Made From: Wormwood
Produced By: PERNOD S.A.
Origin: Tarragona, Spain
Proof: 138
Age: 0

The sheer popularity of absinthe indirectly contributed to its own demise. The absence of a proper appellation of control and regulated production standards invited cheap, industrial versions of the drink into urban markets. These poor quality absinthes appealed to alcoholics of low socioeconomic status, and were commonly adulterated with a variety of toxic substances to make certain attributes (e.g. color) of these inferior brands more convincing. This opened the door for the detractors of absinthe to accuse the drink of being harmful and deleterious, making it a convenient scapegoat for societal ills. Scientists conducted studies involving the injection of pure wormwood essence into small animals. And while this practice usually resulted in convulsions followed by the death of the animal, these tests were flawed and unrepresentative of absinthe consumption. Despite pleas by absinthe distillers for quality regulations for the category, the enemies of absinthe pushed to ban the popular drink. By 1915, absinthe was banned throughout much of Europe and the world. All French absinthe distilleries closed their doors, which caused the demise of Pernod Fils in France.

Post-Ban YearsFils’ absinthe did not completely disappear. Production was resumed on a smaller scale at the Banus distillery in Tarragona, Spain, where absinthe had never been formally banned. However, the drink never regained its former popularity, and by the 1960s, production of Pernod’s absinthe was ceased. Concurrently in France, the Pernod company began producing a liqueur d’anise (anise liqueur) in the years that followed the First World War, and it is this product which has evolved over the decades into its familiar present-day incarnation. Modern day Pernod liqueur d’anise is altogether different than its predecessor, being compounded from a modern, industrial process, being significantly lower proof (45% ABV vs 68% ABV) with a much different flavor profile, and bottled with artificial dye and sugar.

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