Learn More About The Drink That Made Van Gogh Cut Off His Ear

CuriosityPublished: January 10, 2018Updated: January 12, 201872 views
Published: January 10, 2018Updated: January 12, 2018

It is probably the most mysterious spirit out there, shrouded in myth. Absinthe has been the companion of many a goth fan-fictions and classic movies, making one think that the stuff we get today is but a pale imitation of what was once a legendary drink. But how much of stuff of legends is true?

First of all, the bright-green liquor is NOT illegal. All you have to do is go to the liquor store. It was officially legalized in 2007, although many can hear the scornful remark, claiming that the stuff you buy isn’t even real absinthe.

Speaking of genuity, according to expert Ted Breaux, we are living in the golden age of the drink! With a few exceptions, the quality and authenticity of absinthe found in the U.S. market is very good.

Also, the thing isn’t hallucinogenic, much to the disappointment of many. Absinthe is actually just a very powerful spirit, usually between 90 and 148 proof. But the reports of strange visions and lasting medical issues aren’t fake either. The culprit was sloppy distillation, just like improperly brewed moonshine.

Still, absinthe is as bizarre as we live it. The word “absinthe” was actually illegal, while the drink was not. When government made the drink illegal, they didn’t actually define what ‘absinthe’ was. In the 80s, a set of regulations set the standard for how much thujone, which is an ingredients in absinthe, can be allowed in food. Thujone is a neurotoxin that is released from wormwood, which is one of the key ingredients of absinthe. The thing is, there isn’t much evidence to claim that old-timey absinthe had more of the stuff than its modern counterparts.

And, of course, it is proclaimed the drink of artists. We are not saying you should be the creative type to drink it, but artists like Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh were public enjoyers of the “green fairy”. It has even been proclaimed that Van Gogh's obsession with absinthe was what made him cut off his ear.

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