Wormwood in Martini Rosso?

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived thru April 2001:Topics Archived thru April 2001:Wormwood in Martini Rosso?
By Artemis on Sunday, April 29, 2001 - 03:23 pm: Edit

"I shall survive to be scorched again another day ;-)"

Without question. Live long and prosper.

By Ariadnae on Sunday, April 29, 2001 - 09:26 am: Edit

Artemis--

Thanks...slowly I am developing a bit of an asbestos covering. I shall survive to be scorched again another day ;-)

By Absinthesque on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 09:58 am: Edit

thanks for the info on mastic, don. it's interesting that like wormwood, mastic has antibactrial qualities and has been used for digestive disorders.

i tried the mastica again last night and enjoyed it a good deal more the second time round. sampled next to l'interdite (my least favorite la bleue), it's got a nuttier flavor and less bitterness than absinthe, but the uninitiated would probably deem them different versions of the same drink. mastica and la bleue are probably closer to each other in taste than either is to the spanish absinthes. i wonder if the greek version, with its higher alcohol content, can be found in the states.

mark

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 - 09:42 am: Edit

There is quite a bit on the Net about Chios, mastic etc. We can forget the pistaschio nut.

This mastic is a resin (sap) of a tree that only grows on Chios -- the home of the poet Homer. About 5000 families support themselves in some measure by cultivation of the tree and collection of mastic, which solidifies on exposure to air. It is mostly (90%) exported from Greece to the Arab world. Perhaps they use it in arak/raki? Which would make these liqueurs indeed close to ouzo.

Anyway it is also used in pharmaceuticals, chewing gum, etc. Consider the name 'mastic' and its relation to 'masticate', to chew. I will have to look this up in Merck.

"CHIOS ISLAND: HISTORICAL DATA
The island of chios, which is located in the east of Greece, once constituted a part of Mimas mountain but has been detached from it for thousands of years. The peaks of mountains and caves found in them show that in very ancient years, volcanic formations had developed, a fact which is eluded to in Chios’ ancient name “Aethalia”. The island owes its’ fertility to this. Chios is also mentioned as being the homeland of Homer.

THE MASTIC TREE

The Latin name of the tree is Pistacia Lentiscus Var Chia. There are three types of mastic trees: P. Lentiscus, Terebinthus and P. Vera. The tree belongs to the family ANACARDEACA and is a variety of Pistacia Lentiscus.

The mastic tree has a circular trunk that is not straight. Its’ roots spread out in many directions and very often reach a length of twenty meters. The mastic tree grows in slow rythms and reaches its’ zenith of development in thirty to fourty years. From the fifth to sixth year, it begins to produce mastic and from its’ welfth to thirteenth year each tree yields between 320 and 1000 grams of mastic. It lives for 100 years but it is said that here are trees which are 200 years old.

MASTIC VILLAGES

Mastic trees are produced and cultivated in twenty-one villages on the island of chios. The southern part of Chios is the only place in the world where mastic trees are grown and mastic is produced. Repeated attempts made around the world including in other parts of the island aside from the southern section to cultivate mastic-producing mastic trees elsewhere have all failed. In other words, the mastic tree can be grown elsewhere but will not produce mastic.

The number of mastic trees is constantly multiplying. A 1940 census showed 1.500.000 trees while a 1986 census showed not only in the agricultural revenue of the products in those villages, but also in the total amount of this agricultural product for the entire district.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




LABORATORIES SODIS LTD
EXPORTERS - MANUFACTURERS
Central Office:
29,M.Alexandrou str.
171 21 N.Smirni Athens Greece
tel:++30-1-9316115-6
fax: ++30-1-9316115
e-mail to us
Laboratories :
22, Aplotarias str.
821 00 Chios Greece
tel: ++3027128643 - 24152
fax:++3 0271 24152

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 - 09:22 am: Edit

Without looking it up I would have to raise an eyebrow over 'Pistacia' as the latin, is this by any chance Pistaschio nut?

I will do some delving.

By Absinthesque on Wednesday, April 25, 2001 - 02:17 am: Edit

Interesting hypotheses, especially Don, Ted and Blackjack. I will await further elaboration.

Don, are you familiar with the plant "Pistacia lentiscus Chia or latifolia" from which "mastic" is produced, and is there another common name for it? I've never heard of this herb.

The Macedonian Mastika I recently obtained was not intended for export to the EU, and so the rules cited would not apply. As noted in another thread, my friend in Eastern Europe did not distinguish among Mastika, Ouzo and Absinthe. . .and my guess up to now had been that Mastika was just a slavic word for Ouzo.

Mark

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 05:16 pm: Edit

Dear Heiko

http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/lif/dat/1989/en_389R1576.html

Of course, since '89 this may have been superceded.

Yeah, the definition of ouzo was too cute. Mastic from only one Aegean isle. Right. Made only in traditional discontinuous copper stills of leaa than 1000 liters. Uh-huh. Tell it to Metaxa.

Now we know why Macedonian Mastika isn't called Ouzo.

Also that many absinthes are classed as liqueurs d'anis (and so labelled).

By Heiko on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 11:13 am: Edit

Don, is this an EU-definition?

I can't believe how strict the regulations for Ouzo are! What is definitely never the case with Ouzo in Germany is that it must have 55% of alcohol or more. Almost all alcoholic drinks stay below 37.5% to avoid very high tax, better spirits have up to 45% or maybe sometimes more - but these are only the expensive traditionally produced specialties.

I just have a bottle in front of me which says in big capital letters "OUZO - Greek Aperitif - product of Greece - 37.5% Vol."
So the regulation that it must have more than 55% cannot apply.
You couldn't sell sparkling wine with a "champagne" label here for long...Germans just love to exactly enforce regulations - they love it so much it gets silly pretty often...

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 11:02 am: Edit

The particularly interesting things in this are:

1. for pastis to be pastis, the liquor must repeat MUST contain licorice root.

2. for pastis to be pastis, the anethole content must be not less than 1.5 gram and not more than 2 grams per liter. That's 1500-2000 mg/L, somewhat higher if expressed as ppm.

3. Up to 100 g/L sugar is allowed.

4. The EU law makes no distinction between aniseed and star anise (or fennel for that matter). It does recognize that these are different species. It just allows that they all taste the same (which is not true.)

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 10:54 am: Edit

(o)
Aniseed-flavoured spirit drinks:
(1) Spirit drinks produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with natural extracts of star anise (Illicium verum), anise (Pimpinella anisum), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), or any other plant which contains the same principal aromatic constituent, using one of the following processes:
- maceration and/or distillation,
- redistillation of the alcohol in the presence of the seeds or other parts of the plants specified above,
- addition of natural distilled extracts of aniseed-flavoured plants,
- a combination of these three methods.
Other natural plant extracts or aromatic seed may also be used, but the aniseed taste must remain predominant.
(2) For an aniseed-flavoured spirit drink to be called 'pastis' it must also contain natural extracts of liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), which implies the presence of the colorants known as 'chalcones' as well as glycyrrhizic acid, the minimum and maximum levels of which must be 0,05 and 0,5 grams per litre respectively.
Pastis contains less than 100 grams of sugar per litre and has a minimum and maximum anethole level of 1,5 and 2 grams per litre respectively.
(3) For an aniseed-flavoured spirit drink to be called 'ouzo' it must:
- have been produced exclusively in Greece,
( ) - have been produced by blending alcohols flavoured by means of distillation or maceration using aniseed and possibily fennel seed, mastic from a lentiscus indigenous to the island of Chios (Pistacia lentiscus Chia or latifolia) and other aromatic seeds, plants and fruits; the alcohol flavoured by distillation must represent at least 20 % of the alcoholic strength of the ouzo.
That distillate must:
- have been produced by distillation in traditional discontinuous copper stills with a capacity of 1 000 litres or less,
- have an alcoholic strength of not less than 55 % vol an not more than 80 % vol.
Ouzo must be colourless and have a sugar content of 50 grams or less per litre.
(4) For an aniseed-flavoured spirit drink to be called anis, its characteristic flavour must be derived exclusively from anise (pimpinella anisum) and/or star anise (illicium verum) and/or fennel (foeniculum vulgare). The name 'distilled anis' may be used if the drink contains alcohol distilled in the presence of such seeds, provided such alcohol constitutes at least 20 % of the drink's alcoholic strength.
(p)
Bitter-tasting spirit drinks or bitter:
Spirit drinks with a predominantly bitter taste produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with natural and/or nature-identical flavouring substances as defined in Article 1 (2) (b) (i) and (ii) of Directive 88/388/EEC and/or flavouring preparations as defined in Article 1 (2) (c) of that Directive.
The drinks may also be marketed as 'amer' or bitter with or without another term.
This provision shall not affect the possible use of the terms 'amer' for bitter for products not covered by this Article.

By Morriganlefey on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 10:47 am: Edit

>"Either that or my attempt at humor was far more lame than I had anticipated... I can definitely identify with that, having recently alienated someone here (apparently) with just such a lame attempt, and gotten pissed off at humor that went over my head many times before that."

I think we're all intelligent enough here to recognize and enjoy a good-natured mocking or gentle verbal spanking. It's when the humor becomes too biting, antagonistic, or close-to-the-bone, that it loses it's brilliance. That's when I (and I believe others here too) "check out" of a thread. This statement is both general and specific (but time heals most wounds, doesn't it?).

- M

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 10:40 am: Edit

I love the assertion that wine is a cure or antidote for alcohol(ism). The author apparently had not met too many Bowery winos.

Obviously this was just vintner propaganda against the distilled spirits industry -- particularly the absinthe trade, as the vintners wouldn't be so quick to attack the brandy, marc, and calvados distillers or the eau-du-vie distillers.

Incidentally I ran across the main EU legislation codifying definitions of various types of liquor and setting 'standards'. Absinthe is not mentioned but pastis, ouzo, etc are. This legislation permits 1000 ppm methanol in such liquor. And gave the Portuguese an exemption for a while, allowing up to 1500 ppm methanol. I am given to understand that the EU methanol limit for neutral spirits is now 500 ppm and in practice the European spirits industry limits methanol to 50 ppm or less. Good. That is a viable number.

I may go look at this again and quote the pastis and amer (etc) section in full here. It is noteworthy.

By Heiko on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 10:07 am: Edit

"Frankly, I was kind of hoping for a comment (or giggle) about zonking out on vermouth as a cure for menstrual cramps. Perhaps you're all guys and couldn't relate ;-)"

--Additionally I guess everyone here has heard more than one time about the use of a.absinthium as a cure for menstrual cramps (you read this in every good approach to wormwood as it was probably the first medicinal usage in ancient greece).
At least for me that was the reason to be not at all surprised for this usage of vermouth - and laughter is usually induced by surprise...

By Artemis on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 07:45 am: Edit

"Either that or my attempt at humor was far more lame than I had anticipated..."

I can definitely identify with that, having recently alienated someone here (apparently) with just such a lame attempt, and gotten pissed off at humor that went over my head many times before that. Just hang in there, you'll be fine.

By Artemis on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 07:39 am: Edit

"I didn't think I was being particularly paranoid. "

I didn't say you were, Don Walsh said that. Don and I are not the same person, I can assure you, nor do we coordinate on our posts.

"But, will admit that I tend to try to support assertions I make when I'm challenged on them"

That's normal.

(and when I see my words quoted I get a bit antsy)."

So do I. Blackjack's method of putting them into a sort of corral makes me especially queasy, but it comes with the territory here.

"As I said, (and this is without paranoia) that I'm not known here, so my ideas about absinthe have not really been brought to the fore--just asking for a bit of time and patience in that area."

Consider yourself baptized by fire. You're now one of us.

"I've read several of Ted's posts since I've been lurking, and realize his vast knowledge. I have a great deal of respect there."

Ted is working on something large. I'm privy to some aspects of it but sworn to secrecy. Just keep following his posts, I'm confident you'll learn more than at any lecture. I know I have.

"Frankly, I was kind of hoping for a comment (or giggle) about zonking out on vermouth as a cure for menstrual cramps. Perhaps you're all guys and couldn't relate ;-)"

Well, that's out of my league for sure. Welcome to the group.

By Grimbergen on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 07:52 pm: Edit

"Frankly, I was kind of hoping for a comment (or giggle) about zonking out on vermouth as a cure for menstrual cramps. Perhaps you're all guys and couldn't relate ;-)"

I certainly can't relate, but I now intend to pump my girlfriend full of martinis! Can't hurt eh?

Grim

By Ariadnae on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 07:25 pm: Edit

Either that or my attempt at humor was far more lame than I had anticipated...

By Ariadnae on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 07:13 pm: Edit

Artemis--

I didn't think I was being particularly paranoid. Perhaps just poor word choice? But, will admit that I tend to try to support assertions I make when I'm challenged on them (and when I see my words quoted I get a bit antsy). As I said, (and this is without paranoia) that I'm not known here, so my ideas about absinthe have not really been brought to the fore--just asking for a bit of time and patience in that area.

I have, over the years, heard alot of pro/con arguments from many dif. areas about absinthe (I also know someone who is very involved with it). I also knew before I went to that lecture that absinthe as we know it is not absinthe as it was know. Hence, part of my curiosity about what this lecturer was going to say (also to see how many recovery freaks would be reciting their prohibitionist mantras. I have a small problem with rabid recovery people and like to keep up on their rhetoric.)I can admit that I haven't read everything or heard everything. I'm just gathering info and like to gather from all areas. I have a rather open mind about many things and don't pass judgment usually until I've gone thru the experience myself. Life is one giant experiential lab for me.

I've read several of Ted's posts since I've been lurking, and realize his vast knowledge. I have a great deal of respect there.

Frankly, I was kind of hoping for a comment (or giggle) about zonking out on vermouth as a cure for menstrual cramps. Perhaps you're all guys and couldn't relate ;-)

By Petermarc on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 02:56 pm: Edit

statistics from 'le courrier français'...1901...
'absinthe has directly caused 50.000 crimes, 60.000 cases of insanity, 1.800 suicides, 130.000 cases of tuberculosis, etc. etc....only aperitifs with a generous base of wine like 'quinquina dubonnet' can be taken without problems...wine is considered as an antidote of alcohol, one must be advised...'
i hope this makes everything clear now, the facts were already in a long time ago...

By Artemis on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 12:19 pm: Edit

"It wouldn't surprise me if the effects of absinthe were not directly caused by it's non-alcohol ingredients at all, but, instead, were caused by some of the herbal chemicals inhibiting or potentiating the effects of the alcohol, and that the herbs alone would have little effect."

A big amen to that. To put it in slightly different terms, I don't think it's what the herbs do to the brain at all, but what the herbs do to what the *alcohol* does to the brain, that is responsible for the great part of absinthe's "secondary effects".

By _Blackjack on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 11:43 am: Edit


Quote:

After all, thujone would have to be as potent as morphine mg for mg to cause any appreciable effect in these concentrations, and this is certainly not the case!



This is an important point. There are precious few agents which have any profound pharmacologic effects, especially psychoactive ones, at the sub-milligram level. It wouldn't surprise me if the effects of absinthe were not directly caused by it's non-alcohol ingredients at all, but, instead, were caused by some of the herbal chemicals inhibiting or potentiating the effects of the alcohol, and that the herbs alone would have little effect.

By Tabreaux on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 11:22 am: Edit

I can second the crazy things that can be expected when assaying terpenes via GC. I am forced to go MS with NBS confirmation to really build a proper set of data.

As far as the quality of absinthe way back when, looking at the production numbers, it actually seems that the vast majority of absinthe was actually good quality, coming from rural, agricultural areas. It seems as though the toxic swill was prepared in small warehouses in urban areas (e.g. Paris), and reached only a comparatively small percentage of the population. When you consider that 'absinthism' seems to have affected mostly those who were of low socioeconomic status and in urban areas, it seems to support the very viable theory that absinthism was caused by toxic adulterants.

Absinthism seems to have affected only a very small percentage of those who drank absinthe. After all, absinthe was enjoyed by millions over a period of 100 years. It only makes sense that deleterious effects were caused by inferior products, which held only a very small part of the market. It has never been proven that a quality product caused harm to anyone, outside of the normal effects of alcohol of course.

By Tabreaux on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 11:11 am: Edit

Well, that's the magic question. It is widely accepted that absinthe lends some type of feeling that we call 'secondary effects', albeit to an exponentially lesser degree than the exaggerated and romanticized misinterpretations derived from antique literature. The only thing evident in this subject is that no one knows what causes it, but it is almost certainly a combination of things. After all, go without food for awhile (like many poor artists did) and subject yourself to a few stiff shots of a strong alcoholic herbal liqueur with stimulating and sedative herbs and see what you get.

The thujone argument was simply offered as a possible explanation. It is a novel one, but is very weak when a little more research is exercised. Although it has not yet been entirely debunked (don't want to get ahead of ourselves), everything points against it. After all, thujone would have to be as potent as morphine mg for mg to cause any appreciable effect in these concentrations, and this is certainly not the case! The entire thujone hypothesis has been handled carelessly by those who have promoted it, and quite honestly, I am amazed at how sloppy some of the published work has been. This theory was generated more than 100 years ago, and it was unsubstantiated then. Back then however, it could not be explored further simply due to the limitation of analytical chemistry. Blind assumptions were made by some scientists at the time, and this was used as a basis for the case against absinthe. Not everyone bought this weak argument, including Pernod Fils, as evidenced in their 1899 corporate brochure.

Today, there are few excuses for perpetuating something that could very well be a fairy-tale. I am working to clear it up, one way or another, at this very point in time. I want to be sure that whatever it is I have to say is air-tight before I say it.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 11:09 am: Edit

Mark, as the producers of the only contemporary absinthes to totally replicate antique premium absinthes, let me say that you make too many assumptions about the nature and effects of old absinthes, and their causes.

The bulk (85%) of antique absinthes were not the 4-5 premium labels. The bulk of absinthe consumed in 19th century was macerated/steeped swill adulterated with heavy metals, insecticides, aniline dyes, etc., and those adulterants were probably responsible for the damage done by absinthe. Any attempt to take an anecdotal account of 'effects' from a century gone by or more, and extrapolate that, would need to be based on a certainty that one was drinking absinthe and not absinthe plus antomony plus aniline plus copper acetylarsenate, etc.

By Morriganlefey on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 11:08 am: Edit

Just wanted to add that - small bonfire flames aside - this thread has developed into one of the more interesting and informative and *gasp* actually absinthe-related threads I've read in here in quite awhile. Bravo.

-M

By Don_Walsh on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 11:01 am: Edit

Amen, Artemis.

Ariadne, no one is out to get you, so paranoia is unjustified.

Yes, the anti-absinthe campaign of 1900-1915 (to arbitrarily define it) was in alliance with the winegrowers, and vermouth is a mixture of white wines traditionally flavoured with Artemisia species, thujone containing herbs. However, the thujone content must be awfully low since the alcohol level is too low in any wine to leach out much thujone. Therefore, I suspect 14-14 mg/L is way too high. Frankly, that is way too high for absinthe, not vermouth. Furthermore, the EU limit is expressed as mg/Kg (same as ppm) and since wine is < than specific gravity (density) for water, the mg/Kg rate is always higher than the mg/L rate. This is always true for ANY mixture of ethanol and water unless some absurdly high level of dissolved substances (say sugars) skews things, as in the case of some creme liqueurs.

I am not attacking Mr Wormwood's work, I am just saying that the gc analysis of these terpenes is tricky, so much so that standard EU/UK protocols often give spurious results, and must be repeated. Without using internal standards it is about impossible to be sure even if one known and obtains the proper column.

By Absinthesque on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 10:43 am: Edit

It seems to me that there's a fairly broad consensus in this forum that modern absinthe produces some secondary effects. The debate has been about the nature and intensity of the effects. Even if one rejects the overblown statements of the prohibitionists, it appears from the historical accounts that pre-ban absinthe was probably stronger than its modern cousin.

Until recently, the assumption has been that thujone was the pscyhoactive agent. If Ted is correct in his view that thujone does not produce secondary effects, I'm wondering if anyone has any theories as to what does.

Mark

By Artemis on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 10:32 am: Edit

"With respect to absinthe, no researcher can make a truthful comparison or comment, simply because none have any of the original products to test."

Thank you, Ted. That is precisely the (rather obvious) fact to which I was trying to guide Ariadnae. I'd bet a bottle of La Fee that the lecturer to whom she referred has never been in the same room with a bottle of REAL absinthe, much less tested it in any way.

Ariadnae, nobody knows how much thujone was in historical (real) absinthe, except possibly Ted. THAT is why the lecturer was uninformed. Not unlearned, not stupid, just uninformed. And that is why I (and so should you, in my opinion) take the words of any and all lecturers on that subject with a grain of salt.

I was once just as offended as you appear to be now, when Ted would shoot down my (less than well informed) conclusions in this forum, but he wasn't trying to insult me, he was merely trying to get me to think outside the box in which Dr. Arnold and a bunch of 19th Century quack science have put us.

By Tabreaux on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 07:41 am: Edit

Vermouth and any other liqueur that uses thujone-containing herbs that are processed in certain ways will contain some level of thujone. As this researcher pointed out, these levels of thujone are negligible with respect to what it would take to cause a reaction. The different types of thujone referred to are almost certainly the alpha and beta types. This is purely academic however, as since thujone is present in concentrations many, many times lower than an acutely 'active' dose, it is irrelevent.

With respect to absinthe, no researcher can make a truthful comparison or comment, simply because none have any of the original products to test.

By Artemis on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 06:50 am: Edit

"Well, Artemis, since I'm relatively new here, I'd like to assert that you don't really know if I'm in a box or not."

I was referring strictly to your beliefs about thujone in various liquors. You are solidly in the box on that score. The day will come when the box is busted wide open, and then you'll know I was right.

"If you want to assert someone is unlearned without knowing who they are, well, I'm not sure I can say anything to change that."

Don't put words into my mouth. I didn't say she was unlearned, I urged *you* to question whether she *knows* something about thujone in liquor. From all you've revealed, she merely repeated that tired old crap from Dr. Arnold. If you want to buy into the gospel according to Dr. Arnold, that's up to you. But there's definitely nothing you can say to make me buy into it.

By Wormwood on Monday, April 23, 2001 - 04:07 am: Edit

I am probably the only person on the forum who has ever bothered to test for Thujone levels in vermouth.

I tested for alpha and beta thujone in a variety of liquors about a year ago.

I tested red Cinzano Vermouth I found no detectable a-thujone and 14.38 mg/L b-thujone.

I my view all that proves is some type of thujone containing herb is used in the flavoring process, probably wormwood.

Why is vermouth legal? The French anti-alcohol movement 100 years ago knew if they went after any kind of wine they would loose everything they were working for. They would loose support of the french people and more importantly, support of their efforts to ban absinthe by the wine industry.

By Ariadnae on Sunday, April 22, 2001 - 02:10 pm: Edit

Well, Artemis, since I'm relatively new here, I'd like to assert that you don't really know if I'm in a box or not. I want to say the lecturer's name as Lale Aka Burk, but don't hold me to that. If I could find the program, I'd give you her exact name and email address. As I said, this wasn't the kind of lecture where someone could just spout their "findings" without having done the research and compared it with others, as you suggest. If you want to assert someone is unlearned without knowing who they are, well, I'm not sure I can say anything to change that.


As far as the "boding patters" comment goes, that's just my fuzzy rememberance of a highly techinical lecture--since I'm not a chemist but a theologian, the exact terminology eludes me.

By Artemis on Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 02:20 pm: Edit

"Actually, yes, she did"

She has done scientific research on the presence or absence of thujone in absinthe and other liquors, and the effects of thujone on human beings when present? This research has been reviewed and/or duplicated by qualified scientists?

I'm trying to get you to think outside the box. I submit she knew nothing other than what she had read, and there are numerous people in this forum who have done the same reading and are more informed than this nameless lecturer.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 12:49 pm: Edit

Doesn't mean much unless she was overtly in favor of absinthe's vindication.

Bonding patterns of thujone?

Give me a break! (Speaking as a chemist.)

By Ariadnae on Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 12:28 pm: Edit

"But did he have a clue what he was talking about?"

Actually, yes, she did...she was not a person who was there to talk about the "dangers" of any particular substance, nor to support a "don't use drugs" political line. The conference wasn't that type of conference--it was mostly about addiction in the classical sense(one presenter gave an interesting talk on addiction in Aristotle), not in the "recovery movement" sense. The presenter was a very well-informed, well-known chemist and the discussion was rather techincal and consisted of alot about of the chemical bonding patterns of thujone. The comments that were made were not to pass judgment on any group in particular.

Frankly, she also spoke about absinthe's bad rap in history when compared to the positive publicity around vermouth.

By Artemis on Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 09:07 am: Edit

"I was at a conference on addictions last fall, and they did mention thujone levels in vermouth, but the lecturer either said they were "negligible" when compared to those in absinthe"

But did he have a clue what he was talking about?

"Vermouth's use in cooking also gives it a "legit" status"

Absinthe was/is also used in cooking. As Ted has pointed out, a campaign was mounted to destroy absinthe because it was perceived to be a threat. That wasn't the case with vermouth. Thujone was an excuse, not a reason. There was nothing rational about it.

By Ariadnae on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 09:04 pm: Edit

I was at a conference on addictions last fall, and they did mention thujone levels in vermouth, but the lecturer either said they were"negligible" when compared to those in absinthe or it was a different type of thujone. I can't remember exactly...

Vermouth's use in cooking also gives it a "legit" status--"well, it gives a great flavor, and all the alchohol's burned off."

Vermouth also has folk-medicinal purposes for menstrual cramps. As a kid I could stay whacked on vermouth for a whole day because I had bad cramps. or so I said.

By Wolfgang on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 12:39 pm: Edit

well...A martini is supposed to be aphrodisiac...

And surprisingly, I`m also a fan of ''special Martini'' with more vermouth than and less gin. That`s what I drink when I don't have absinthe available (but I`m not saying that I drink it for any special effect other than taste and sometimes alcohol buzz).

But, shut! don`t reveal the special secret of distilling Martini rosso to make absinthe ;-)

Wolf.

By Pataphysician on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 11:52 am: Edit

I'm curious, though, what is the thujone level of Vermouth?

By Tabreaux on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 11:21 am: Edit

"Why does nobody care about thujone levels in these products?"

Because these products were never fingered for abuse....probably becuase they are not aperitifs of *high-alcoholic strength*. As you pointed out, they contain thujone, and you don't hear about secondary effects from a glass of vermouth. Like I said, the entire thujone argument appears to be silly, and there is nothing to indicate otherwise.

By Heiko on Friday, April 20, 2001 - 11:05 am: Edit

I just wondered why nobody ever wanted to ban vermouth.
Martini or Cinzano are vermouth, right? So how are these aperitifs made? Do they contain a. absinthium or only a. pontica?

Why does nobody care about thujone levels in these products?

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page |Delete Conversation |Close Conversation |Move Conversation