Absinthe was a popular drink during the 19th century in France, Switzerland, Spain and Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Parisians would request “une correspondence” when ordering a glass – this referenced the asylum that housed many mentally ill individuals within Paris.
At that time, absinthe was considered an extremely hazardous narcotic due to its hallucinogenic effects. It was blamed for Van Gogh’s earcutting incident as well as filling asylums with mental patients; its consumption inspired works from Impressionist painters like Monet and modernist writers like Hemingway; furthermore it caused drinkers to become inebriated and violent after taking it.
Czechoslovakia continued producing absinthe, and today theirs remains among the finest worldwide. A modern revival of absinthe began during the 1990s when European Union food and beverage laws allowed its revival; many brands available then did not adhere strictly to tradition as many were often packaged cheaply or Bohemian style and connoisseurs dismissed them as inferior products.
George was determined to bring real absinthe to the UK, working closely with local authorities in this effort. Lucid Absinthe became the first legal absinthe sold on a wide scale within its home country on 5-March-2007 after receiving its COLA (Certificate of Label Approval) from TTB.