From 50mm to 2150mm: A review of absinthe spoons

Aaaah absinthe spoon... this magical accessorie, indispensable for every self-respecting absintheur!

People often ask me what they’re for, and I must admit I understand why one could get confused trying to figure out how to use them. Why do they have holes? Not very practical to drink your syrup… Even though the answer may be clear for most of you, I would rather make sure everyone understands. Here are the instructions:

1.Pour a measure of absinthe in your glass.2. Place your absinthe spoon horizontally on the glass.3. Put a sugar cube on your absinthe spoon.

4. Gently pour water over the sugar, so it will slowly dissolve through the absinthe spoon, and into your glass.

5. Now you just have to drink and enjoy your absinthe.

Santé!

Each to their own family…

In fact, absinthe spoons are very popular collector’s items. 3 different types exist:


1. the Pelles (French word for “spades”): their name simply comes from their shape.
2. the Grilles (French word for “grid”): round spoons with three claws to deposit on the glass.
3. spoons on which the sugar cube has to be placed in the middle of the handle.


The 400 odd spoons that exist are classified in 26 families. Among others, you will find the Losanges (rhombuses), the Etoiles (stars), the Croix Suisses (Swiss crosses), the Trèfles (clovers) or the Fleurs (flowers). Marie-Claude Delahaye is the one to whom we owe this classification in different families. She introduces all of them in her bookL’absinthe – Les cuillères“.

Moreover, although there are many common absinthe spoons, nice goldsmith’s arts are more unusual if not very rare. You will therefore have to be very careful with reproductions that some vendors try to sell at outrageous prices.

A few figures…

I don’t know if you like figures and records as much as I do, but this way, the topic of this post makes a little more sense. Let me introduce you to:

drum roll

  • the world’s tallest absinthe spoon that measures 2150mm:

  • the smallest absinthe spoon in the world, which is only 50mm long.

And for those who prefer history to funny numbers (yes they do exist), here are a few dates:

  • Although absinthe was probably drunk with sugar as of 1850, the usage of absinthe spoons appeared only in the 1870s and became more popular around 1889. During that year, an Eiffel Tour shaped absinthe spoon was created specially for the commemoration of the Tour’s construction.

  • Between 1855 and 1915, spoons were represented only very rarely in absinthe illustrations, contrarily to decanters and pyrogenes.


In short, absinthe spoons may not be of much help to eat your soup, they are incontrovertible accessories for the preparation of a glass of absinthe!


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Now you know everything about absinthe spoons. I invite you to learn how to use them:

Absinthe with or without sugar? An explanation

Whether you sugar your absinthe or not, you will always have to pour the water slowly. Learn why:

Why should you pour the water slowly?

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