Absinthe, A Myth Always Green
Benoît NOËL, Peter VERTE and ARTEMIS
256 pages – 75 photographies
Published in June 2003
12 Dollars – 10 Euros
Switzerland, 1905 : Jean Lanfray, a poor laborer, aims a rifle at his pregnant wife’s face and fires, instantly killing her. He then turns it upon his two daughters. His father escaped only by running for his life.
What was the cause of this muderous rage?
«Absinthe!» cried the Swiss newspapers and temperance leagues. They called the high-proof green liquor the premier cause of crime in the country. Lanfray hung himself in his jail cell, but absinthe remained on trial. Five years later, the infamous drink was banned in Switzerland. The United States followed suit in 1912, and France in 1915.
The «Green Fairy» was dead. Or was she?
In 1994, an obscure Czech distillery created a green «Bohemian» drink with virtually no resemblance to absinthe of old, slapped the name ?Absinth? on the label and made a killing in England, where absinthe had never been banned, only forgotten.
Today, among the many dozens of pretender products that have popped up to meet the new demand, are a few authentic absinthes. Alongside the followers of fads are a growing number of connoisseurs who savor the real thing, taking the trouble to investigate absinthe’s bad rap with a more objective eye than the yellow press of the 1900’s.
Absinthe -Green Fairy or accursed spirit ? What is the difference between the imitators trading on a nefarious name and one of the most sublime aperitifs ever created, perhaps no more harmful than any other high-proof liquor ?
And just what is the mystique all about?
Open Absinthe, A Myth Always Green, and find out.