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).

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absinthe

[ab′santh]
(food engineering)
A green liqueur having a bitter licorice flavor and a high alcohol content.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

absinthe

, absinth
1. another name for wormwood (the plant)
2. a potent green alcoholic drink, technically a gin, originally having high wormwood content
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"100mg of psychoactive thujone," the sort of claim that is mocked on La Fee Verte, which dismisses the "glorious descriptions of absinthe highs in 19th century literature" as "so much flowery hot air." Although "thujone is assumed by modern-day druggies to lend some sort of buzz," says the site, "it does not." Or maybe it does.