Absinthe is Legal Again - 11 Things You Need to Know

rez-art/iStock via Getty Images
rez-art/iStock via Getty Images

1. The anise-flavored spirit derived from the herb Artemisia absinthium, also called wormwood, was first distilled in Switzerland but didn't become popular until the French got hold of it in the 19th century, when it was thought to be wonderfully hallucinogenic.
2. Wormwood, as with most every other kind of herb, was first used by the ancient Egyptians as a remedy for certain ailments (then the Greeks, then the Romans - what else is new?).
3. But it took the French, in the mid 1800s to really make it popular by giving it to army troops as a malaria treatment.
4. Soon, there wasn't a café in Paris that wasn't serving it up. According to Wiki: "By 1910 the French were consuming 36 million liters of absinthe per year, more than they drank wine."
5. According to Wired.com, German scientists have recently discovered that there wasn't really anything hallucinogenic in absinthe, but at the time, absinthe addiction was blamed for everything from causing people to become delusional and insane, to provoking epilepsy and tuberculosis.
6. For these reasons, absinthe was banned in Switzerland in 1907 and the new law was penned into the Swiss constitution.

7. Other countries followed, including the U.S. in 1912 (and France in 1915).
8. But as all things historical are also cyclical, and so absinthe made a comeback in Europe in the 1990s. Now it's back and legal in many states in the U.S. In May 2007, Viridian Spirits launched Lucid Absinthe Supérieure, the first absinthe made with real Grande Wormwood available in the U. S. in 95 years.
9. The historic reversal was the result of extensive negotiations between Viridian and the U.S. government, ultimately lifting the ban.
10. Lucid is distilled at the Combier Distillery in Saumur, France, in original antique copper absinthe stills designed by Gustav Eiffel in the 19th century and sells for around $59.99 for a 750 ML bottle.
11. It's currently legal in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Anyone tried Lucid? Give us a full report in the comments below. And if you've tried any of the other brands, legal or otherwise, we'd love to know about those, too.

Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Get 70 Percent Off 15 Bottles of Wine From Around the World During This Black Friday Sale

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels
Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.

If you or a loved one always wants to try a new bottle of wine from around the globe, you can ensure there's always something fresh and exciting to drink at home with a delivery from Wine Insiders.

The vino pros over at Wine Insiders taste and collect the best selections from top wineries around the world and deliver them to your door in a convenient pack of 15 bottles. You won’t have to stand in the wine aisle at your local market for 20 minutes reading labels and googling grapes anymore; the pack arrives at your door within days of ordering it and is carefully curated to ensure every bottle is high quality.

The folks at BuzzFeed, Business Insider, Forbes, Refinery29, and Cosmopolitan have already applauded the top-rated mix of radiant whites and easy-drinking reds from Wine Insiders, and that high praise earned the 15-bottle pack a hefty price tag. But for a limited time, you can get your thirsty hands on the 15-pack valued at $300 for just $85, marking the price down by 71 percent. That’s a limited Black Friday value that averages less than $6 per bottle, making it an excellent purchase for your holiday shopping list of 15 friends, or a totally appropriate price to spend on your own wine stash.

Prices subject to change.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!