Taste of Absinthe


Pages 19 – 20

^ A. Borel Decanting Method

It is not difficult to oppose the exaggerations of the absinthe detractors with the reasonable opinions expressed by many scientists. Allow us to cite some: Dr. F.-J Cazin, in his practical and reasoned treatise on medicinal plants (Paris 1886), says, with regard to wormwood “in moderate amounts, it excites the stomach, sharpens the appetite, facilitates digestion, and accelerates the circulatory and secretive functions”.

We read in the New Dictionary of the medicinal plants, by Dr. A. Heraud (Paris 1875. J.-B. Baihiere and Son, 19 Hautefeuille Street): “If one takes account of the weak quantities of alcohol and essences which absinthe contains, one sees that with the amount of one or two glasses per day, it can have only slight influence on the consumer.” Dr. Heraud notes that the danger comes not from moderate use of absinthe, but from the abuse in which a great number of drinkers all too easily involve themselves. One can say as much of the abuse of wine, beer, cider and other drinks classed as healthy. MM. Dujardin-Beaumetz and E.Egasse, in their treatise on the indigenous and exotic medicinal plants (Paris 1889. Doin, editor), after having indicated the proportions of alcohol and essences contained in an ordinary glass of absinthe, add “One sees that the proportion of essence is very tiny, and it is appropriate to incriminate all alcohol as well, especially when it contains pentanol, as is the case with inferior liquors. Bad alcohol, that is the enemy! We need look no further. That was demonstrated by Mr. Emmanuel Alglave at the international congress of hygiene which met in Budapest in September 1894, the cause of alcoholism lies much less in the quantity of alcohol absorbed than in the bad quality of the alcohol. Indeed, liquors derived from industrial alcohols contain, in addition to pure ethanol, pentanols, butylic and methyl alcohol, etc. It is important to distinguish pure ethanol from the others, particularly pentanol, because there are radical difference between their effects.