Absinthiana are the accoutrements surrounding the alcoholic drink absinthe and its
preparation ritual. Originally, absinthe was served in standard glasses and
water was added from a carafe. As the popularity of drinking absinthe grew
in the later half of the 19th century, so did the
variety & quality of implements & accoutrements used, such as specialty glasses,
spoons, fountains and brouilleurs.
After decades of being banned in
many countries, the European Union countries began to reauthorize the
distillation & sale of absinthe in the 1990s. Since legalization antique dealers have
seen dramatic increases in the prices of these artifacts. Some absinthe
spoons can today fetch many thousands of dollars and are highly collectible.
We discuss absinthe collectables on this page ...
European Visitors can order absinthe here
Many 19th century companies used the elaborate barware to advertise their
brands. Today many contemporary distilleries are also producing decorative
branded barware for the same purpose.
On this page ...
Absinthe spoons from the 18th and early 19th century are highly
collectible. Since the resurgence of absinthe popularity, antique
dealers report that some absinthe spoons are selling for many thousand of
perforated or slotted spoon is used to dissolve a sugar cube in a
glass of absinthe, usually to sweeten the drink and counteract its
The bowl of the spoon is normally flat, with a notch in the handle where
it rests on the rim of the glass.
The absinthe spoon shown can be purchased from Amazon by clicking on the
photo of the absinthe spoon.
Originating circa the 1860s,
absinthe spoons were often stamped with brand names or logos as advertising,
much like modern alcohol paraphernalia. Sometimes they were sold as tourist
items; for example, some might be shaped like the Eiffel tower, for example
the spoon Eiffel Tower #7, which was made for the inauguration of the
building in the year 1889.
"Les Cuilleres" absinthe spoon (literally "spoons" in French)
"Les Cuilleres" absinthe spoons, a rarer variation of the absinthe spoon,
are similar to iced tea spoons. Les Cuilleres have a regular shaped spoon bowl
and a sugar cube holder is built into the handle.
Grilles were typically used in France as an alternative to the
absinthe spoon. The absinthe grille is
a perforated metal saucer with three or more legs that hold the sugar cube above
the absinthe glass.
Adding ice cold water to absinthe is often considered an art form and bars often had "professors of
absinthe" who would show new drinkers how to properly add water one drop at
A water carafe is the most basic way to add water. As with other items, many
have been found with brand names on them. The carafe is held high above the
glass and water is delicately added, drop by drop.
Purpose-made absinthe fountains appeared in bars and cafes as absinthe gained popularity
during the later half of the 18th century.
a glass container suspended above the table held between two and six
spigots - small faucets. It allowed a small party of drinkers to prepare their
absinthe all at once with a slow drip of cold water but did not require the
painstaking concentration required by a carafe.
The classic absinthe ritual calls for preparing the drink with a
perforated absinthe spoon, sugar cube and absinth fountain. Cold
water dispensed from your glass absinthe fountain runs slowly over
the sugar cube and drips the sugar water into the glass to dilute
the alcohol-rich liquor and prompt the release of the essential oils
and herbs that absinthe is known for. This good-looking fountain is
designed to keep the water cold and to dole it out at the perfect
pace, so your absinthe drink is ideal - every time. Easily remove
the lid, add your ice water and you're on your way to an incredible
The absinthe fountain set shown can be purchased from Amazon by
clicking on the photo of the Absinthe fountain.
The absinthe brouilleur or 'dripper' is
a glass (often blown glass) or metal bowl which sits on top of the absinthe glass and acts like a
single fountain. Ice and water are added to the bowl, which slowly
drips through a
small hole at the bottom. Sugar can
be added directly to the bowl, or in some cases to a built-in grille.
originally served in normal bar-ware, but eventually purpose-made absinthe glasses
| Glasses were
marked with a dose line, by either etching or a glass band, to
indicate how much absinthe should be poured into them. The term
'reservoir glass' covers several styles of glassware with a small
bulge at the bottom which marked the nip.
The absinthe glass & spoon set shown can be purchased from Amazon by
clicking on the photo of the Absinthe glass.
The 'bubble-reservoir' glass
is rarer and has a defined bubble shaped
As absinthe has reemerged on the market so has the paraphernalia associated
with it. Several companies produce replica absinthiana and others have
modernized the traditional designs. Whereas absinthe bar-ware of the 19th
century was primarily used as inexpensive promotional items, the modern
versions are often cast of silver, or elaborately manufactured to jewelry
If purchasing modern absinthiana with the view of it becoming collectible,
go for quality and individual pieces, and purchase items that you like.
Virginia-based artist Kirk Burkett's absinthe
silver-ware and the Obsello absinthe spoon.
Absinthe - European Absinthe website
the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you
see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, which
is the most horrible thing in the world.
Let me be mad .. mad with madness of Absinthe, the wildest most luxurious
madness in the world.
Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green
fairy who lives in the Absinthe wants your soul.
~Dracula by Bram Stoker
The first month of marriage is the honeymoon, the second is the
What is there in absinthe that makes it a separate cult? ... Even in ruin
and in degradation it remains a thing apart: its victims wear a ghastly
aureole all their own, and in their peculiar hell yet gloat with a sinister
perversion of pride that they are not as other men. ~Aleister Crowley
There is only one absinthe drinker, and that's the man who painted this
I understand that absinthe makes the tart grow fonder.
I took a bottle of pills. I'd
been in Europe and I had a lot of absinthe and I was just drinking and
drinking, trying to, you know, just shut my body down.