Our National Nightmare has come to an end

Absinthe has come back to the United States.

Last spring a French brand, Lucid, made its debut here, using 19th-century distilling methods and replicating chemical analyses of pre-ban absinthe. A Swiss absinthe, Kübler. appeared on the American market a few weeks ago, using a 1863 family formula.

One reason legal barriers have fallen is that, as The New Yorker reported in 2006, the regulated chemical thujone, found in wormwood and once thought to have been the cause of absinthe’s lure and its dangers, did not show up in any significant quantities in analyses of historical absinthe. So these authentic replicas, despite containing wormwood, do not pose a legal challenge. And the alarmed pronouncements about absinthe made from the beginning of the Belle Époque have been proved groundless, which was decisive, a Kübler spokesman said, in swaying United States government regulators.

Absinthe is one of a few herbal liquors that I actually like. Now to convince the State of Washington Liquor control board that they should be putting it on their shelves.