Looking at old glass is always inspiring, and when I recently saw some Absinthe coloured raw glass I immediately thought of an old friend Ron at http://www.lividlookingglass.com/
I knew Ron, and his lovely French wife Fran when they lived in London. He would spend his weekends prowling antique markets, bottle fairs, and Parisian flea markets hunting down poison bottles that he collects. Now back in California he trades in antique and reproduction Absinthe memorabilia, along with other quirky bits that take his fancy, from Zombie finger puppets, Hogarth prints, and alternative baby clothes – very handy at the moment for his newly arrived son Vincent!
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the elegance and variety of the glassware, although delicate looking most of them would have had to survive a pretty harsh café life; not to mention being repeatedly heated as drunk Parisians set light to Absinthe soaked sugar cubes suspended over the glasses on slotted spoons. The hot flaming syrup would then drip into the rest of the Absinthe, which might also catch alight, then be diluted down to a cloudy pale green with water until the fire went out! Hummm, along with the fire risk, and the brain damager from drinking 55-70% proof alcohol laced with poisonous wormwood I guess it’s not surprising it got banned in France! Apparently the prohibition was delayed while the major producer rushed to make a copy that tasted the same without the dangers. The name of the maker? Why, a Mr Pernod.
Well worth a look at the website, personally I love the ‘Absinthe fountains’ which were used to hold water for dousing the flames, and an intriguing look at a bygone fad that sent half of Paris drunk and mad! Yes, I have tried it (my other half in a holiday cottage dripping flaming blue sugar everywhere was a bit worrying! Not doing that again!) It was ‘orriable, I’ll stick to ale or tea! It’s safer!