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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

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 ?
Reports suggest that Absinth can knock people for six in the way other drinks can't."
Absinth - made by soaking wormwood bark in alcohol - became popular in France in the last century but by 1912 doctors were so concerned they lobbied for a ban on the grounds that it was 246 times more harmful than beer.
At Mr Richie's bar, the 70 per cent proof absinth is drunk with sugar which is melted beforehand in a spoon with a flame underneath.
Absinth is made by soaking wormwood in alcohol and it contains thujone, which has a similar structure to the active component in marijuana.
Many absinthes come in black bottles to protect the contents from light.
A turn-of-the-century murder trial in which a Swiss man charged with killing his family was shown to have drunk two absinthes on the day of the killing (along with several bottles of wine and other forms of alcohol) gave impetus to the ban absinthe movement.
An additional seven absinthes are expected to launch in the next few months.
From behind his bar, which is chock full of with a variety of bitters, specialty liqueurs, absinthes produced in France and eastern Europe, eau-de-vies and absinthe-like creations from California's Domaine Charbay and others, Dionysus gets to play with ingredients most other bars don't even carry.