The Mystique of Absinthe - Food and Beverage Today
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Food and Beverage Today discovers absinthe
Read on see how to make friends with the green fairy/p>


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The Mystique of



he little green fairy, absinthe is out again. More and more people have been exposed to one of histories most notorious spirits as the United States has legalized the spirit that had banned since 1912. The law is still somewhat confusing, as it does not totally legitimize absinthe in its traditional form, as the FDA still bans the chemical Thujone in any food products. Thujone, a chemical that is derived from an herb wormwood is believed to instill many of the effects that the absinthe of old held. Filtering the chemical out opened the door for the liquor industry to sell absinthe once again.

absinthe, green fairy

While there have been no scientific tests that have proven Thujone hazardous, or has the original Absinthe recipes proven any more harmful to people than any other form of alcohol the FDA is the FDA, someday they will catch up. They just came out with an announcement today that taking too many Tylenol can damage your liver, I remember that drinking folklore when I was in high school and I do not want to tell you how many years ago that was.

Today there are many companies coming out with a kinder gentler absinthe which reduced the alcohol content and filters out the Thujone. Some are even importing true absthine that meets the FDA requirements and still hits the mark with true absinthe connoisseurs.

Pere Francois and La Valote are two such brands that comply with all US law, translating to a thujone level below the maximum allowed (10ppm). However the traditional absinthe ingredients and distillation process have stayed unchanged. Many imitation absinthes in the US have artificial ingredients and dyes added to create hype around their brand.

“We wanted to preserve the most pure version of the mythical drink and allow today's US consumer to enjoy absinthe like the famous poets and artists in the past.”

They told me the biggest changes they had to make for each brand was the labels. To comply with TTB rules, we had to resize fonts, remove specific phrases and add additional information to the front and back label. For example, the word "absinthe" can not be by itself and must be accompanied by additional words as in La Valote, they have "Authentic Premium Absinthe".

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