May 21, 2007

Lucid Absinthe: Available in the U.S.A.

We're immense Absinthe fans here in the Liquor Snob offices, but one of the problems has long been the inability to get it easily here in the States. For those of you who've been living under a rock for the last century or so, traditional Absinthe is illegal here in the U.S. and has been for quite a long time.

We've just gotten word, however, that Ted Breaux, the maverick behind Nouvelle Orleans, Verte Suisse, and Perique tobacco liqueur, is has gotten approval to release a new Absinthe called lucid here in the U.S.

We're pretty sure he was able to do it by keeping thujone, the reputedly psychoactive element in absinthe, out of the mix, but whatever it took, we applaud him. From what we've read on the lucid site it's very much a traditional French distillation, and with it clocking in at 124 proof (62% ABV) you won't miss the thujone. lucid retails for about $60, and is currently available in New York - which should make it much easier to get your hands on than its European brethren.

Read on for a snippet about lucid from the company website, and we'll keep you posted if we can get our hands on any to try it out; you can get your own bottle at Internet Wines & Spirits if you can't find it locally.

lucid is formulated by world renowned absinthe expert T.A. Breaux, and is distilled in strict accordance to traditional French methods. lucid is crafted in the historic Combier distillery, founded in 1834 and designed by Gustave Eiffel in the fabled Loire Valley of France. Each bottle of lucid is carefully prepared by skilled craftsmen, using ancient copper absinthe alembics. Unlike most contemporary imitators, lucid is distilled entirely from spirits and European herbs, and uses no artificial additives, oils, or dyes. lucid recalls the rich tradition of Absinthe, and is crafted using a full measure of Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), Green Anise, Sweet Fennel, and other fine European herbs traditionally used in making fine Belle Epoque absinthe.
lucid Absinthe Superieure [via The Real Absinthe Blog]; available at Internet Wines & Spirits

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at May 21, 2007 6:54 AM
Recent Comments

"The distiller tested many fine absinthes from pre-ban days and found that they also contained less than 10mg/liter of thujone. So Lucid is basically the same absinthe as was made over a hundred years ago"

Total rubbish. Real absinthe experts (not salesmen) say:

"It will be like drinking decaffeinated coffee," says Pierre-André Delachaux, a history professor. "I will keep on drinking illegal absinthe until the supply dries up, then I’ll switch to whisky."

Delachaux is an authorative expert on absinthe from its alleged birthplace, the Val de Travers region of Switzerland.

"They are playing pretend," study co-author Wilfred Arnold says of the liquor's new cheerleaders. "It is nothing like the old stuff." Nov. 29, 2007 Time Magazine

Professor Arnold is a biochemist from the University of Kansas.

That is two serious recognised academics verus a guy that makes TV shows and dials up radio stations.


Posted by: Muller at February 26, 2009 1:52 PM

I'm drinking a glass now. I am a drinker of fine scotch, tequila, wine and love a nice gin. I think this absinthe is a fine drink. That being said, I like the taste of anise, so if you do not, you'll probably hate the stuff (although the anise flavor is not as intense as many other anise liquors, like ouzo or sambuca, and Lucid is not sweet. It is a proper absinthe, being a liquor, not a liqueur).

Now, to those, such as Angela, who say this stuff will mess you up; you're right, it's nearly 70% alcohol! If a person drank half a bottle, he would be extremely inebriated, thujone or not.


Posted by: Cathasach at January 10, 2009 12:46 AM

Angela,

Your husband and brother were hammered. I've had absinthe before and it is typically rather high in alcohol content. Depending upon the bottle size, half of one split two ways may have been a bit too much especially if your family members are more into lower alcohol content substances.

Having some limited experience with absinthe (imported and with a respecable thujone content (if one trusts lables), and a variety of unapproved substances, I don't think it has actual hallucinogenic properties.

It has been a while, all I recall was a nice feeling, not the usual alcohol intoxication, a bit more euphoric.

A good friend has graced me with a bottle of Lucid, complete with a spoon and two nice glasses. and I'm looking forward to having a little of it with a few friends soon.


Posted by: JT at December 23, 2008 10:06 PM

Over the weekend my husband and brother drank a half of bottle. My brother after he got sick started to talk what he had threw up. Then my husband talked to a curtain for about a hour. So don't tell me this stuff does not mess you up.


Posted by: Angela at December 1, 2008 6:10 PM

I'm sipping a glass now as I write this and gods is it awful. Of course I hate black liquorice so that's to be expected. If you like anise you might like this but I hate it; it's gross.

Funny how the smear campaign actually made me WANT to buy it instead of the intended effect. Kind of like how the government is making legions of heroin addicted kids by telling them pot is just as bad as heroin (both are listed as class 1 narcotics). The kids try pot and say, "Gee this isn't bad at all. I guess if they lied about this they must be lying about heroin too."

Now that I've finished the glass I do feel a little something. Kind of a little woozy feeling, not unpleasant but no green fairies... damn.

Well, time to go kill some cops and innocent pedestrians... in Grand Theft Auto 4 that is.


Posted by: Mitur Binesderty at May 3, 2008 12:44 PM

actually, the claim that absinthe holds psychoactive properties which can lead to violence, psychosis, and hallucinations seem to be nothing more than a smear campaign. During the haydays of Absinthe, France was the country where it was the most popular. During this time, France's wine market nearly collapsed due to absinthe's popularity. People stopped drinking wine all together and thousands of smaller wineries were forced to foreclose because of a lack of demand. Bigger wineries that held a great deal of political clout forged a campaign that connected absinthe to uninvolved events and spread the lie that Absinthe held hallucinogenic properties. This tactic is the only possible angle that wine makers could take to stay in business


Posted by: Nick at September 14, 2007 6:34 PM

I bet the bulk of "crazy" effects people claim are real, but are the results of drinking full proof, undiluted absinthe, not from thujone or green fairies. Shots of any alcohol at 53% or higher will produce a head rush you'll never get from a cocktail or properly diluted absinthe; absinthes are bottled between 53% and 72% abv, but they're not meant to be consumed that way.


Posted by: salsa at July 8, 2007 6:19 PM

Thanks for the update - we apologize if we indicated there was no thujone at all, and we're glad you're keeping us honest.


Posted by: Liquor Snob at June 15, 2007 2:28 PM

Actually, Lucid does contain thujone. Thujone is allowed in alcohol as long as there is not more than 10mg/liter. The distiller tested many fine absinthes from pre-ban days and found that they also contained less than 10mg/liter of thujone. So Lucid is basically the same absinthe as was made over a hundred years ago. The supposed psychedelic properties sound like the "crazies" you get when you smoke marijuana; more rumor and propaganda than science in getting people to stop doing something. All this information was pulled off the Lucid website in their FAQ found here: http://www.drinklucid.com/faq.cfm


Posted by: Anonymous at June 15, 2007 1:54 PM
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