Thujone Booster for Lucid Absinthe?

Thujone in Absinthe

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?

Qwazar | (removed)@aol.com
Jul 9, 10:05 PM

A week ago, a poster posed the above question on a Lucid thread and it got me thinking. To start with, the question sounded like the classic line from one of those thujone is irrelevant campaigners – the guys whose line echoes the mantra of the new era of media-crazed absinthe entrepreneurs (aka. historians, chemists, etc). The script these posters use online tries to suggest that if you can’t get high from a Thanksgiving Dinner with sage stuffing, how come you can from absinthe?

Cute, huh?

This is, of course, a real turkey as it fails to acknowledge the purity of the terpene in alcohol (i), but it’s a simple argument and it delivers their message. A message that has helped absinthe – or as some say a thujone-lite faux absinthe – onto US soil.

Then I thought again. Maybe this was a real question. A quick scout round the web reveals that infusing real Artemisia Absinthium (Grande Wormwood) in Absente – the original thujone-free, USA legal absinthe – was common years before Lucid was even dreamed up! Folks have long been using original absinthe herbs as a kind of thujone booster!

I also see that many people are also using absinthe herbal preparations to make thujone rich-absinthe drink in the comfort of their own homes out of high proof alcohol – see, for example, sites like Absolutely Absinthe

Absolutely Absinthe.com

… or Green Devil:

Green Devil.com

I wonder what it tastes like? Anyone got any experience? Perhaps adding one of these preparations to Lucid Absinthe will just make the drink more delightfully bitter? After all, we know that Lucid’s manufacturer (coincidentally the leading anti-thujone “researcher”) has not only dumbed down the thujone, but also the traditional anise to suit US standards.

Can’t help but wonder. Also, don’t forget the next time you meet an online persona who talks about sage, turkey dinners and thujone, ask yourself this: is this some guy reading from a prepared script, or just a guy who simply wants thujone in his absinthe…. Not an unreasonable request… but one that I’m afraid the USA won’t agree to.

(i) Kurt Hostettmann est professeur à l’école de pharmacie de Genève-Lausanne. Pour lui, l’absinthe est avant tout une plante médicinale excellente pour la digestion. C’est seulement lorsqu’elle est mélangée à de l’alcool qu’elle laisse vraiment échapper cette fameuse thuyone.

51 responses to “Thujone Booster for Lucid Absinthe?

  1. Why not just go straight for the sage and buy a bottle from this Spanish supplier?

    http://www.absentaculture.com//product_info.php?cPath=46&products_id=94

    It’s called Salvia in Spanish as in Salvia officinalis, not to be confused with Salvia divinorum.

  2. I agree, It’s all a conspiracy, Ted is obviously the head of this, publishing many papers about the evils of thujone. Accurate papers show 1000mgs of thujone in every glass of vintage absinthe. People are just so stupid to buy his product, everyone knows 19th century absinthe was just wormwood soaked in alcohol. Thujone is all that matters, which is why I buy high thujone absinth instead of the many much cheaper and easier to get herbs and extracts that have been sold in the US for many years now that don’t fall under the regulations that ban absinthe.

  3. 🙂 but what do you think is the answer to Qwazar’s condundrum: would a grande wormood soak raise the thujone levels in a very low/no thujone absinthe? Also doesn’t it depend on the quality of the wormwood?

    I think you are the guy to answer that question.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pio%C5%82un%C3%B3wka

    ? has some stuff on raised thujone levels

  4. I think it would, depending upon the quality of the wormwood. As with all herbal products, quality and maintenance of bioactive compounds begins with properly harvested, processed and stored herbs. In the interest of fairness, and not wanting to appear to be a culturally malignant American slob, I will make a batch of the Polish drink on the above wiki reference. I have high quality certified organic wormwood, 190 proof ethanol and granulated sugar. Opinions as to the effects or imagined effects of wormwood notwithstanding, I do have a certain sensitivity to Artemisia absinthium. I have worked with 100’s of herbs at my friend’s company (http://www.amazonmedicine.com) so my background is a bit deeper than that of an absinthe Sunday driver. I will endeavor to make and quaff a batch of piolunowka and report back. But hey, aren’t there any Poles tuned in to this blog who can compare absinthe to piolunowka concerning perceived thujone effects?

    P.S. The thujone debate doesn’t really interest me that much (insert porkchop here?) but if the Poles make a sugary wormwood infusion, that’s a legitimate enough reference for me to try a batch. But as I said before, there are much better ways to alter reality than wormwood.

  5. Cool🙂 that’s a great idea!

    These brews exist throughout the region:

    https://czechabsinthe.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/slovenia-2002/

    Here’s one for you Scotty that I noticed while researching that silver alembic that Fuchs carried around with him:

    And along with Jon Marshall’s revealing account of Elizabethan mystic lady chemists, some homage must be paid to the nameless priestesses of the Eluesinian Mysteries and their prehistoric forebears of the feminine cults who since before prehistory were guardians of a vital pharmocopeia. At the climax of the Eluesinian rites of the mystae the Kernos was passed around holding the mystic mixture of herbs, grain and wine. The grain was generally the fungus ergot, contained of lysergic acid and which was guarded by women as an agency to *Epoptai*, the moment of revelation. But it was also a powerful obstetric chemical for how it was anti-hemorrhagic, caused the uterus to contract and safely expell the afterbirth. The major cause of death at childbirth was hemorrhage and which continued as such after ergot of rye, wormwood (Artemisia Absinthe), marrebore, herbarum mater and other mugwort type plants were banished by the Church. Naturally, the hallucinogenic attributes of such plants were understood and figured in various rituals of the feminine cults. Be sure, despite such repression, the witches of Europe maintained the obstetric phamocopaiea and without question it was passed on to the lady alchemists of a later time. Such activity remained a guarded secret because dangerous to practice. wonder then, the State and Church approved practice of witch hunting. The secret drugs not only successfully competed with the deadly male medical approach to childbirth but offered some hope for the prospects of women faced with the grave risk of bearing a child. In view of womens’ station, this would never do! Wonder then more, that clerical and spiritual sycophants and modern medicine alike have kept this a well guarded secret.

    So lets hear more about women alchemists (if you dare!) and less about the vanities of modern feminists who are hardly in charge of the vital pharmacopaeia, indeed, have broken the chain from pre-history to the present by which the feminine cult offered life-saving relief to their sisters in labour and in the cause of childbirth (note: Dr. Albert Hoffman, “discovered” LSD while attempting to synthesize the obstetric attributes of ergot and the like. So well was the secret of the feminine pharmocopaeia surpressed that the good doctor was shocked when he got high as a kite and tripped the light fantastic. He was neither having a baby at the time or about to see the light as a mystae of the Mysteries).

    Bernard X. Bovasso

    http://www.levity.com/alchemy/female.html

  6. Very interesting citation. I’ve just been inspired to pull out my copy of Eve’s Herbs, A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West, John M. Riddle, 1997, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-27026-6, in which the gradual and total supression of female self-care is well documented over two millenia. There are a handful of citations concerning wormwood that I will post later.

    Presently I have a few questions about the piolunowka recipe:

    for 500 ml of water get 168g of sugar boil and add 7.91g of young wormwood (mainly flowertops). When cooled, add to it 500ml of Polish rectified spirit (98% vol or 196 proof) and filter it. If you wish, you can add som water to the alcoholate and the distill it up to 50% (the traditional Piołunówka strength).

    Is the young wormwood to be added fresh or dried?

    I assume that the author of the wiki recipe means dilute to 50% and not distill.

    Also the quantities of 168 g and 7.91 g strike me as odd, as if the recipe were translated from some other unit of measure.

    Finally, the procedure I will follow is this: Bring 500 ml water to boil, then add 168 g sugar. When this has dissolved, I will add the wormwood tops fresh unless I hear otherwise. I will then remove it from heat without further boiling. When cooled I will filter it through pharmaceutical grade cheesecloth. I will take half to experiment with immediately and take half to add French oak chips to (purchased from a wine supply store.)

    A link from the wiki page that you posted sent me here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalewka
    It says that this class of drinks are often aged in barrels. This is a major, major difference from merely soaking herbs in vodka and chugging in order to get f’ed up. The interaction between the spirits and the wood would🙂 mellow the spirits and instigate a unique and probably delicious flavor profile. Also it says nalewka drinks are usually served after meals in chilled 50 ml glasses. It sounds more like a digestive tonic than cocktails.

  7. >aged in barrels

    Becherovka is served chilled too.

    How long will you leave the oak chips version?

  8. The wiki reference says some drinks are aged up to 3 years. So I will probably put the chips in and start tasting at 3 months, just to get an idea of the development of flavors and color. And try to keep it around for at least a year or two . I will only taste a few ml per tasting so it won’t disappear fast.

  9. “Common Wormwood I shall not describe, for every boy that can eat an egg knows it”
    🙂

    http://www.bibliomania.com/2/1/66/113/21290/1/frameset.html

  10. Scotty, doesn’t this answer your earlier question about the Franco-Suisse origin being questionable?

    This has obviously been in the public arena for some time – so maybe I’m missing something:

    Culpeper’s ‘The Complete Herbal’, 1653:

    ‘Spiritus et Aqua Absynthii”

    Spiritus et Aqua Absinthis minus Composita
    Or, Spirit and water of Wormwood, the lesser composition

    College : Take of the leaves of dryed Wormwood two pounds, Annis seeds, half a pound: steep them in six gallons of small wine twenty four hours, then distil them in an Alembick, adding to every pound of the distilled water two ounces of the best Sugar.

    Let the two first pound you draw out be called Spirit of Wormwood, those which follow, Wormwood water the lesser composition.

    Culpeper : I like this distinction of the College very well, because what is first stilled out, is far stronger than the rest, and therefore very fitting to be kept by itself: you may take which you please, according as the temperature of your body, either to heat or cold, and the season of year requires.

    It hath the same virtues Wormwood hath, only fitter to be used by such whose bodies are chilled by age, and whose natural heat abates. You may search the herbs for the virtues, it heats the stomach, and helps digestion.

    College : After the same manner (only omitting the Annis seeds) is distilled spirit and water of Angelica, both Herb and Root, Bawm, Mints, Sage, &c. the Flowers of Rosemary, Clary, Clove-gilliflowers, &c. the seeds of Caraway, &c. Juniper-berries, Orange Pills, Lemons, Citrons, &c. Cinnamon, Nutmegs, &c.

    Spiritus et Aqua Absynthii magis composita
    Or spirit and water of Wormwood, the greater composition

    College : Take of common and Roman Wormwood, of each a pound; Sage, Mints, Bawm, of each two handfuls; the Roots of Galanga, Ginger, Calamus, Aromaticus, Elecampane, of each three drachms; Liquorice, an ounce, Raisins of the Sun stoned, three ounces, Annis seeds, and sweet Fennel seeds, of each three drachms; Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmegs, of each two drachms; Cardamoms, Cubebs, of each one drachm: let the things be cut that are to be cut, and the things be bruised that are to be bruised, all of them infused in twenty four pints of Spanish wine, for twenty four hours, then, distilled in an Alembick, adding two ounces of white sugar to every pint of distilled water.

    Let the first pint be called Spirit of Wormwood the greater composition.

    Culpeper : The opinion of Authors is, That it heats the stomach, and strengthens it and the lungs, expels wind, and helps digestion in ancient people.

    Spiritus et Aqua Angelica magis composita
    Or Spirit and water of Angelica, the greater composition

    College : Take of the leaves of Angelica eight ounces, of Carduus Benedictus six ounces, of Bawm and Sage, of each four ounces, Angelica seeds six ounces; sweet Fennel seeds nine ounces. Let the herbs, being dryed, and the seeds be grossly bruised, to which add of the species called Aromaticum Rosarum, and of the species called Diamoschu Dulce, of each an ounce and a half, infuse them two days in thirty two pints of Spanish Wine, then distil them with a gentle fire, and with every pound mix two ounces of sugar dissolved in Rose-water.

    Let the three first pounds be called by the name of Spirit, the rest by the name of water.

    Culpeper : The chief end of composing this medicine, was to strengthen the heart and resist infection, and therefore is very wholesome in pestilential times, and for such as walk in stinking air.

    I shall now quote you their former receipt in their former dispensatory.

  11. Wormseed

    [worm-seed; wormsed; wormsead; worms’d; wormsd; wormesyd; wormeside; wormeseede; wormesede; worme sees; worme seed; worm ss; worm seed; woormseed; seeds worm]

    This was the name given to the seeds of various plants considered to have anthelmintic properties, that is they were considered effective against intestinal worms. Culpeper, in a rather involved sentence, seems to suggest that two varieties of WORMWOOD were most commonly used; that is, SEA WORMWOOD for children and ‘people of ripe age’, and ‘common wormwood’ for those that are ‘strong’, by which he probably meant the plant now usually called Artemesia absinthe [Culpeper (1653, new ed. n.d.)].

    Other seeds, which presumably had the bitter taste that was regarded as the effective agent, may also have been used, either on their own or in mixture. Some of these were: Artemisia santonica, Erysimum cheiranthoides (TREACLE or English wormseed), Chenopodium anthelminticum and Ambrina anthelmintica (American wormseed) and Halogeton tamariscifolium (Spanish wormseed). Accum, writing in 1820, claimed that wormseed, which he considered was solely the seed of Artemisia santonica, was sometimes adulterated and cheapened by the addition of the seeds of TANSY, which had a suitably bitter taste [Accum (1820)].

    Some tradesmen, particularly those in LONDON, had huge stocks; for example one soi-disant Merchant tailor had nearly 2,000 LB, mostly imported [Inventories (1716)]. It was occasionally valued for as much as 8s LB but usually for about half that.

    OED earliest date of use: 1400

    Found described as BEST, DUST, foul or fowl, GARBLED, INDIA, LARGE, OLD, SMALL, TURKEY Found describing POWDER
    Found in units of C, HUNDRED, LB, OZ, POUND Found rated by HUNDREDWEIGHT, LB

    Sources: Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Rates.
    References: Accum (1820), Culpeper (1653, new ed. n.d.).

    http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=58915

  12. Absintheur, while I do not wish to denigrate any French or Swiss absinthes, it does appear that the development of said spirit can be uniquely claimed by neither country. The generally accepted history is that commercial (or maybe industrial is a better term?) production began in the Franco-Swiss region. I wonder if we can find references to commercial/industrial absinthe production anywhere else?

  13. >I do not wish to denigrate any French or Swiss
    absinthes

    I totally agree. That’s not the issue here – much of the history is shady, and it’s interesting to try to get at the truth.

    Dr Ordinaire is allegedly a ficticious charachter – rather curious, isn’t it?

    http://www.feeverte.net/pernod/page1.html is the only evidence I know of, and Hiram has called him the absinthe equivalent of Father Christmas🙂

    Makes you wonder why he was created.

  14. “one given by Nott [Recipes (Nott)] show that it was a compound water distilled from a WINE in which WORMWOOD had been steeped along with flavours such as ANISEED and LIQUORICE designed to make the product more palatable”

    The more one reads about these English “compound waters” -the more it sounds like this is where the Henroid sisters picked up the idea.

    There’s a list of them on this new resource

    My favourite: AQUA HYSTERICA 😎

    Update:

    There seems to be no doubt that absinthe as a cordial was made by the French confiseurs of the eighteenth century, but only as a flavor for other beverages. (William S. Walsh: Handy-Book of Curious Information, 1913. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1913).

    More wormwood erudition at Scotty’s blog: http://www.absinthealchemist.com/blog/?p=15 (Early American Wormwood Drink Recipes)

  15. Update:

    Please note – Lucid fanatics – that there is some concern as well over at the Fee Verte forum:

    Do I have to remind the Forum of the day when I asked for Ted’s “peer reviewed” papers?.

    Guess how many papers, peer-reviewed, Ted has?

    Right. Zero. Nada. He may be a media personality, but as absinthe credibility, he has zero.

    If that guy wants to make money out of absinthe newbies, that’s his deal. Changing absinthe history, that’s another matter.

    dr_ordinaire (Jun 1 2007, 12:57 AM)

    Could it be that the vast majority of the Absinthe community has finally realized, with this Lucid stunt, that Ted is full of s#@t?

    dr_ordinaire (Jun 1 2007, 08:13 PM)

    We do not trust the CADs (Commercial Absinthe Distillers) or their groupies as far as the content of thujone in traditional absinthe. They want to sell absinthe. Not in the past, but now.

    We want the truth.

    dr_ordinaire (Jun 12 2007, 02:25 AM)

    The truth? Don’t hold your breath Dr Ordinaire!

    🙄 CAD Spin Alert🙄 : “whole country assaulted New York in an attempt to get their hands on the initial shipments of Lucid”

    Ted “Lucid” Breaux quoted here: http://www.zagat.com/buzz/Detail.aspx?SCID=35&BLGID=4472

  16. This is slightly off topic but with the mention of a toned down anise in Lucid, I started writing.

    I haven’t tried Lucid yet (at 60 dollars a bottle, plus getting it shipped to where I live, I’d rather stick to what I know, however, I plan on getting some at some point for the sake of proper investigation) but have heard plenty about it (as we all have) and most of it is contradictory. As such, until I have bottle in hand, I’m going to avoid making a judgement as to its quality.

    However, what strikes me is this (and this seems to get overlooked quite a bit):

    From everything I read it seems like Lucid is toned down in anise flavour. Something that I normally let pass, however, a lot of Czech Absinths are knocked on that very basis.

    And what they use to justify their lack of anise is that it isn’t a popular taste in America (it isn’t,, but still…if they were trying to be “purists” instead of “marketers” you’d think it’d have kept a strong anise flavour). Which also seems to me (having not been there, but again from what I read) the reason why Czech Absinth has a lesser anise flavour. The oddity here is that Czech Absinth is hated while Lucid is getting greeted with open arms.

    I haven’t been on the scene for long and there’s still a lot to learn (of course, there will always be a lot to learn), however, the manic hatred of all things Czech is just amazing and leads me to place a lot of the “authorities”‘ judgements on the matter as suspect.

    However, with what I’ve been reading/researching , with this blog here (and a nice one it is), with Scotty Bones’ blog, and all the others…I think things will open up in terms of the history of absinthe, its development, and the ideas of what is absinthe–and that is exciting.

    And now for a real aside:

    I like a lot of this to the development of language. Being from the US we have an amazing amount of diversity within the English language–with new words coming into the language constantly. At the end of the day, I still speak English, even though the form I speak is far (way far) from the form that was spoken not even 100 years ago (not to mention, UK English, Queen’s English, and the multitudes of dialects spoken around the world each with their own unique traits). Yes, there are purists out there, however, even their purist view is just another form of English and not THE English.

    I apply that analogy to a lot of things in life. Absinthe being one of them and as anyone can see it is VERY regional. Instead of people writing page after useless page on why something isn’t absinthe because it’s not like exactly like Pernod (or some such argument) why can’t Regional guides get written instead? Why is it that we can’t just enjoy the diversity of absinthe?

    I’m probably speaking to the choir here, and as such we don’t need to defend our tastes, however, it’s one of those things that has been on my mind and needed some venting.

    Keep on digging!
    Leif

  17. “Lucid is toned down in anise flavour. Something that I normally let pass, however, a lot of Czech Absinths are knocked on that very basis.”
    Toned down is different than non existent. For example, Lucid still louches because of its anise content and it still tastes like an anise flavored beverage.

    “I haven’t been on the scene for long … the manic hatred of all things Czech”
    Something tells me you should read more and buy into false conspiracies less.
    Although I find it interesting that complaining about poor quality products is changed into a hatred of all things Czech.

    absintheur, does the fact that not only Dr.O can’t support his statements but has shown to be incorrect change your quoting of him as some sort of interesting evidence? Did you bother to research his statements?

  18. Toned down is different than non existent

    Czech absinth? Did you ever try Bairnsfather Reality, Absinthium 1792, Toulouse Lautrec? You are talking about wormood high L’Or products I think, and not Czech absinth. The reason you dislike Pavel Varga et al is their marketing success – L’Or doesn’t = Czech Absinth

    Kyle even produces an anise bomb absinth called Absinth Bitter…last time I looked he was producing from the old Sebor Distillery here in the Czech Republic.

    complaining about poor quality products

    By creating a national, as opposed to distiller specific, whipping boy your masters are hoping everyone is going to ignore the obvious problems with their own faux creations. Take a look at this dumb piece of spin:

    “this travesty was invented in the ’70s by makers of cheap Czech Republic Absinth (sic) to make their ersatz product fashionable and a little less revolting. Note the missing “e” and give it a wide berth”

    You can see my response on CAD Watch. I am still waiting for Jennifer to reply.

    Dr.O can’t support his statements but has shown to be incorrect

    Excuse me? What about Mr Breaux:

    Guess how many papers, peer-reviewed, Ted has?
    Right. Zero. Nada.

    We’ll take Ted Breaux and Ian Hutton’s word for it then, shall we? Hang on..aren’t both of them involved in the production and sale of absinthe? Isn’t thujone the one big sticking problem for US sales. How very convenient, Ari.

  19. “Czech absinth? Did you ever try Bairnsfather Reality, Absinthium 1792, Toulouse Lautrec? You are talking about wormood high L’Or products I think, and not Czech absinth.”

    I never said I was talking about all absinth that comes out of the czech republic (and you should know that). Generally products that louche and contain anise are refered to as “absinthe” (with the e) or without the ‘bohemian style’ tag.

    “L’Or doesn’t = Czech Absinth”

    Nope, but it is a czech product that calls itself absinth.

    “By creating a national, as opposed to distiller specific, whipping boy, your masters are hoping everyone is going to ignore the obvious problems with their own faux creations. “

    Haha, and where did you get that?

    Well when the “czech is bad” moniker was created there weren’t any good or real brands coming from there, if you payed attention you might notice people’s claims about *all* czech absinthe have changed.

    “We’ll take Ted Breaux and Ian Hutton’s word for it then, shall we?”

    What’s convenient is that Dr.O seems to focus only on Ted when in fact most of the papers on thujone are peer reviewed and written by people other than Ted and Ian (Is Ian even still part of Jade?) and are viewable online for anyone willing to actually search. Dr.O has not only been told this but admitted to it in at least one post, only to forget his own words and go back to his old addiction.
    The sad thing is that you should know this too yet for some reason would rather post conspiracies and unchecked information.

  20. most of the papers on thujone are peer reviewed

    You don’t mean Dirk W Lachenmeier? He obviously is a unbaised and objective “Government” scientist with no connection whatsoever to the absinthe industry (just like you, Ari)

    How does this read to you? Do you not think that an open minded sceptic might think he had an axe to grind?

    “This may explain the high numbers of low-quality products found on the market that are artificially green-coloured and flavoured, without any content of wormwood or resemblance to pre-ban absinthe (Lachenmeier et al. 2006). Recently, a number of authentic distilled and naturally coloured absinthes have become available on the market. Some high-quality absinthes were tested and given awards at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2006. The buyer is recommended to look for such certificates as the market is overstocked with low-quality products improperly labelled as absinthe”

    Source: General misconceptions about wormwood-flavoured spirit absinthe by Dirk W Lachenmeier

  21. So now you have switched the claim. It’s not that they aren’t peer reviewed, it’s that you feel the source is biased. Perhaps you can pick an argument and stick with it.

    I also notice you don’t claim Dirk’s papers contain errors, just that he is supposably biased. Can you show actual errors or is empty screams of bias the best you, who is obviously unbiased, can do?

    The comparison between mine and Dirk’s absinthe industry connections was the ironic toping on the funny cake.

  22. So now you have switched the claim.

    No, Ari. I was responding to the fact that you were dodging the question of Ian Hutton and Ted Breaux’s bona fides as unbiased sources regarding thujone in per ban absinthe.

    You said:

    What’s convenient is that Dr.O seems to focus only on Ted when in fact most of the papers on thujone are peer reviewed and written by people other than Ted

    Which lead me to the conclusion that you were talking about that peculiarly convenient study that suddenly appeared from Lachenmeier.

    I was pointing out with my quote that Lachenmeier should be viewed with same circumspection, given his unorthodox habit of making buyer recommendations.

    Does the Surgeon General recommend Lucky Strike as genuine tobacco, and criticise other brands of tobacco? I assume that you now understand the point. It smacks of partisan interest, and not objective opinion.

    Clearly I do not know what went on during Lachenmeier’s studies – I am not a scientist either, and do not have the benefit of a “major” in microbiology from a US university

  23. “Ian Hutton and Ted Breaux’s bona fides as unbiased sources regarding thujone in per ban absinthe.”

    While I do trust their claim and like their article, one of the things I’ve written on thujone purposely leaves their article out to show a case can be made without ever sourcing their article.

    Dr.O on the other hand chooses to ignore all the other evidence to focus on his conspiracy theory. That you take him seriously is funny.

    “that peculiarly convenient study that suddenly appeared from Lachenmeier.”

    And by “study” do you mean the number of studies he and a group of others have done over multiple years using accurate methods and scientific instruments?

    “I was pointing out with my quote that Lachenmeier should be viewed with same circumspection, given his unorthodox habit of making buyer recommendations.”

    And you would be even more amazed that I have disagreed with some of Lachenmeier’s unsupported opinions.
    So far you seem to have no issues with his research only with his opinions.

    “Clearly I do not know what went on during Lachenmeier’s studies”

    Clearly you haven’t read the papers then, which detail methodology, his data and cite sources.

  24. And you would be even more amazed that I have disagreed with some of Lachenmeier’s unsupported opinions.

    Now I’m curious. What do you mean? BTW: do you mind if I go back and indent some of the quotes on your posts, to make reading easier?

    There is another point – I used to enjoy fencing at school – but I also have a serious question about these mock up runs using pre ban recipes. Will you answer without trying to parry?

  25. Sure you can indent them.

    Well a good example is that at one point he suggested a lack of thujone was evidence that a product didn’t use grande wormwood and were frauds, (at the time talking about some german and czech brands) but there was no reason to think thujone would always exist in the bottle, and later studies showed it’s possible to contain a large amount of G. wormwood yet get no thujone.

    Sure, questions about the data or real flaws in the data I would be happy to discuss. The ‘He seems biased to me, thus I won’t listen to his research’ is what I have issues with.

  26. With these new pre ban runs, do you have any reservations about the quality of the AA? I mean in terms of harvesting, storage, mositure levels and the experience of the grower.

    I think that you will accept – note my caveat about not parrying – that absinthe making is a lost art due to the ban. This forces one to rely on recipes without the steering hand of experience.

    How much can you really set down on paper? This is art, isn’t it? I heard that some of the HG producers have produced very high (100mg +) level thujone from some traditional recipes.

    I would be impressed if I got an “off message” and objective reply, as this actually interests me.

  27. No reservations in harvesting as multiple strains/locations have been used. Storage is a more interesting question, although in most cases the plants have been treated based on old manuals.

    I think some of the details are a lost art and/or just not done by current distillers (such as massive aging), I don’t think those details would have a serious effect on thujone levels.

    Well of course if you are driving for thujone it’s quite possible, and I’ve heard of some mistaken high thujone HGs (although I don’t quite trust numbers as I don’t know how well the tests were run on them). Of course no one is suggesting a high level can’t be achieved, just that it’s quite unlikely pre-ban companies (who not only didn’t drive for thujone but couldn’t even accurately test the amount) were getting these same high numbers.

    It really comes down to all the data and why we care about thujone to begin with. When you go back and look at how thujone became so popular, you realize it never had a leg to stand on and when the older statements are tested they can’t stand either.

    Speaking of which I think I have asked you before and didn’t get an answer. Why do you think real absinthe must contain thujone, why do you think it must be a higher number others suggest, do you believe thujone in absinthe had any effect on the drinker and why?
    (If you are really for non biased research, even if you don’t answer these here, answer them in your head then explore why you answered the way you did.)

  28. “Something tells me you should read more and buy into false conspiracies less. Although I find it interesting that complaining about poor quality products is changed into a hatred of all things Czech.”

    While there is much to learn, I’ve read plenty and the “conspiracy theories” are founded by many a comment on the forums. I’d like to do a count of how many times Czech absinth is dragged through the mud being labeled only as “Czechsinth”–regardless of the varieties out there. One memorable post is when Kyle came on talking about his new processes only to have the gang jump on him without rhyme or reason from the get go. While I may have been generalizing, so have they.

    After the reference to Reality etc., Ari said that he was’t referring to all Czech Absinth. Which is fine, however, as long as a page like this: What’s wrong with Czech Absinthe exists, you’re going to have mass confusion as to what products are “good” that come from there and what products are “bad”. Btw, the link to “more reading” on that page is broken–not that we’re any of the people who can fix it, but still…there’ s no “more reading”.

    I guess, the theory I’m operating with is this: with the state of things today we should drop the “Czechsinth” generalizations altogether, along the lame ” shock” that something good might come from them, etc. and then judge them based off of their conformity to either “Absinthe” standards or “Absinth” standards.

    There was very nice post about this over at oxygenee’s blog where he covers this and I think its a very intelligent proposal: Absinth vs Absinthe

  29. Oxy’s proposal is not based upon a clear appreciation of tradition. Absinth is the German spelling of absinthe & we all know that the Fischer Distillery in Vienna were producing “absynth” (an archaic spelling) during the Hapsburg years.

    Martin Sebor – Kyle’s deceased partner – is said to have used the recipes of Archleba z Dobrusky, a medic who was producing absinth when the Czech lands were part of the Hapsburg Empire.

    The fact that Gwydion Stone doesn’t know this, is no surprise to me, as his writings are of a “poison pen” lightweight variety. I regret that they are quoted as fact.

    I recieved a email today which looks very interesting in respect of the Central European research, and seems to confirm the medical provenance of absinth.

    Note: Absint is the Czech spelling, but absinth is the term due to the language of the Hapsburg Empire – German.

    See also:
    https://czechabsinthe.wordpress.com/2007/06/26/prague-night-with-absinth-1943/

    Where did that come from?

  30. One memorable post is when Kyle came on talking about his new processes only to have the gang jump on him without rhyme or reason from the get go.

    It was on Fee Verte? What is the link?

    To be fair David Nathan-Maister has since called Bairnsfather “an honest product” – unlike Alan Moss (ex eabsinthe/ La Fee) – who claimed that a cherry coke cocktail with Bairnsafther was a waste of good coke!😡 (the post was deleted)

    Bairnsfather Reality absinth is our favourite – I have two empty bottles (with the dried herbs) on either side of the fire place in my humble dacha.

    Apart from being a great drink – the design is great. I put a link to yr blog comments on Reality in the Buyers Guide, Leif.

  31. “is said to have used the recipes of Archleba z Dobrusky, a medic who was producing absinth when the Czech lands were part of the Hapsburg Empire.”
    Can we see these recipes?

    Yep, FV, I remember part of the conversation, which included Kyle not wanting to answer questions and then insulting everyone before leaving.

  32. I tried to get through the main site but something hinky is going on with Fee Verte, however, the direct links seem to work:

    here and here

    The latter starts out well enough, however, completely implodes a couple pages in. While the former starts out as debate then goes south.

    Insults, name calling, etc. abound, however, that is the nature of forums.

  33. Me, “Speaking of which I think I have asked you before and didn’t get an answer….”

    I’ve noticed from other conversations those questions are often conversation enders. Because as far as I can tell there is no support for thujone, and barely even anecdotal evidence. People repeating claims and marketing seem to be most people’s sources. Which is ironic since you have “CAD” watch. I assume you will be watching your own site and czech sites for bogus commercial claims as well?

  34. Why do you think real absinthe must contain thujone, why do you think it must be a higher number others suggest, do you believe thujone in absinthe had any effect on the drinker and why?
    (If you are really for non biased research, even if you don’t answer these here, answer them in your head then explore why you answered the way you did.)

    Sin tastes at the first draught like wormwood water, But drunk again, ’tis nectar ever after. (II.ii.469-77)

    Women Beware Women, Thomas Middleton 1657

    LOL. You can’t ever resist? What is it with you?

    I have tasted low thujone and very high thujone absinthe, and I can tell you there is a big difference.

    Now, is it that thujone is a marker of the quality of the AA? That might be true. I recall a study which suggests that it is another element in the AA altogether, and for the life of me I can’t recall the name..but I bet you know what I mean? or am I confusing it with an element that allegedly negated earlier scientific tests?

    The fact remains I can drink some awful French oil mix and feel like throwing up…and drink a glass of BF – or maybe even Century – and feel the effects. Don’t tell me it’s a placebo, and I’m not discussing perfumed elegance, or other media twaddle, about pre ban protocols a la “Bunny” 2001

    Thujone has an effect on the GABA receptors, Ari.

    PS: Who is Bunny?

  35. Well it’s fun. And you are the one making blog posts about it.

    absintheur said, “I have tasted low thujone and very high thujone absinthe, and I can tell you there is a big difference.”

    How did you know it was low thujone and very high thujone absinthe? Were they controlled for thujone? Was this done as a blind tasting?
    I am guessing not. In which case all you can say is bottle A personally gave you better effects than bottle B. Nothing more.

    absintheur said, “Now, is it that thujone is a marker of the quality of the AA? That might be true”

    Based on what evidence?
    As we all should know by now, starting and bottle content are quite different.

    absintheur said, “The fact remains I can drink some awful French oil mix and feel like throwing up…and drink a glass of BF – or maybe even Century – and feel the effects.”

    And you are absolutely certain with all the other chemicals floating around in the bottle, it’s thujone that is causing these effect?
    No one can seem to provide any evidence we should be looking at thujone to begin with. Why ignore every other chemical? If I drink a cafe-late, was it the milk that made me hyper? Is it the trace amounts of methanol in wine that make me drunk?

    absintheur said, “Don’t tell me it’s a placebo,”

    Then you have done double blind tests to rule it out?
    The entire point of the placebo effect is that a single person can’t tell the effect from the real thing, thus requiring it to be controlled for.

    absintheur said, “Thujone has an effect on the GABA receptors, Ari.”

    Yep and Nutmeg contains a powerful hallucinogen. Yet you don’t trip every time you drink a nutmeg powdered coffee. Its effects on the GABA receptors in large enough doses to be noticed cause a different effect than what is most commonly described.

    You never actually answered my questions. They always seem to get ignored, opinion and faulty logic is substituted for evidence. You have wondered why thujone is so important to me, but I’m curious why it is so important to you? Why all the assumptions just to keep the thujone boat afloat?

  36. 🙂

    It’s midnight on the other side of the pond, and I’ll answer you in the morning, if I may. In the meantime talking of creatures of the night:

    “Wormwood, when you distil it, makes this thing called thujone; it’s like the equivalent of THC in marijuana. I have a guy who sends it to me in a dropper.” Marilyn Manson on what makes his absinthe extra special.

    😛

    Source

    Does Markus have anything to say? PS: Who is “Bunny”.. you didn’t answer me !

  37. Bunny’s name is Pat.

    Speaking of asking for answers. 🙂

  38. So is half the population of Ireland, Ari. C’mon..who is that? What is his connection with Guy? Scare us with your inside insight🙂

    Yep and Nutmeg contains a powerful hallucinogen. Yet you don’t trip every time you drink a nutmeg powdered coffee.

    Is this the latest spin, now that the Thanksgiving dinner stufffing story has got boring? Clearly the terpene in the alcohol is likely to deliver something more?

    Kurt Hostettmann est professeur à l’école de pharmacie de Genève-Lausanne. Pour lui, l’absinthe est avant tout une plante médicinale excellente pour la digestion. C’est seulement lorsqu’elle est mélangée à de l’alcool qu’elle laisse vraiment échapper cette fameuse thuyone.

    Fameuse thuyone…

  39. So are you going to keep changing the subject or answer the questions?

    Since part of your blog focus is on thujone I assume you can back some of your statements up, or at least be able to explain why you focus on thujone.

  40. Now that I’ve had some fun, since it doesn’t appear the conversation is going any further, my point.

    If you are going to make a statement or claim you should be able to back it up. While some are trying to make this out to be some sort of conspiracy or even more laughably a racial attack I don’t see anything wrong with asking a blog to support their statements. No amount of ad hom attacks or character assassination towards the questioner will change the fact you should support yourself. Frankly I question the motives of anyone who makes statements then spends the next week coming up with ways to get out of supporting themselves.

    Earlier questions were an attempt to make you (or readers) think for themselves, which hasn’t worked for the blogger. Most people don’t seem to know why they say what they do about thujone or where it came from. Generally most thujone-has-effects information comes second hand or from unsupported sources. It gets repeated and adjusted enough that people think it’s truth. If you really explored where it came from it would unravel rather fast.

    (Perhaps the lack of answers is because the blogger discovered he didn’t have much to stand on, in which case the statements should be retracted.)

  41. “second hand or from unsupported sources”

    It all depends who is asking the question and why.

    Your position on thujone is based upon science created by your industry colleagues & one report from an obscure German scientist, who has inexplicably written an artile which
    reads like an advertisment.

    You dismiss any science that contradicts you as out of date or flawed:

    1. Curious Brain Effects, UC Berkeley Scientists Discover

    Science Daily — BERKELEY (3/22/00) — Long suspected to have contributed to psychoses, fits and hallucinations in such famous artists and writers as van Gogh, Poe and Baudelaire, the liqueur absinthe they cherished contained a potent toxin that UC Berkeley scientists now say causes neurons to seriously malfunction.

    The researchers report their findings in this week’s edition of the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    2. Toxin in absinthe makes neurons run wild.

    They found that the toxin, alpha-thujone, blocks brain receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. Without access to GABA, a natural inhibitor of nerve impulses, neurons fire too easily and their signaling goes out of control.

    etcetera etcetera…

    Yours is a commercial argument developed by Ted Breaux and his business partner in Thailand 7 years ago, when they set up there to make Jade absinthe. The bulk of the science comes from Jade related parties – Breaux himself, who likes to call himself a microbiologist or an historian depending on who he is speaking to, and Ian Hutton, an antique dealer, who runs Jade’s online shop.

    Many people know what is going on with you guys:

    We do not trust the CADs (Commercial Absinthe Distillers) or their groupies as far as the content of thujone in traditional absinthe.

    They want to sell absinthe. Not in the past, but now. We want the truth.

    dr_ordinaire (Jun 12 2007) FeeVerte.net

  42. absintheur said, “Your position on thujone is based upon science created by your industry colleagues & one report from an obscure German scientist, who has inexplicably written an artile which reads like an advertisment.”

    Logical fallacy. This is similar to Ad hom where someone attacks the writer and not the evidence. I don’t care if it was written by Hitler/George Bush or himself, if you can’t find something *wrong with the evidence* and not just the people it doesn’t matter.
    (the fact you say “an obscure german scientist” and “an article” suggests you haven’t bothered to even look at the evidence)

    absintheur said, “You dismiss any science that contradicts you as out of date or flawed:”
    No, I dismiss statements that aren’t supported by evidence or are based on inaccurate statements (based on evidence) as flawed.
    Take what you quoted, I agree with it, Thujone does effect the GABA receptors and if you were being intellectually honest enough to represent what I have written accurately you would know this. The problem is there isn’t enough thujone in absinthe to produce these effects and alcohol protects against them.

    absintheur said, “The bulk of the science comes from Jade related parties”

    Complete and blatant Lie. One we have gone over before. I see there is no point in further conversation if you are willing to repeat false claims.

    The bottom line is, you apparently can’t support yourself with facts so you turn to attacks and false claims instead. It’s too bad, you could actually make something out of this blog.

  43. The truth at last….Lucid = NO THUJONE!!

    “The first step was to develop a tasty formula without thujone, long banned by the FDA”

    Lucid Absinthe

  44. Find any gold in that mine?

    Perhaps you should finish the quote,
    “The first step was to develop a tasty formula without thujone, long banned by the FDA. Gurfein’s research led him to chemist and absinthe expert T.A. Breaux, who would spend the next five months at a distillery in Saumur, France, tweaking the Lucid recipe. “Through reverse engineering, Breaux found that the absinthe made 100 years ago actually contained very little thujone and would have passed current U.S. guidelines,” says Gurfein.”

    Frankly everyone is being tight lipped about exactly how much thujone it contains. I get the feeling it’s the same as with absente (which contains thujone, (more than Hills)). While it may contain thujone it’s lower than the tests can read and thus they need to market it as a “we can’t say” or “no thujone” to not stumble over red tape.

    Remember, if some are accurate the US test would show “no thujone” in a bottle of 9-10 mg/l tboned absinthe.

    While you have bumped this, care to retract the false information previous posted?

  45. “The bulk of the science comes from Jade related parties” – is that what you mean?

    1. Does the “scientist” Ted Breaux run a company called Jade

    2. Does Ian Hutton sell Jade?

    Answer: yes & yes. Is one not allowed to be a little sceptical? There is no conflictof interest as you see it?

  46. You forgot,
    3) Does the Bulk of science come from these two people?
    Answer: No. (but don’t let a little fact like that get in your way, you haven’t before.😀 )

  47. Companies create and market false science! Impossible!

  48. From this cosy little duo, perhaps?

    http://www.getcited.org/refs/PP/1/PUB/103435432

    One who sells Jade, and the other who writes inexplicable pieces, which read like advertisements for a particular sector of the absinthe industry.

  49. Leif said,
    “Companies create and market false science! Impossible!”

    Ha. But where is the evidence this is false science?
    I do enjoy the irony of Absintheur attacking this as false science yet allowing the blatantly false marketing of other companies to pass unchecked.

    Just for fun I threw together a quick list of scientists that took part in papers that I have cited:

    Karin M. Höld, Nilantha S. Sirisoma, Tomoko Ikeda, Toshio Narahashi, and John E. Casid

    DETTLING, A., GRASS, H., SCHUFF, A., SKOPP, G., STROHBECK-KUEHNER, P. AND HAFFNER, H.-TH

    Joachim Emmert, Günter Sartor, Frank Sporer and Joachim
    Gummersbach

    Dirk W. Lachenmeier, J. Emmert b, T. Kuballa a, G. Sartor b

    Stephan A Padosch, Dirk W Lachenmeier and Lars U Kröner

    Obviously all are just pseudo-names for two Jade creators and if they aren’t pseudo-names have been bought off by a vast french conspiracy to keep the Czech people down.

  50. (The novelist Émile Zola offered a typical bogeyman in “L’Assommoir,” writing of an absinthe drinker who “stripped himself stark naked in the Rue Saint-Martin and died doing the polka.”)

    In May, Viridian Spirits of Manhasset, N.Y., introduced in New York a product called Lucid, which it says is the first legal and authentic absinthe in the country since the ban. Viridian was able to skirt the regulations by omitting (or almost omitting) thujone, the chemical compound cited in the law….

    Plus, no matter what you say about thujone, or the lack thereof, there will always be those unwilling to risk a naked bout of polka-dancing, fatal or otherwise.

    New York Times.

  51. Because the NYT knows the science data of Lucid.
    What was the point of that?

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