French Can Now Call Absinthe... Absinthe

Decree officially lifts ban on its name
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2011 7:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – The first rule about French absinthe is that you can't call it absinthe—or at least producers of it couldn't until last week, when a ban on its name was lifted. The liquorice-tasting tipple was first banned by French authorities a century ago because of its alleged hallucinogenic qualities. Even though they OKed its sale again in 1988 after scientists found the drink wasn't more dangerous than other strongly alcoholic drinks, they still wouldn't let producers call it absinthe.

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Distillers are hailing the state's decree as a chance to promote absinthe in a country where much of the world's supply is produced, but few people know it is sold, reports the AP. A French absinthe distiller called the dropping of the ban "the end of French hypocrisy." (Read more absinthe stories.)

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