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25 Amazing Pre-Prohibition Absinthe Posters

After having been banned for over a century in most countries, Absinthe is re-establishing itself as a (legal) cult favorite, and the drink of choice for people looking to become inebriated as quickly as possible. Suffice to say, many of the older absinthes producing companies are no longer in business. These nineteenth century absinthe brands, did however, leave a wealth of history in the form of their print advertisements. Below is a compilation of our favorite absinthe posters from the drinks’ heyday. Most of these come from French brands of the time, and it is interesting to note that many prove a foreshadowing of sexual innuendo-laden modern beer advertisements. Enjoy!

click on images to enlarge…

Absinth on Wikipedia:

Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45%-74% ABV) beverage It is an anise-flavored spirit derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, commonly referred to as “grande wormwood”. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green color but can also be colorless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the Green Fairy).

Although it is sometimes mistakenly called a liqueur, absinthe was not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is unusual among spirits in that it is bottled at a very high proof but is normally diluted with water when drunk.

Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. It achieved great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Due in part to its association with bohemian culture, absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and Aleister Crowley were all notorious ‘bad men’ of that day who were (or were thought to be) devotees of the Green Fairy.

Absinthe was portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug.The chemical thujone, present in small quantities, was singled out and blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in most European countries except the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although absinthe was vilified, no evidence has shown it to be any more dangerous than ordinary spirit. Its psychoactive properties, apart from those of alcohol, had been much exaggerated

A revival of absinthe began in the 1990s, when countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale. As of February 2008, nearly 200 brands of absinthe were being produced in a dozen countries, most notably in France, Switzerland, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Commercial distillation of absinthe in the United States resumed in 2007.

Comments

  1. It seems odd that authorities have finally woken up to the fact that Absinthe isn’t particularly bad for you, yet Cannabis is still portrayed as evil incarnate.

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  3. StillLife says:

    Some of those poster are pretty damn cool even though they are outdated.

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