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Full Version: A very oddly-worded absinthe ban in Argentina
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Marc Chevalier

It took a while for Argentina to ban absinthe. Apparently, they only got around to it in ... 1981.

Below is a lazy Babel Fish translation:


Artículo 1123 - (Res 1389, 14.12.81)

We hereby prohibit the manufacture, possession and sale of spirits prepared with Wormwood (absinthe) and of similar spirits that contain it or imitate.

"Similar spirits" are those whose scent and predominant flavor are those of anise and which slowly reduce to 15° by the addition of 4 volumes of distilled water, drop by drop, and a cloudiness that does not disappear completely by a new aggregation to the same temperature, of another three volumes of distilled water; and those drinks which contain an essence with cetónica function even though they do not give cloudiness in the fixed conditions. And, also those drinks that contain the following essences: absintia, tanaceto.

Jaded Prole
I guess ouzo is out too then
I know Madonna said not to, but I am finally crying for Argentina
All those perrennial dictatorships, getr what they deserve.

I'm not weepin' for 'em...
What an interesting post, Marc, and what a strange situation.

1981 was the year I left Argentina. At that time Argentina had opened its markets and just about any liquour was available in Buenos Aires, yet I never saw absinthe in the liquor stores by then. (I wasn't particularly interested in absinthe at the time, but I've had heard about it, so it would have called my attention."

The last mention I found about ajenjo (wormwood, absinthe) was in the lyrics of a tango circa 1940. Then it dissapeared from the radar. My dad (not a drinker) has this vague recollection of ajenjo being a "strong and bitter" drink.

So this ban falls in between ajenjo falling out of fashion in the forties and fifties, and the Hill's resurgence in the 90s.

Basically, they banned a liquor that was both unknown and unavailable.

Also the description of the "drop by drop", seemed to have been written by someone who had done the sugar procedure.

I'm sure there is a very interesting story behind this ban. I'll see if I can find something about it.

Marc, could you give me more info about where you found this decree?

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