absinthe

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absinthe

(ăb`sĭnth), an emerald-green liqueurliqueur
, strong alcoholic beverage made of almost neutral spirits, flavored with herb mixtures, fruits, or other materials, and usually sweetened. The name derives from the Latin word to melt.
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 distilled from wormwoodwormwood,
Mediterranean perennial herb or shrubby plant (Artemisia absinthium) of the family Asteraceae (aster family), often cultivated in gardens and found as an escape in North America. It has silvery gray, deeply incised leaves and tiny yellow flower heads.
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 and other aromatics, including angelica root, sweet-flag root, star anise, and dittany, which have been macerated and steeped in alcohol. It was invented in the 1790s by a Dr. Pierre Ordinaire, a Frenchman who lived in Switzerland, and the liqueur became enormously popular, particularly in late-19th-century Paris. Genuine absinthe is 70% to 80% alcohol. Because it caused harmful neurological effects (due to the presence of thujone, a toxic chemical in wormwood), absinthe was banned in many countries; where it still is available it is no longer as toxic as it once was.

Bibliography

See study by J. Adams (2004).

absinthe

[ab′santh]
(food engineering)
A green liqueur having a bitter licorice flavor and a high alcohol content.

absinthe

, absinth
1. another name for wormwood (the plant)
2. a potent green alcoholic drink, technically a gin, originally having high wormwood content