Absinthe was made legal in most countries in the 1990s so there are now many online companies where you can buy your Absinthe bottle and there are many brands available. Drinkshop.com, for example, in their online store, sell 4 brands from the Czech Republic, 14 from France, 6 from Italy, 1 from Slovenia, 3 from Spain and 3 from Switzerland – a wide variety.
Another way of buying Absinthe is to buy Absinthe essences and make your own Absinthe bottle. These essences are the very same essences used by some distilleries and you simply follow the instructions and add them to vodka or Everclear – a fantastically economical way to make your own personal, original and traditional Absinthe. These essences are available at the online shop AbsintheKit.com as well as Absinthiana, other Absinthe accoutrements or products, such as Absinthe glasses, spoons and artistic labels inspired by Van Gogh and La Fee Verte (Green Fairy) to make your bottles look attractive and original. A bottle of your very own Absinthe would make the perfect gift, no contest.
Many people still speak out against the legalization of Absinthe. One French anti-alcohol campaigner even claimed that if Absinthe was legalized in France then the country would become one big padded cell! Why do people feel this way about Absinthe?
The Absinthe Ban
Absinthe was the favorite drink of many artists and writers of the Bohemian period or “La Belle Epoque” in Paris, France. Famous Absinthe drinkers living in the Montmartre area of Paris, home to the infamous Moulin Rouge, were Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Verlaine and Charles Baudelaire. Other famous Absinthe devotees were Ernest Hemingway, who drank it with champagne, and Oscar Wilde. Artists, poets and writers declared that Absinthe gave them genius and talent and that it freed their senses. Others believed that it was akin to taking drugs, that it was psychoactive, an hallucinogen and that it caused psychedelic effects. Absinthe was even blamed for a french man murdering his family, despite the fact that he was an alcoholic who had consumed far more other alcohol than Absinthe.
The alleged negative effects of Absinthe drinking caused it to be banned in France in 1915 and also in various other countries around the world. It was never banned in Spain, Portugal, the UK and the Czech Republic.
Studies have shown that Absinthe is not as dangerous as once thought, that it only contains minute amounts of thujone (the chemical thought to cause the dangerous effects) but that it should be consumed with care because it is very strong – twice the alcohol of whisky and vodka.
The legends surrounding Absinthe and its interesting history have meant that original items such as the Absinthe bottle, Absinthe glasses, spoons, fountains, brouillers and posters have become highly collectible antiques.
Marie Claude Delahay, a researcher and historian of Absinthe has written books about Absinthe and has even opened an Absinthe museum in Auvers-sur-Oise. Her spoons have been used in films such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula!
A famous antique spoon is the spoon which was designed to commemorate the opening of the Eiffel Tower in 1889 – the spoon is in the shape of this famous Parisian icon!
There are many types of Absinthe glass too – the Reservoir, the Cordon, which is the rarest, and the Pontarlier are the most collectible as they were used exclusively for Absinthe and not used for other beverages.
If you like the look of these antique spoons and glasses, but not the prices, then replicas are available from companies like AbsintheKit.com and you can always visit Delahay’s museum north of Paris to see the real items.
The original Absinthe bottle, like the Pernod bottle, can also be seen at museums such as Delahay’s or bought online.