) note his comments on thujone:

    “brain is an organ which inhibits” “acts on receptors” “extra intellectual stimulation” etc.

  37. Drabsinthe said, “Anway, what is your point about the thujone content of Lucid absinthe? That it is irrelevant? Many disagree, including European Union regulators,”

    The EU regulators are often worried about toxic levels not effects, the paper you mention uses some data we know is false today (260mg/kg thujone).
    (why do you use it as supposed evidence?)

    Drabsinthe “Real absinthe contains thujone -always has, and always will.”

    Why? What evidence do you base this on?
    I find it interesting that people cling to the thujone myth so hard they are arguing over what can turn out to be 1 mg/kg of a substance. Sorry but thujone is not that active nor is it directly linked to how ‘absinthe’ is defined by many. Frankly speaking of ‘effects’ anything under a good couple hundred mg/kg might as well be zero.

  38. First Sip: Lucid Absinthe
    By Nick Fauchald, Senior Associate Food Editor

    Alas, Lucid is thujone-free (or very nearly so). Prepared in the traditional, Rimbaud-era manner—slowly diluted (sometimes over a sugar cube, but absinthists skip this) with ice-cold water until it becomes cloudy (called “louching”) and reaches about a 1:3 concentration—it’s less anise-heavy and more herbal than other “genuine” European absinthes I’ve tried. Cocktails will benefit from this restrained style, but given its un-Bohemian price tag ($60 for 750ml; see drinklucid.com for stores), any wannabe “Absinthe Drinker” should savor it with just a trickle of cold water. And stop drinking if a green fairy asks for a sip.

  39. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “This is the language of the gutter, and it would “behoove” you to conduct yourself in a more mature manner, unless you wish to be judged as merely a blue collar oik.”

    Now you’re turning classist on us? I thought you were poor? At least, you made it seem you didn’t have the resources to buy proper absinthe in previous posts.

    “if you bothered to read what B and I have discusssed you, would learn that we have reached a form of consensus on the herbal amalgam (including Artemisia absinthium) that is responsible for the effect of absinthe.”

    OH NO WE HAVEN’T!!!! I’ve consistently maintainted that it is the anise and fennel in absinthe and NOT thujone that contributes to the stimulant effect. As I’ve said time and time again, I’ve gotten the same feeling with other beverages that have no wormwood in it at all. Don’t try to spin me into your arguments!

    “The reason that you offer is that you wish to humiliate my person -not explore the inconvenient truth – in conjunction with the flamboyant, verbose, patronsing and vulgar inhabitants of that community.”

    Not so. We wish to have a spirited, respectful conversation. The WS is in no way patronising or vulgar. FV might be at times, but the WS has a much more respectful tone.

    You’re just scared. Plain and simple. You know your argument won’t hold water there. Sorry, but the truth hurts.

  40. >Now you’re turning classist on us? I thought you were poor?

    What has economic status got to do with Class? Is that a Canadian thing?

    Don’t you have the term “nouveau riche” in Canada?

    In Europe many of the oldest familes are sadly without wealth, and unable to provide “noblesse oblige”(i) – or maintain the estates stolen from them by criminals (aka Communists).

    I’ll answer your other “u turns” on matters discuused when I see fit (i)

  41. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “What has economic status got to do with Class? Is that a Canadian thing?

    Don’t you have the term “nouveau riche” in Canada?”

    Um… I’m not in Canada…

    You shouldn’t talk about u-turns. You should call yourself Druturn, and you’re much more an expert in that than you are in absinthe!

  42. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “What has economic status got to do with Class? Is that a Canadian thing?”

    I said nothing about economic status, so I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    When you referenced ‘blue collar’, that is a class, not an economic status.

    There are plenty of ‘blue collar’ workers who are very successful and make a lot of money. Were you instead, using it to mean someone poor, or were you doing what I said, and referring to a certain class of workers?

  43. This is a strange conversation🙂

  44. B. - Formerly anonymous

    Ya think?😉

  45. Yes🙂
    More on Lucid:

    Lucid is legal because it has no thujone, or perhaps very little of it depending on who you believe. Blogging Absinthe fans have spilled endless bits and bytes debating whether Absinthe without thujone is Absinthe, but Lucid probably wasn’t made for people who are willing to distill macerations of wormwood, anise, fennel, angelica, veronica, and other herbs and spices at home.
    James Rodewald on Epicurious.

  46. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “Lucid probably wasn’t made for people who are willing to distill macerations of wormwood, anise, fennel, angelica, veronica, and other herbs and spices at home.”

    Not true in the slightest. Many fans of absinthe that I know distill their own (where legal, of course). But that doesn’t prevent them from enjoying well made commercial brands as well. All that I have talked to are excited to try it.

    Articles that present opinion instead of fact don’t really do much, especially if the opinion presented is uninformed, such as the one above.

  47. Where do you think that the writer got the idea that those that ask difficult questions about Lucid are redneck distillers?🙄

    I do not think it is too diffiuclt to work out!

  48. B. - Formerly anonymous

    I woudn’t know if he was talking about ‘redneck’ distillers or not, as I wasn’t able to read the whole passage.

  49. You should visit the opticians then.

    “made for people who are willing to distill …at home” – Id est country folks in the “Dukes of Hazard County” mould.

    Don’t y’all call it moonshine, or something like that? I can’t imagine that the writer was suggesting that someone like a slick New York public relations expert, or a Wall Sreet broker, would have a still in the wardrobe of their penthouse!

    C’mon B, wake up and smell the snake oil.

  50. B. - Formerly anonymous

    ““made for people who are willing to distill …at home” – Id est country folks in the “Dukes of Hazard County” mould.”

    Do not presume you know what you talk about. You are getting dangerously close to becoming bigoted.

    Wake up??? You’re honestly telling ME to wake up? I’m literally laughing out loud at how uninformed and presumptuous you have just made yourself out to be.

    You would be surprised to see how many VERY highly educated people, who are also very financially successful who enjoy distilling their own liquors.

    You’ve just knocked yourself down several pegs on the intelligence and open mindedness scales.

    Sad, really.

  51. Well, I don’t think that is the STEREOTYPE – which is what that piece of PR spin was playing on.

    Home distilling is illegal, isn’t it? The man on the street would assume that the writer was talking about a straw munching moonshiner, and NOT an eminence grise of absinthe.

    We are talking about the PR impact of those crafty words, B. It was a excellent piece of spin intended to negate the influence of crtics.

  52. B. - Formerly anonymous

    “Home distilling is illegal, isn’t it?”

    In the U.S., it most certainlly is illegal withouth a license. Which is why I don’t do it. BUT, there are plenty of people who hold licenses to do so (or don’t have a license and decide to do so anyway).

  53. Someone told me that it is legal in the Czech Republic, I asked someone else and was told “NO”!

    I am still unsure. Of course if you were interested, and it does prove to be legal, you could get yourself a country cottage (or a castle in yr case) in Moravia and grow some wormwood, B!

    Come to think of it, when I have been offered hausgemacht slivovice in Slovakia there was a definite sense of clandestine intrigue, and so I am guessing it is illegal even for personal consumption. I suppose it is sensible as home distillation can cause blindness, right? or is that a myth?

  54. B. - Formerly anonymous

    It most certainly can, if done wrong. Methanol is a natural biproduct, and in high enough doses can blind you, or even result in death.

  55. Do not drink that slivovice that you sometimes see. It does not tatse any better than Jelinek and B is right that it can be dangerous. People make it because of the cost!

    Drink as much burchak as you like though🙂 and smell the Moravian autumn in a glass.

  56. interestingly enough Thujone is naturally present in sage and sage oil both of which being legal and sold in the U.S so all this fuss over Thujone is kind of pointless. All i want is some consistency in American laws and it seems were fresh out of that stuff.

  57. Hello, Your site is great. Regards, Valintino Guxxi

  58. Hello, I heard that the herb Sage has a very high amount of Thujone. Is it possible to mix Sage and Absinthe together to increase the Thujone level of the drink?

  59. Hi

    I don’t know the answer to your question- but here’s the thing: if you want to create a sage / absinthe cocktail I’ll christen it “Qwazar” and publish it for you on the blog🙂

    Photos would be nice too! Contact box is above.

  60. In 2007 the first legally available absinthe was approved for sale in the US. These brands must pass TTB testing, which is an older standard and would appear to have a margin of error of around 10 mg/l thujone . Thus brands that are under the limit ‘officially’ don’t contain thujone even if in actually they do. The according to FDA standards nothing can be consumed with more than 10 mg of thujone in it, well that is the loopole because according to Mr. Breaux the recipe for Absinthe in the past had lest than that anyway.

  61. “All i want is some consistency in American laws”

    Hah! Fat chance of that.😉

  62. I believe this is referred to as the “margin of error” in the old testing method. May have seemed perfectly accurate when they first instituted it but it can now be proven to have a quantifiable margin of error as calibrated against more modern and refined testing equipment. Rather than changing equipment the agency is now allowing for this inaccuracy.

    absintheur said: “Do not drink that slivovice that you sometimes see. It does not tatse any better than Jelinek”

    Don’t you believe it. Jelinek tastes inferior to just about any slivovice I’ve had.

  63. The next night at a party for Lucid Absinthe at the Back Room, he was seen hitting on one of the blonde model fairies, who happened to only be wearing body paint.

    Who Brody Jenner is I am not sure…is he famous for something?

  64. Sheesh, to think you, of all people, wouldn’t know a Hills star.

    Amazing what you can learn when you take the time to do a search.

  65. Oh, that Brody Jenner! How silly of me …..I was confusing him with a publicity seeking poseur who plants stories about himself in the media…wait a minute…this thread is about Ted Breaux & Lucid Absinthe.. off topic or on? 8)

  66. “Sheesh, to think you, of all people, wouldn’t know a Hills star.”

    Wow, I think some coffee came out my nose when I read that! The word play was stupendous!🙂

  67. Something to do with MTV? I do not really watch TV… so I don’t understand the coffee snorting reflex here.

  68. OK, not as funny when you have to explain the joke, but here goes. Although he was referencing a horrendous reality show called The Hills, he was playing off of your support of Czech absinth. You know, like Hills absinth.

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