By S. B. MacDonald
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Extra resources for Absinthe Antiques: A Collection from la Belle Epoque
The pieces involved are intricate and beautiful, and the details of absinthe’s preparation are unique in the world of spirits. Absinthe is poured into a glass in a measure referred to as a dose. This is due to absinthe’s origins as a medicinal tonic. In my antique glasses and topettes, the chamber or line used to mark the dose ranges anywhere from 15-30 ml. Many modern drinkers simply use one shot as their measure. Water is then added in various ratios, depending on preference, to dilute the absinthe.
The following pages feature an array of antiques that were commonly employed in the serving and preparing of absinthe in its heyday, and include brief descriptions of their use. For this reason, this book also serves as a way of demonstrating absinthe’s basics. Also included, are various absinthe-related items. You may notice that some pieces show signs of use, while others look nearly new. I feel it is simply not right to modify antiques; the items in this book are presented in their true condition, receiving only a cleaning and polishing if needed.
Ouraline is of course, meant to be enjoyed under normal light. Black light did not exist when these items were made; it is simply a way of validating the uranium content. Break out your Geiger counter! These rare ouraline post-ban Octagon glasses were used with the absinthe substitute anis, and by the 1930s, pastis. The dose lines and rims are in gold. The same glasses are glowing fiercely under black light. The one on the right shows wear on its dose line. An example of beauty in simplicity, this plain bistrot Egg glass holds absinthe with a completed louche.