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Absinthe. The very name of this anise-flavored spirit has become synonymous with the forbidden. Associated with marijuana and other illicit drugs, it is said to cause hallucinatory and psychoactive secondary effects, delusions, criminal tendencies, convulsions, tuberculosis and death. At the start of the 20th century, these beliefs were reported by the media, widely promoted by the French wine industry, and spread via propaganda posters. This led to a ban on absinthe in Europe and the United States (lasting nearly 100 years). This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with Cheryl Lins, owner of Delaware Phoenix Distilleries in Walton, New York, about how this once-accepted and popular drink came to be outlawed and misunderstood — and how it was eventually resurrected at the hands of skeptics and scientists.
Show Notes
 

Date -November 10th, 2009 read by Swoopy.

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Atlanta Skeptics and the Atlanta Science Tavern will host a joint meet up on Friday November 13th at 8pm at Manuals Tavern to host Dr. Massimo Pigliucci
Atlanta Freethought Society will feature Dr. Pigliucci at 1pm on Saturday November 14th
Dr. Pigliucci will speak at Kennesaw State University at 5pm
Dr. Pigliucci is the chair of the Department of Philosophy at Lehman College.
You can read his blog Rationally Speaking here.
This week's show debunks the myths that helped to demonize Absinthe.
By accepted definition absinthe must contain Artemesia Absinthium.
Absinthe is not bottled with sugar, it is a distilled spirit not a liquor.
The invention of absinthe is often attributed to Dr. Pierre Ordinaire.
Dr. Ordinaire espoused the purported cure-all properties of absinthe.
Absinthe was popular with French soldiers in Algeria.
Pernod Fils began production in Pontarlier France in 1805.
Troubles with the wine industry helped absinthe become very popular. 
One of the fiercest opponents of absinthe was Dr. Valentin Magnan.
Dr. Magnan's claimed that scientific tests proved that absinthe was lethal and dangerous.
Posting in the medical journal The Lancet, British scientists were skeptical of Dr. Magnan.
Thujone is a naturally occurring keytone found in grand wormwood. 
Early opponents of absinthe maintained that thujone caused absinthe madness.
One of absinthe's opponents was the Swiss temperance group Le Croix Bleu.
The Lanfray murders were attributed in the press to absinthe madness.
The Olde Absinthe House in New Orleans is a NOLA landmark.
The Sazarac is one of America's first cocktails, and includes absinthe. 
Absinthe was banned in Switzerland in 1910, France in 1915 and the US in 1912.
A confluence of events led to the re-emergence of Absinthe . 
Some of the most promising new brands of absinthe are being made here in the US.
Cheryl Lins owns and operates the Delaware Phoenix Distillery in Walton, New York.
Cheryl's absinthes are the highly rated Walton Waters and Meadow of Love. 
Advertisement – Audible.com 
Cheryl is an artist, you can see some of her work here.
Absinthe is legal if it considered Thujone Free – under 10ppm.
There is an entire website devoted to debunking absinthe and Thujone. 
You can keep up with Cheryl and Delaware Phoenix on Twitter.
Microbiologist Ted Breaux is credited with much the science that absolves absinthe.
Ted created Lucid, the first legal absinthe in the US of the 21st century.
He also created the Jade line of absinthes at historic Combier distillery.
An excellent resource for Absinthe history is The Virtual Absinthe Museum.
You can learn more about absinthe and read reviews at The Wormwood Society website.
Drink in moderation.
Do not set your absinthe on fire.
Stay away from Absinth – it's not what you're looking for.



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