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Absinthe By Lany Huynh, Alexandra Inslee, Kathleen Sered, and Scout Wilkinson.

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Presentation on theme: "Absinthe By Lany Huynh, Alexandra Inslee, Kathleen Sered, and Scout Wilkinson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Absinthe By Lany Huynh, Alexandra Inslee, Kathleen Sered, and Scout Wilkinson

2 History Precise origins are unclear Medical use of wormwood : Ancient Egypt (1550 BC) - Expelling intestinal worms - Childbirth pains Ancient Greece (Hippocrates) - Jaundice, anemia, PMS - Also had absinthites oinos Roman Empire - Soldiers' sandals - Abortion

3 Distilled spirit with green anise, fennel, and other herbs Dr. Pierre Ordinaire's all-purpose remedy (1792) o Which he actually got from the Henriod sisters 136 proof "La Fèe Verte" First Distilleries: 1. Dubied Père et Fils, in Couvet, Neuchatel, Switzerland (1797) 2. Maison Pernod Fils in Pontalier, France (1805) First “Modern” Absinthe

4 Absinthe in France Popularity in 1840s: French troops in Algeria Treatment of malaria Fever preventative 1860s: 5pm = "l'heure verte" All social classes -1870s vineyard blight By 1910: French 36million litres/yr Europe-wide industry

5 In America 1878: 7million litres imported from Europe New Orleans as "absinthe capital of America" - Green Opal - Milky Way - Legendre 1907: “The Green Curse of France"

6 Regulation In The United States  Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau lifted the longstanding ban on absinthe.  Any product containing Artemisia (Absinthe Wormwood) product must be thujone-free.  The word "absinthe" can neither be the brand name nor stand alone on the label.  The packaging cannot "project images of hallucinogenic, psychotropic or mind-altering effects."  Absinthe imported in violation of these regulations is subject to seizure at the discretion of U.S. Customs.

7 Ingredients & Distillation  Preparation is similar to gin  Herbs steeped in distilled alcohol, and then redistilled  The essential oil of Artemisia Absinthium (Grande wormwood) contains thujone  Gas chromatography study suggested that vintage absinthe contained 260 mg/L thujone  Later recreation of this study found no concentration above 4.3 mg/L

8 Preparation  Five parts water to one part spirit, sugar to taste  Water-insoluble oils create the clouding effect (Ouzo effect)  Spirit is further diluted (1.8L of pure spirit is required for effective dose)

9 Chemical Composition  High alcohol concentration (40-70%; proof)  Phellandrene  Pinene ( pine trees )  Thujyl alcohol  Bisaboline ( lemon, oregano )  Camphene  Used in fragrances & as food additive. Too explosive to use for lamp fuel.  Nerol ( used in fragrances )  Thujone ( responsible for hallucinogenic effects )

10 Thujone  Metabolized by the liver and excreted in urine  Half-life ~ 25hrs  Blocks GABA-A receptors (brain fires faster and more freely, causes muscle spasms and convulsions)  Also a 5-HT3 antagonist

11 Ethanol & Thujone  Ethanol  Indirect GABA agonist  Ethanol does not alter inhibitory action of a- thujone  Like diazepam or phenobarbital, ethanol may alleviate toxicity of thujone  Thujone  Inverse GABA agonist  Poisoning signs similar to picrotoxin in rats

12 Ethanol & Thujone, cont’d  “Thujone is a GABA-a receptor antagonist, which means it inhibits GABA receptor activation…Many drugs such as ethanol are GABA agonists and produce relaxation partly by increasing GABA neurotransmitter release… Thujone is the opposite of these drugs, by inhibiting GABA receptors thujone decreases GABA’s slow down effect and allows neurons to fire more easily.”  Explanation of ‘clearheaded’ (non- drowsy) drunk

13 Styles  Blanche (la Bleue): Absinthe is bottled directly following distillation and reduction. It is a clear form of absinthe.  Verte (or green): The absinthe begins as a clear distillate. It becomes green after adding a new mixture of herbs, called the “colouring step.”  Absenta: Means absinthe in Spanish. It is a sweeter version of Absinthe by using Alicante Anise (type of flower), and also contains a characteristic citrus flavor.

14 Styles Continued  Hausgemacht (German for home-made): A type of absinthe that is home- distilled by hobbyists. They are normally produced in smaller quantities for personal use. Enables the distiller to personally select the herbs and fine- tune each batch.  Bohemian- Style Absinth: Not your traditional absinthe. Produced mainly in the Czech Republic. It contains little or no anise, fennel, and other herbs. Contains wormwood and a high alcohol content.

15 Storage  Clear absinthe can be bottled in a clear container.  Chlorophyll in naturally green absinthe must be bottled in a dark UV resistant bottle to prevent its breakdown, turning it into an amber color.  Pre-ban and vintage absinthes are often an amber color due to this process.  It should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place.

16 Who here has taken absinthe?  Vincent Van Gogh  Oscar Wilde  Pablo Picasso  Earnest Hemmingway These guys have: Vincent Van Gogh Oscar Wilde Pablo Picasso Earnest Hemingway Experiences of absinthe creates clearness of thought, creativity of speech and minor hallucinogenic effects

17 Cultural Influences  Arts: Vincent Van Gogh drank large amounts of absinthe, which lead to his liberal use of yellow. Pablo Picasso also depicted absinthe in different media, including paintings and sculptures.  Literature: Oscar Wilde asked, “What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset”?

18 Still interested? PLACESPLACES  The Tower Bar ( 4757 University Avenue San Diego, CA )  Anthology ( 1337 India Street San Diego, CA )

19 References "About absinthe kits". wormwoodsociety.. Retrieved "Absinthe." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 14 Feb Patocka, Jiri, and Bohumil Plucar. "Pharmacology and Toxicology of Absinthe." Journal of Applied Biomedicine (2003): Oct Web. 07 Feb Ratra G.S., S.G. Kamita, J.E. Casida: Role of human GABA(A) receptor beta3 subunit in insecticide toxicity. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 172: 233 –240, Wells, Pete. "A Liquor Legend Makes a Comeback." The New York Times 07 Dec Print. Höld, Karin. “ α -Thujone (the active component of absinthe): γ -Aminobutyric acid type A receptor modulation and metabolic detoxification” April 11, 2000 vol. 97 no March 2001

20 THANK YOU!


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