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Bad news about absinthe

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Strictly Absinthe & Collectibles » Bad news about absinthe « Previous Next »

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Wolfgang
Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2002 - 7:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The question is is it legal to distill alcohol for personal use in Chili without a special licence ?

If it is, I guess you could do it.
Chevalier
Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2002 - 6:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, "absenta" is Spanish for absinthe. "Ajenjo" means wormwood. However, for whatever reason, the original text of the 1916 law says "La bebida denominada ajenjo (absinthe)". The word "absinthe" is in the text, parentheses and all. And "la bebida" means "the drink".

You guys are right: Distillation does not involve oils and essences. Thank God I haven't tried my hand at hogsmacking! Perhaps one could distill absinthe legally here. But I'm not the person to do it.
Chevalier
Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2002 - 6:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Funny you should mention that ...
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2002 - 6:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wouldn't pisco make an excellent alcohol base for absinthe?
Zman7
Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2002 - 5:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hmmm....
I thought that "absenta" was Spanish for absinthe? Or is ajenjo the plant and absenta the finished liqour product?
Also, if they distill it in the traditional way, i.e., macerating herbs/spices, that appears not to be violating "prohibiting the use/addition of wormwood oil/essence to foods and drink."
Wolfgang
Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2002 - 5:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"prohibiting the use/addition of wormwood oil/essence "

Here's the key ---> oil/essence.


I don't know about you but I prefer my absinthe without added oils or essences...
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2002 - 4:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Maybe I should get into that line of business.
Pataphysician
Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2002 - 4:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

And yet there is no law against homemade paintings, statues, figurines, books or other objects that are obscene or whose nature contributes to the perversion of morals or proper behavior.
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2002 - 4:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes. That was bad-news-of-the-day, part II. One month after Law #3066 was passed, another law came along prohibiting the use/addition of wormwood oil/essence to foods and drink.

In any case, I'm not a distiller. And since the only thing that Chileans distill well is pisco ...
Traineraz
Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2002 - 3:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Is there a law against distilling it there?
Chevalier
Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2002 - 3:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

At least for me, it's bad news. A librarian of the Chilean Congressional Archives, who told me a while back that absinthe was legal in Chile, let me know today that he'd found evidence to the contrary. And here it is, translated from Spanish:

NATIONAL FINANCES MINISTRY Law #3066

Passed on March 1st, 1916.

ARTICLE 5: We hereby prohibit the importation of paintings, statues, figurines, books or other objects that are obscene or whose nature contributes to the perversion of morals or proper behavior.

ARTICLE 6: We also prohibit the importation of:

#1. The drink denominated "ajenjo" (absinthe); ...

#2. Saccharine or related products ... Drinks or foods which contain saccharine or related products ...


Etc., etc.

Judging by the amount of saccharine I see on supermarket shelves here, my guess is that the law against it has since been repealed. Not so with absinthe, which has simply been forgotten.

Question: Is there a way to interpret this law that would allow my friend's soon-to-open bar to bring in absinthe from abroad? There's no law against it being served here; the problem is legal importation.

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