Let’s now talk about absinthe glasses. Our friend Marc had already published an article about “The truth about absinthe glasses” but on the “Musée Virtuel de l’Absinthe” he classifies them in three different main categories. This classification caught my attention and I’d like to briefly talk about it with you today.
Here are the different ways of preparing an absinthe glass using antique – or modern – accoutrements:
Of course, the use of a carafe filled with ice-cold water was the most common and the very first known method for preparing an absinthe glass back in the 19th century; there are dozens of period photos and sketches showing this.
Pitchers were less widely used, especially in bustling bistros and cafés because of their fragility. Having said that, we have found numerous types of pitchers which were dedicated to the absinthe ritual and advertised as such in 1900’s catalogues.
I love antique absinthe glasses. To me, each glass from the Belle Époque is a unique piece of art, with which you can feel and see the skills of the glassblower. The bubbles, inclusions, irregularities, colours, thicknesses, cuts and overall designs testify that absinthe glasses from the 19th and early 20th century are not really reproducible. Don’t get me wrong, I too have modern absinthe glasses at home for my tastings evenings, my favorites are the Pontarlier glass and the Bubble glass, they are great value for money, nicely handblown from original period glasses and they do the job perfectly, even though they’re just missing a soul from the past but I’m being a bit nitpicker here…
I’m not writing here to cry over past times anyway, but to make a bit of clarification on absinthe glasses: What is an absinthe glass? Who really used them? Why there were so many different designs?
Have you ever wondered how some people become experts in the world of absinthe, and why their opinion is valued so much by fellow experts, buyers, business men and absinthe lovers? Is it simply the amount of absinthe they have tasted throughout their career, or is it a special talent that is either there or not?
Or have you ever asked yourself how you can tell a good absinthe from a bad one, how to tell which herbs are included in which quantity compared to the other ones, and so on? (more…)