What is Absinthe? A Dialogue

The scene: Fuzzy and Kojak are standing at the rail of notorious bar in the French Quarter. The topic of absinthe comes up, giving rise to the following spirited discussion.

FUZZY
So, chief, what is this absinthe? Is it legal? Does it make you hallucinate? Where do I get some?

KOJAK
Ahh, sporto. Absinthe is a natural thing. It’s made from natural botanicals and of course alcohol.

FUZZY
But does it make you see green fairies?

KOJAK
No! Of course not! That is absolute balderdash that was put out by tea-totaling nut cases. Generally, absinthe is a high alcohol content, anise-flavored distilled spirits product derived from certain herbs, including Artemisia absinthium, or wormwood. Wormwood contains trace quantities of the substance thujone, which is alleged to have hallucinogenic or psychotropic effects. Absinthe was popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, particularly in France, and was often portrayed as an addictive and psychotropic beverage due to the presence of the substance thujone.

FUZZY
So does it have a lot of this evil thujone stuff in it?

KOJAK
No, that is a bunch of foolishness. Today, absinthe is thujone-free.

FUZZY
What does that mean?

KOJAK
The Feds approve the use of the term “absinthe” on the label of a distilled spirits product and in related advertisements only if the product is “thujone-free” pursuant to the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation at 21 CFR 172.510. Based upon the level of detection of FDA’s prescribed method for testing for the presence of thujone, the Federal Government considers a product to be “thujone-free” if it contains less than 10 parts per million of thujone.

FUZZY
That’s not very much, is it now?

KOJAK
Most definitely not. And should the FDA set a new standard for “thujone-free,” in accordance with 27 CFR 13.51, certificates of label approval that are not in compliance with that revised standard will be revoked by operation of regulation.

FUZZY
In other words, they will be yanked like an inflamed appendix?

KOJAK
Something like that. On top of that, any artwork or graphics on the label, advertising, and point of sale materials using the term “absinthe” may not project images of hallucinogenic, psychotropic, or mind-altering effects.

FUZZY
So, we have to drink this absinthe in moderation?

KOJAK
That is correct. Drink up, carefully!

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.

This entry was posted in Atelier Vie, Toulouse Red. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.