Does Absinthe really have hallucinogenic properties?
In the old days it really did, but usually you’d be vomiting before you actually saw anything visual. Nowadays, most absinthe-related or absinthe-styled concoctions are wormwood-free and have star anise or licorice added to it instead. Modern absinthe cantain up to 75% alcohol, or in other words, can be up to 150 proof.
Interestingly enough absinthe is controlled as a food and not as a drug and is still widely available in Portugal, parts of Spain, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. It was banned by Belgium in 1905, Switzerland in 1907, the USA in 1912, Italy in 1913, and in France in 1915
See www.erowid.com and enter “absinthe” into the search section for more info.
Historically it was always a hit with the artists. The likes of such painting heavyweights as Van Gogh; Eduard Manet; Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Picasso as well as literary giants such as Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway have all experimented with it, most saying it aided in facilitation of their creative endeavors. Scientifically speaking, the actual psychoactive ingredient in absinthe is called thujone, and is found in both herbs wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and Roman wormwood (Artemisia pontica)
The preferred technique these days calls for dipping a spoonful of sugar into the absinthe, igniting the saturated sugar thus forming a ‘flambe,’ and then stirring in the sugar into the drink. Be careful to blow it out before you burn the bar down!