11.12.2007

Absinthe Is Now Legal in the U.S.?

Apparently, after a 95-year ban, it is now legal to import two brands of the green muse - containing actual wormwood - into the United States:

Last spring a French brand, Lucid, made its debut here, using 19th-century distilling methods and replicating chemical analyses of pre-ban absinthe. A Swiss absinthe, K├╝bler. appeared on the American market a few weeks ago, using a 1863 family formula.

One reason legal barriers have fallen is that, as The New Yorker reported in 2006, the regulated chemical thujone, found in wormwood and once thought to have been the cause of absinthe’s lure and its dangers, did not show up in any significant quantities in analyses of historical absinthe. So these authentic replicas, despite containing wormwood, do not pose a legal challenge.

I guess this means the classic New Orleans cocktail, the sazerac, has at last been saved.