Absinthe is an alcoholic beverage (liquor or brandy) produced from Wormwood (French name: Absinthe, botanical: Artemisia absinthum) with characteristic green color, therefore, the designation "The green Fee". The ethereal oils of Wormwood contain as a main part the alkaloid Thujone (25 - 70%), which leads with chronic consumption to physical and psychological losses. The typical bitter taste is due to the content of the glycoside Absinthine.
In the 18th and 19th Century Absinth was very popular, in particular in artist circles (Van Gogh, Picasso, and other more). The production had been forbidden 1923 in Germany, just like in most European States of (exception Great Britain, where Absinth with up to 10 mg/kg content of Thujon was permitted). It is assumed that the consequences of the excessive Absinthe consumption (Absinthisme) are not attributed to Thujone, but to the bad quality of the alcohol used at that time in connection with the high drinking quantity.
Since 1988 Absinth is certified in bitter liquor with up to 35 mg/kg (guideline 88/388/EEC of 06/22/1988), in other liquor maximally 10 mg/kg with over 25 Vol% alcohol in the European Union.
For the production of Absinthe, beside alcoholic maceration of Wormwood, Anise, Fennel and other herbs are added. Dilution with water or ice results in an opalic turbidity , which is due to failing of water-insoluble Anisol (alcaloid from Anise) crystals.
In Germany the production of absinthe is regulated in the flavour regulation [BGBl. I, 2045-2050 (1991), part 4].
Since March 2005 Absinth is also legalized in Switzerland.