There is probably no other drink which so captures the spirit and culture of Steampunk as Absinthe. Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit made from wormwood that rose to the height of its popularity during the the 18th and 19th centuries. The drink itself has an infamous reputation which included accusations that it was poisonous and was a purported hallucinogenic. Many well-known artists drank absinthe and said their interactions with “The Green Fairy” inspired their works. Absinthe was outlawed in the US in 1912.
Absinthe experienced a revival in the 1990’s in Europe, and in 2007, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau relaxed the ban of absinthe to allow the production and import thujone-free absinthe, defined as absinthe with less than 10ppm thujone. Today, there are at least 50 brands of absinthe being sold in the United States.
Today’s absinthe is enjoyed by thousands, many of them being Steampunks as well. The Wormwood Society is a nonprofit and online community dedicated to informing the public about absinthe, debunking absinthe’s many myths, and advocating for the reform of laws affecting absinthe. If you are interested in learning more about absinthe, it’s amazing history, how to serve it, or simply share a forum with other absinthe aficionados, The Wormwood Society is an excellent place to start. They have some great resources there that truly should not be missed. You can even find recommendations for quality absinthe and all the accoutrements needed to prepare the perfect glass of absinthe in their online store.
If you are planning a Steampunk party or get-together and looking for the perfect beverage to serve, absinthe is a natural and provocative choice.