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Absinthe? Do you imbibe in the Green Fairy?

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A New York Times article today talked about absinthe, the legendary drink of choice for artists like Van Gogh and millions of European in the late 1800s, is being re-legalized in Switzerland starting in Jan. Absinthe has never been made illegal in Spain, Portugal and Czech Republic and France, the UK, Austria, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands apparently have a legal diluted form of it. But Switzerland is making it legal in a more potent form, potent that is in the content of wormwood extract, which imports to it the chemical thujone (30-35 mg vs 10 mg in diluted)The center of production historically was in the Swiss and French Jura and today the Swiss Jura is sprouting producers who imitate production of the old days. Producers are even asking for a special appellation to be conferred on their product, making it, like Champagne, the only authentic absinthe because it's produced in the place where it historically was.
Soon perhaps, like Bordeaux wine houses, these absinthe houses will be tourist meccas? When absinthe was legal and drunk in copious amounts be folks it was associated with causing madness - Van Gogh being a poster boy for that, probably wrongly as his madness is now that to have little to do with drinking absinthe and perhaps more with the lead in his paints he used to nibble on, though experts do thing that large amounts of thujone can lead to hallucinations and brain damage. Absinthe was made illegal after a much-publicized incident when an absinthe factory worker killed his wife and children 100 years ago. Absinthe was first produced in 1797 by Henri-Louis Pernod. If you go into a cafe today and ask for a Pernod, you get the successor to absinthe that Pernod produced after absinthe was banned - today's concoction still turns a creamy color after you pour water into it but has no thujone in, just anise-liquer. Soon you may well be able to get the real thing as Absinthe is being re-legalized.
Have you ever drunk absinthe? Will you?

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