There is always that one drunk guy at a party that has always been waaaay drunker than anyone ever has in their life. You know, the one guy who has even tried absinthe. Well now you can call him out on his bullshit, because no, he did not get his hands on the magical alcohol that makes you hallucinate.
Scientists have recently underwent an in-depth analysis of century-old bottles of absinthe, and despite what you may have heard, it seems as if the main ingredient that makes absinthe so powerful is simply the percentage of alcohol. Absinthe is 70 percent alcohol, making it 140-proof, not unlike Bacardi 151.
Absinthe was originally created in Switzerland and has been revered by such creative minds such as Vincent van Gough, Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, and Arthur Rimbaud. In their day they were seen as sort of “bad boys” with a devious addiction to this alcohol.
Due to the people the alcohol was associated with it was vilified by many European nations and the United States. Many scientists have determined that absinthe’s reputation could have derived from alcoholism, or possibly the leaking of toxic compounds during faulty distillation. Many people originally sited the chemical thujone in wormwood - it is also the thing that gives the drink its green color.
Yet, it seems that the levels of thujone in absinthe have simply been exaggerated, and there is no empirical evidence to support the claim that it is this chemical that lead to “absinthe madness.” This is another case of people going into hysterics over a mind-altering drug and letting their fears take over rather than making rational observations.