Drug info - Absinthe Primer

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by nEone, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. nEone

    nEone Gold Member

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    There are a few posts on here about Absinthe, and a lot of mixed information. I know a little about it, and figured I'd put it down into a post and get things rolling.


    1. Absinthe is a liquor that most resembles Pastis/Ouzo...it tastes like black licorice. It has a clear green/yellow color. When diluted with water, it turns a cloudy white. This is due to the volitile oils in the alcohol. Pastis does this too. It has a long history of association with the French impressionist movement. At one point, it was more popular than wine in parts of France.


    2. Stories of its "hallucinogenic" properties are mostly exaggeration. Thujone IS a neurotixin, but analysis of antique bottles of absinthe show that even in its heyday, Absinthe didn't have all that much Thujone in it. The "effects" of absinthe can be attributed to the nature of the experience...it's a slow, contemplative drink. It's also VERY high proof alcohol. Vodka tends to be 40% (80 proof), many Absinths are between 60-70% (120/140 proof). Two or three shots are going to be plenty to get most people VERY drunk - and much faster than they are used to. If drunk slowly, while some effects may be noticeable that differ from say, a martini, they will be subtle. Absinthe does NOT make you trip.


    3. Setting fire to absinthe is a trend that comes out of the Czech republic...it's a flashy bar trick that doesn't do anything other than burn off some of the alcohol. It's NOT the traditional method of preparing Absinthe. The traditional method is to slowly drip very cold water through a sugar cube that has been balanced on a slotted spoon over the liquor. Usually, the ratio is 1 part absinthe/4 parts water.


    4. Modern Absinthes vary in quality. Hills, a popular brand in the UK, is generally considered to be pure crap. Most Czech brands are also considered to be a waste of money. The Czech brands often tout the level of thujone...they're trying to tap into drug-culture and common misconceptions. Sebor Strong is one brand that is guilty of this kind of promotion. French and Suisse Absinthes are generally considered to be the best quality, followed by Spanish brands. As a rule of thumb, if it's neon green, it's crap.


    5. Vincent Van Gogh is often touted as a good example of how Absinthe makes you crazy. He drank absinthe, and l he cut off his EAR. Van Gogh was certainly insane, but not from drinking Absinthe. Most historians agree that his mental condition was due to LEAD POISONING, probably from lead-based oil paints. Other reports of Absinthe-related deaths can be attributed to the popularity of the drink. It's a hard drink to make, and as it got more popular, competitors and copycats would sell imitation absinthe that was colored with dangerous chemicals....heavy metals and the like.Not smart.


    6. Absinthe can NOT be made by soakinng wormwood in Vodka. There is a LOT fo crap on XXX that claims to help you make Absinthe. Little tea bags of wormwood etc. Or little bottles of wormwood extract. Anyone who has tried to make Absinthe this way can attest to the foul/bitter result. (I know from experience...BLAH). Proper Absinth is distilled. It's a careful blend of herbs (not just wormwood). If it sounds too good to be true, it is.


    The very BEST source of information on Absinthe is the Fee Verte website. be warned, they do NOT encourage discussion of Absinthe as a "drug" to get you high. Any posts that seem to be veiled attempts to find out how to get stoned on Absinthe will be heartily chastised. They're a bit of an elitist bunch, but they know their shit. They have a great "buyer's guide" to commercially available Absinthes (a good bottle can cost anywhere from $60-100).


    That's all I got. For now. My personal favorite brand is the Jade Suisse Verte 65. It's also way too pricey. The Verte Fougerolles is also great.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2010
  2. jatzstoned

    jatzstoned Newbie

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    yes, my history teacher told me about that "supernatural" like alchohol drink, that supposedly drove him insane, I guess we'll never know whether the drink created his madness, or just brough it out....
     
  3. nEone

    nEone Gold Member

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    I think that there's plenty of proof that people will take any chance they
    can get to walk away from personal responsibility. "that crazy absinthe
    made me do it.", "The devil made me do it".

    People like to let go and be free from inhibitions. THey like to freak out.
    But most people need an excuse.

    I've seen people get "wasted" after knocking back a few O'Douls (Alcohol-
    free beer)

    I'm guessing that if he really went "insane"...that Absinthe was the least of
    the things that caused it. Maybe some chick broke up with him. Maybe
    he was facing some inner-turmoil. Maybe he just got really plastered.

    But there's very little, if anything "supernatural" about Absinthe.It's a
    little different than other drinks, but only so much so in the way that a
    glass of vodka is different than a glass of wine.
     
  4. windtraveler

    windtraveler Silver Member

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    I agree with you nEone. People need an excuse. I also read that Van Gogh drank his oil paints.

    The first time i drank absinthe (in Bulgaria) i didnt know what to expect. I drank one glass of it, and all it did to me was make me a little calmer and gave me major heartburn (had been eating peanuts previously). However, that night i had some of the most vivid dreams that i have ever had, all in color, and i still remember them.

    Havent had any for awhile, but would like to be able every now and then to kick back, and relax with a glass of that green goddess.
     
  5. nEone

    nEone Gold Member

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    I often have really vivid dreams when I go to bed after a few drinks...not
    drunk, not sober but in that perfect in-between.

    From what I remember about reading about Van Gogh...they think that he
    probably was in the habit of chewing on his paint brushes (As someone
    who chews on the eraser of his pencils when thinking, I can see how he'd
    do that.) A lot of artists had lead-poisoning problems in that era.

    Oh, and I wanted to correct the link above...I mis-typed. It's
    www.feeverte.net(two e's) Lots of great info.
     
  6. windtraveler

    windtraveler Silver Member

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    Thanks for the website. Will have to check it out tomorrow. Although i rarely drink it anymore, i'm still pretty interested in absinthe, and wish the fucking US government would legalize it. I see absolutely no reason why it should be illegal, although i am for the legalization of all drugs.
     
  7. TyaGE

    TyaGE Newbie

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    I have just bought a bottle and will try it tonight. It is made in Spain.I had read this thread before and said to the salesman that I would not expect much out of it. He told me that if you would take a little amount and stayed quietly athome all night you would not feel much. He claimed however that if you drank a fair amount, with some beer on the side, and went to town afterwards that it would definitely kick in.


    Ofcourse he wants to sell the stuff (Never ask the barber if you need a haircut), but I don't think he would lie too much about it since his store's reputation would be no more. And you could say that you will feel something anywaywhen you drink enough high percentage alcohol and that it doesn't have to be the thujone that's working.(Like was said above somewhere)


    We will see...I'm curious!
     
  8. generich201

    generich201 Newbie

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    I bought a bottle of la fee absinthe made in france for new years. it was interesting. the only thing anybody ever told me about it was not to drink too much.
     
  9. Thorkelson

    Thorkelson Newbie

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    Absinthe is the most disgusting thing i have ever drunk, gets you drunk really quickly but its not a very nice drink. If you want to get pissed quickly just stick to bourbon its a lot nicer and if you are wanting to trip just do some acid or shrooms.
     
  10. noeticbuzz

    noeticbuzz Newbie

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    To me it tastes like fuckin antifreeze; but I really enjoy the clear headed drunk accompanied with it.


    I hear the Swiss make a fine absinthe.
     
  11. bassintro

    bassintro Newbie

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    The main ingrediant in absinthe besides alcohol is thujone. Thujone clings the the same brain receptors as THC, this is the only things that seperates strong alcohol drinks from absinthe. Thujone comes from the wormwood plant.I dont understand how taking an extract, wether is be essential oil or wormwood extract resin containing high amounts of thujone and adding it to grain alcohol or vodka would not produce the same mental effects as real absinthe?


    Everyone always says you can't just mix wormwood with vodka and get absinthe etc.... Maybee you wouldn't get "Absinthe" by doing that but you would get a strong alcoholic drink containing thujone which would alter the common drunk feeling you would normally get from drinking strong alcohol.


    I think this is what most people are looking for, another way to get drunk/high. Who gives a shit about the original green licorice tasting beverage from hundreds of years ago. I personally wouldnt care what it tasted like as long as it gave me the same buzz/high that a thujone/alohol drink would give me.
     
  12. nEone

    nEone Gold Member

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    In response to your post:

    The main ingrediant in absinthe besides alcohol is thujone.
    </font>

    Actually, the main ingredient in absinthe after alcohol is water. Most
    commercial absinthes are around 60% alcohol. Thujone levels tend to
    range between 10 - 30mg/litre. Additionally, while Thujone does interact
    with the same receptors as THC, it doesn't interact with them in the same
    WAY. Recent claims by low-brow absinthe manufacturers of "high
    thujone levels" are simply marketing tactics to lure buyers who are
    looking to get stoned. The truth is, there hasn't been very much study as
    to what combination of chemicals is responsible for the unique effects of
    a properly distilled absinthe - but it's been proven by many trials that
    Thujone alone is not responsible.

    Check out http://www.absinthe.se/thujone/ to see a comparison of a
    variety of different absinthe's and their relative thujone content. You'll
    see that the vintage Pernod Absinthe only had a thunjone content of
    6mg/litre.More is not necessarily better - in a lot of aspects of life -
    and in the case of Thujone, that's absolutely true. A lot of people can tell
    you from experience that choking down pure essence of wormwood
    doesn't get you high - but it might make you puke.

    I think this is what most people are looking for, another
    way to get drunk/high.

    Who gives a shit...

    I personally wouldnt care...
    </font>

    My point is, that's a pretty ignorant way to go about life. People make a
    big fuss over the way absinthe is made because they want to ENJOY the
    experience. There are much cheaper ways to get stoned/drunk. You can
    huff gasoline fumes at a Shell station for free and be high all day long.
    You can drink a few gallons of water and imbalance your electrolytes and
    get totally fucked up too.

    Steeping wormwood in vodka will deliver a thoroughly disgusting brew
    that will probably not extract nearly enough thujone to do anything other
    thn make your vodka taste like crap.
     
  13. nEone

    nEone Gold Member

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    right. there are basically two kinds of absinthes on the commercial market: Macerated and Distilled.



    Macerated, when done properly, can produce a very good drink - but just
    combining Vodka with wormwood isn't enough. It takes a lot of
    skill to blend the herbs in such a way as to make something worth
    drinking.



    Distilling produces a much more refined product. But there aren't
    that many distilleries out there. There are some though, and the
    price of their absinthe's reflects teh extra work that distilling
    requires.
     
  14. prospero

    prospero Gold Member

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    It's certainly true that tripping on Absinthe isn't anywhere near as easy as people believe. I've had two goes at it and just got very drunk on each occasion. However a friend of mine went to Spain and had a very powerful psychedelic experience on it - so it is possible, maybe it varies a lot from person to person. I also read somewhere that it's only really chronic absinthe cosumption that leads to powerful mental effects. Unfortunately chronic consumption of something that's pretty toxic isn't really a good idea!
     
  15. Mezza

    Mezza Gold Member

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    I've tried a couple of different absinthe brands, in the Czech republic,and had disappointing results each time - very drunk but no more. I also tried steeping wormwood in Vodka and that didn't seem to work either. I'll give it another go with a 'premium' absinthe brand before throwing in the towel!
     
  16. Turricaine

    Turricaine Newbie

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    I suppose it would be possible to make a superior strength absinthe as follows.


    To a 5 litre demijohn add one pound of powdered wormwood, 1 kg sucrose and 2 tsp yeast extract. Brew the broth and distill. I would like to know if such a product is indeed green color or just comes off colorless.


    Tramps absinth is made by steeping powdered wormwood in Pernod for two weeks. However, the product tastes like poison and is a foul brown color.
     
  17. genaro

    genaro Iridium Member

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    How to drink absinth & its psychedelic effects:

    I noticed that most people do not know how to drink absinth and would drink it just like vodka: to get drunk. So they often miss all the psychedelic part of the trip because they just feel too drunk.

    First, here's how I pepare one single glass:
    place 50mL absinth in the glass. Dip a sugar lump into the absinth and place it in a teaspoon (better use an absinth spoon).
    Then take the teaspoon with the sugar in it, place it over the top of the glass and use your lighter to fire it: the sugar lump (which has alcohol in it) will start to burn and melt, which will also make the absinth inside the glass burn (be careful not to spill it as it's very flammable), when it's gone out, just drop it into the glass.
    Add 100mL very fresh water into the glass. Stir it using the teaspoon and drink.

    Now, the most important part of the knowledge of the absinth drinker: how to get psychoactive effects out of it.
    If you drink absinth too quickly, you will get very drunk (due to the high alcohol content) and the alcohol effect will overstep and kill the psychoactive effects (narcotic & mild psychedelic) from wormwood and other plants. So you have to find the good timing between glasses so you feel as "high" than "drunk" (if you're too quick you'll only be very very drunk). My advice is (I'm 70kg): don't be on empty stomach, and drink one glass (50mL absinth+100mL water) each 40-45 minutes, this way you can drink it the all day long without getting too drunk and preserving the high for the all day.
    Anyway this depends on the person, the point is that if you feel like one more glass is going to make you fucking drunk, then just do not take it and wait until you feel you can take it without beeing too fucked up, 40minutes between two glasses is a good timing usually.
    If used correctly absinth doesn't make you feel drunk like vodka or tekila would: you don't have blurred vision, you do not experience dizziness or nausea, you're not confused and desoriented: you should feel high, happy, very clear headed, dreamy, you feel quite social and talking is very plesant, you may feel inspired & creative (thoughts are stimulated) or let's say a bit "space" in your head (ending up in very strange talking sometime). Aesthetic sense is increased: colors seem much more bright/deep, things look nicer & everything would seem more interesting than usual. One could easly understand why artists used to enjoy absinthe. Definately a mild psychedelic (and not so mild), I love it !
    If used the wrong way (drunk too quickly), you only feel the alcohol effect: you have vertigo, confusion, you feel extremely drunk, and you miss all the good part of the trip.

    Also note that absinth is very nice to drink while smoking some good hash...
    I guess I would also enjoy smoking a little opium or adding a few drops of laudanum to the drink BUT too much opium with alcohol would make you very sick and vomit (this would kill the all trip) and could be really dangerous (risk of OD because alcohol potentialise depressant effects of opiates) so one would have to use very very little opium only (not to ruin the all trip).


    Links:


    http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/absinthe/absinthe.shtml


    http://www.feeverte.net/


    http://www.oxygenee.com/Edited by: genaro
     
  18. genaro

    genaro Iridium Member

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    And here are a few notes about absinth ingredients (note this isn't the reciepe, it's just the list of herbs and quantitiesone can useto make 1L of very potent absinth).


    So, here are the maximum (do not use more)quantities of herbs used to make 1L absinth.
    Note that if you do not proceed to distillation, you'll have an awfully bitter tasting drink which won't have much to do with "absinth"...
    also note that there is a specific preparation process (described in the original reciepe in the absinth FAQ's on erowid) that you'll have to follow (macerating all the herbs at once in some alcohol and then distillating the mix won't give "real" absinth, and it won't be very good)

    The herbs you have to use (all absinths are made from these):

    dried wormwood (leaves and stems): 60g
    fennel (seeds): 70g
    anise (seeds): 50-60g

    The herbs you should use (most absinths are made from these):

    10g dried hyssop flower tops
    10g dried lemon balm leaves (aka melissa)
    4g dried mint leaves
    6g dried veronica leaves
    5g coriander seeds
    4g liquorice root
    1g lemon peel

    Other herbs you may also use to add to the psychoactive effects but which aren't absolutely necessary to the absinth drink preparation (some brands of absinth may contain these, some don't...and some are just my personal addition to the reciepe):

    angelic (seeds):5g
    dried calamus (root): 2-3g
    nutmeg (nut):1g
    fresh parsley (leaves):10g
    caraway (seeds):2g
    dried hops (leaves): 3-5g
    cardamom (seeds): 2g
    fresh Dill (leaves): 10g (this one is a personal idea as it's psychoactive and anis like tasting so I thought it would be a perfect additionalingredient)


    Note that all of these plants have minor psychoactive properties (maybe excepting hyssop, lemon balm, mint, veronica, coriander, liquorice and lemon peel) and it's the combination of all these which gives absinth its unique psychoactive effects.

    You also add 100mL sugar sirup to the finished drink.
    The finished absinth liquor must be 70% alcohol (so you usually use 80 to 96% alcohol during the fabrication process, which is then diluted to 70% )





    Mmm and here's an idea I just had: this wouldn't be anything like "real" absinth, but why not buy a bottle of Pastis...and add essential oils of each plants to it.One would have to determinate the exact dosage of each oil to obtain a taste as close as possibleof theabsinth taste, and also the same psychoactivity (beeing quite careful with essential oils which can be pretty toxic)...this could be an easy & cheap way to make a drink tasting quite like absinth and making you stone in the way that absinth does...the main trouble would be to find the exact dosage of each oil so it's psychoactive andgood tasting but non toxic.Edited by: genaro
     
  19. buddhasharlot

    buddhasharlot Newbie

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    As repeated multiple times, yes, I too believe people seeking "trips" on absinthe are misinformed. As I believe benga perhaps (sorry if this is incorrect, to whomever, my credit goes to you) mentioned in a different post and as the movie From Hell demonstrates, there were many other substances used with frequency and in combination with absinthe (e.g. opium). That being said, it can still be a pleasurable experience. I also think the insistence of absinthe being addictive, etc. (thinking of perhaps Degas' painting right now) is as simple as being an alchoholic. Given the proof, well, yes, there are crazy drunks...and there are crazy drunks on other substances. It's sad that so many recreations are struck down by misinformation, conservatives on soapboxes...
     
  20. wertfun

    wertfun Titanium Member

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    How to drink absinth & its psychedelic effects
    I think it is about why you are drinking it. For getting drunk, you get just drunk. I experienced ouzo psyhedelic effects many times, when it was in good company or good atmosphere, drinking it by completely enjoying the time going on.

    I can not tell did I drink it fast or slow, I think here is the point. when you forgot what are you drinking, you dont care WHEN you take a sip. If you are enjoying your time, I believe you wont get just drunk, you will feel the psyhedelic effects.