Thujone Molecule – In Lucid Absinthe or not?
These are interesting comments on Lucid absinthe, the new American absinthe:
Absinthe is back. Sort of.
There is probably no beverage with more mythology attached to it. Called la fée verte, or the Green Fairy, it is an anise-flavored liquor that was once the hootch of choice for the demi-monde of bohemian Paris. Poetry has been written about it. Paintings have been made, music composed.
“Absinthe has a wonderful color – green,” wrote Oscar Wilde, known to have downed a dram or two. “A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?”
Purported to have near-hallucinogenic properties, it was banned in France in 1915 and has been illegal in the United States since 1912. Now, a distributor is going to aim a new brand of the liquor to the upscale American market. Called Lucid, it will sell for about $60 a bottle. Unlike the many absinthe substitutes that have been on the shelves for years, Lucid claims to be made according to original, pre-ban recipes.
In Europe, though, there has been a resurgence of absinthe manufacturing. Done properly, it is completely legal in most countries there. The makers of Lucid have contracted one of them to create their new American version of the liquor, adapted to American tastes, with less of the anise flavor that the French adore and Americans have always been suspicious of.They are betting that they can market the new, cleaned-up absinthe based on its not-so-clean outlaw reputation.
Cleaned up! Seems that we are still in the dark about the thujone content of this “cleaned-up” pre ban recipe ❓ When the writer says done properly, he forgets to mention that many European absinthes have up to 35mg/ l of thujone. La Clandestine absinthe from Switzerland for example – according to one retailer – has 30mg/l.
Note: Annex II of Directive 88/388/EEC (EEC, 1988) allows in excess of 25mg/l thujone when the product is labeled as a bitter. Why can’t America follow the sensible European Union lead, and allow American consumers the chance to try real European absinthe that hasn’t been modified?