Absinthe: The Green Fairy that Made them all Mad

Essay by umkchellUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

download word file, 31 pages 4.8

The late eighteenth and nineteenth century brought new advances to the forefront of the world. One of these new creations was a substance that drove many people into raging fits. In France, legions of men and even women craved for the "green fairy" as it was called and "she" proceeded to take them places that they had never been before. Then, the mystical fairy traveled across the seas to the United States where "she" made ripples in the American culture. Eventually though, the powers of this "fairy" were found out and "she" was reduced to her true, natural form - a translucent green drink that went by the name of absinthe.

Absinthe is a beverage that is fairly detailed in its making and requires correct preparation to fully enjoy. This enjoyment eventually led to abuse and many advocates were weary of the effects it had on people. The French were the first people to experience the nature of the drink, with it later filtering across the seas to America.

But, regardless of the locale it was consumed in, it was a favorite of many authors and artists and produced pronounced effects upon their ways of life.

A bitter drink, absinthe is a strong alcoholic beverage made from the leaves and the upper part of the herbal extract wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Emerald green in color, the drink is traditionally diluted with cold water, which is poured over a slotted spoon containing sugar into a glass containing a shot of absinthe (Lanier 2). The drink then turns into an opaque whitish color as the essential oils precipitate out of the alcoholic solution, forming a colloidal suspension. The absinthe that was ingested in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Europe and America was composed of an alcoholic content of about seventy-two...