US-Legal Absinthe To Hit The Shelves

US-legal absinthe to hit the shelves in May ’07

On the one hand, yay! A grand wormwood absinthe distributed in the US!

On the other hand, boo! It could suck, and possibly do weird things to the market as who knows who else rushes to get a product on the shelves.

How is the product legal? Apparently the canny chaps behind it realized that if they produced something with a thujone content below the FDA limits (and a certain amount is allowed, it’s not completely forbidden) then they’ve got themselves something they can legally distribute in the USA. Strangely simple, I must admit.

The distiller is making claims that the thujone levels are similar to pre-ban absinthe they’ve tested but the jury’s still out on how (or if) thujone breaks down over time – keeping in mind that said pre-ban samples range from 70 – 90 years old – I’m not going to put too much stock in that particular claim. I’m just happy that they’re not churning out some swill that promises to get you high – the choice of product name notwithstanding, that is.

The staff at St. George’s – from whom I heard about all this – have told me that their proprietor is considering offering an absinthe along the same lines. Of course, I’ll try that. Yay for local businesses, and all that.

This Lucid stuff? I’m going to try to find a couple of pals to chip in on a bottle, I think. The early signs indicate that it might be a good product. It’s being made by Ted Breaux and Combier in France, which is big chunk of the talent behind the Jade line. Furthermore, the Lucid website is doing a pretty good job of countering the usual myths – no promises of trippin’ balz, yo – so there’s a glimmer of light at the end of that particular tunnel. I just wish they’d, y’know, picked a better name, and some less-hokey packaging. Ah well, can’t have everything – certainly not with the first product out the gate.

It seems that, until/unless the European manufacturers meet FDA standards for thujone content, if I want my Jade (or whatever), I’ll still have to bring it over from Europe. I wouldn’t be surprised if some brands would meet FDA standards, if only they’re willing to go to the fuss of performing all the necessary tests. I understand that it’s not a cheap or easy process – unlike, say, shipping pet food in from China. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

I’m sure that I’ll be trying Lucid, sooner or later. Watch this space for reviews.

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