The Green Menace Returns

Absinthe has long been outlawed in the United States but is today enjoying a renewed popularity in Europe. Wired magazine takes a look at a modern day absinthe distiller who used science to distill the myths behind absinthe.

Wired: One of the ingredients is thujone, a compound in wormwood that is toxic if it’s ingested, capable of causing violent seizures and kidney failure. Breaux hands me a bottle of pure liquid thujone. “Take a whiff,” he says with an evil grin. I recoil at the odor – it’s like menthol laced with napalm. This is the noxious chemical compound responsible for absinthe’s bad reputation. The question that’s been debated for years is, Just how much thujone is there in absinthe?

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