legends And myths Of Absinthe
Countless number of legends are connected to Absinthe since the earlier days of its invention. In fact, the first one walks around the origin of the drink. The legend says it was the French doctor Pierre Ordinaire who was the inventor of the drink in 1792, shortly after the French revolution movement. They say Dr. Ordinaire was living in Switzerland at the time, and it was during a travel through the Swiss Val-de-Travers Mountains where he supposedly discovered the wormwood plant. Being on his faithful horse Rocket, he came up with the idea to produce the first commercial Absinthes as an all-purpose remedy or cure-all medicine.
Absinthe was initially called "La Fée Verte" (The Green Fairy) and this name stuck throughout Absinthe's heyday. It was recommended for the treatment of worms, colic, gout, kidney stones, headaches and epilepsy. Then the invention aroused the interest of Major Dubied, who saw its possibilities not just as a patent medicine, but as an apèritif. Dubied purchased what for long years was reputed to be Dr. Ordinaire's original formula and began a large scale production.
Another legend, talks about the two French sisters named Henriod as being the genuine inventors of Absinthe. Upon Doctor Ordinaire's death, the story says that the recipe for Absinthe was sold to Major Henri Dubied, who was the father-in-law of the founder of the famous French distillery Pernod Fills. While some people dispute the history and ownership of the original drink, some others say that Ordinaire's tonic was the original but made from chicory rather than wormwood.
Absinthe was romantically known as the Green Fairy since the late 18th century but, although its origin is untraceable before that date, some legends talk about its origin coming as far back as ancient Greece. The renowned mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras recommended wormwood soaked in wine to aid labor in childbirth, and Hippocrates, father of modern medicine prescribed a similar concoction for anemia, menstrual pains, rheumatism and jaundice.
There is a legend related to one of the leading ladies of the seventeenth-century French court, Madame de Coulange, who when became ill prescribed a vivifying elixir preparation containing wormwood. And Madame de Sevigne wrote once "My little Absinthe is the remedy for all diseases", related to her suffering from a stomach ache.
More than a half-century later, there was, Roman Pliny the Elder who recommended Absinthe as an elixir of youth and also as cure for bad breath. Some legends picture that it had become customary for the champions of chariot races to consume a cup of leaves (probably wormwood) soaked in wine to remind them that even glory has sometimes its bitter side.
Later other stories have been added coming from the time of Great Britain's Tudor Dynasty of the 1500's. Those legends talk about a sort of Absinthe called then "purl" which was consumed with avidity by the country's working classes.
In America, for almost 200 years the "Old Absinthe House", located in New Orleans French Quarter, has developed its own legends. The historic building were the tavern lies was built in 1807, originally used as an importing firm, and then converted to a "corner grocery" of tobacco, food, and fine Spanish liquor. It was in 1874, when mixologist, Cayetano Ferrer, created a drink consisting of Absinthe the "Old Absinthe House Frappe in which popularity resulted in the coffee house and thus a legend was born.
The building endures its name because of the rumored meeting of the Pirate Jean Lafitte, born in 1792 and Andrew Jackson as they and the pirates bandits planned the victory of the battle of New Orleans on the second floor of this place, and it is said Pirate Lafitte's Ghost lives there, as many workers and customers have proclaimed they have seen.