Absinthe in a coupe glass
Food - Drink
The Hoax Related To How Absinthe Got Its Reputation
With an ABV up to 74% and a nickname like the “green fairy,” absinthe has quite a reputation, but reports of the spirit’s hallucinogenic properties are largely overstated.
Most of its hallucinogenic reputation comes from historic reports of altered mental states and behavioral changes in people after they consumed what they believed was absinthe.
In fact, these side effects were from drinking a cheaply manufactured approximation of absinthe that had been adulterated with toxic substances as a production shortcut.
These additives, like methanol, antimony, and copper sulfate, caused the hallucinations, but cost-cutting distillers perpetuated the idea that absinthe itself was the problem.
The reputation persisted because absinthe incorporates wormwood, which contains a substance called thujone that can cause psychoactive and other nervous system issues.
However, recent evidence has shown that absinthe does not and never has contained enough thujone to produce the odd behavior and hallucinations associated with the alcohol.