National Absinthe Day
National Absinthe Day is a holiday that celebrates an alcoholic drink that is probably one of the least understood spirits that have been consumed. Absinthe is a spirit that conjured up images of 19th century Victorian England and is a drink that’s historically been blamed for low morality and even for causing madness—even though these have since been proven to be myths. Despite the mystery and the controversy surrounding absinthe, many people all over the world take the time to celebrate the holiday on March 5th every year.
The History Of Absinthe
The history of absinthe can be traced back to the late 19th century. This is when Pierre Ordinarie, a French doctor that lived in Switzerland, decided to create the spirit in 1792. The purpose of creating this drink was to use Artemisia absinthium, otherwise known as wormwood, as the base for his alcohol-infused elixir. Why wormwood? He chose wormwood because it was used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians for treatment for several different ailments—including fevers and menstrual cramps.
During the 1840s, the popularity of absinthe began to skyrocket. It was given as a malarial preventative to French troops during this time, and these troops brought home their taste for it. By the 1880s, it was being mass-produced and it’s been reported that the French were drinking up to 36 million liters of it by 1910.
In 1905, a Swiss farmer known as Jean Lanfray murdered his pregnant wife and two children during a drunken rage. Although the farmer had been consuming a variety of alcoholic beverages—including brandy and wine, the sole blame for them was placed on absinthe. A petition was then circulated to ban the spirit, and by 1908 a prohibition of this drink was written into the Swiss Constitution. It was banned in other countries as well, but it wasn’t banned by the UK, so it was capable of making a comeback.
During the 1990s, a British imported began to import Hill’s Absinthe from the Czech Republic into the UK. It became increasingly popular and it began to be enjoyed by the countries where it was never banned. In 2007, the ban was lifted in the U.S.
The History Of National Absinthe Day
National Absinthe Day was first celebrated on March 5th, 2007. Why is that date significant? It’s the date that the ban of absinthe was lifted in the United States and is also the day when the first batch of American absinthe was made. For years, absinthe was demonized as a spirit that was somehow more dangerous than other spirits, but science has since vindicated it, so this holiday was created as a celebration of the beverage’s new status as a spirit that everyone can enjoy.
Observing National Absinthe Day
This day can be responsibly celebrated by those of legal drinking age by just having a glass of absinthe. And while this day is being enjoyed, everyone celebrating it can use the hashtag #NationalAbsintheDay.