Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner
The whole time I lived in the states I never once found a decent Absinthe which is not surprising since it's very much an art that is largely lost and one that was never particularly strong in the states. As to wormwood it is a stimulant as well as bitering agent and gives it a green hue as well. The amount of wormwood used varies quite a bit by region so low levels don't make the drink necessarily bad. What America does produce of note are Spruce, bran and Maple which are quite delightful.
Mattathayde, lead consumption has a wide variety of health problems but psychotropic effects are not among them. People used to assume that thujone (a chemical present Wormwood) was responsible but that notion is passe. Honestly I think that the bizarre stories attributed to Absinthe consumption have more to do with drunkenness then the drink itself.
i agree with the drunk issue being a huge factor of it but i remember there was a drink in ancient greece (or rome, i cant remember off hand) that was drunk out of lead vessels or cooked/produced in them and the lead poisoning lead to some psychedelic effects and then going crazy. or something along those lines but i remember there was a mention of psychedelic experiences of some kind with it.