The precise origin of absinthe is unclear. According to popular legend, absinthe began as anall-purpose patent remedy created by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor living in Couvet, Switzerland, around 1792. Ordinaire's recipe was passed on to the Henriod sisters of Couvet, who sold absinthe as a medicinal elixir.

Absinthe's popularity grew steadily until the 1840s, when absinthe was given to French troops as a fever preventative. When the troops returned home, they brought their taste for absinthe with them, and it became popular at bars and bistros.

By the 1860s, absinthe had become so popular that in most cafes and cabarets 5 p.m. signaled l'heure verte (“the green hour”). Still, it remained expensive and was favored mainly by the bourgeoisie and eccentric bohemian artists. By the 1880s, however, the price had dropped significantly, the market expanded, and absinthe soon became the drink of France; by 1910 the French were consuming 36 million litres of absinthe per year.

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spoons fountains preparation
Absinthe spoons
Collection of absinthe
spoons. These specialized
spoons were used to hold
the sugar cube over
which ice-cold water
was poured to dilute
the absinthe.
Absinthe fountains
The fountains is an ideal
introduction to serving
absinthe in the traditional
French manner.
A beautiful work of art
that will bring a touch of
decadence to an
absinthians's home.
Traditionally, absinthe is
poured into a glass over
which a specially
designed slotted spoon
is placed. A sugar cube
is then deposited in the
bowl of the spoon...
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