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Nature morte d'Absinthe

L'ABSINTHE key dates
  • End of the 18th century:the absinthe recipe comes originally from Switzerland, created by “Mère Henriot” and was used as a medicinal remedy in the Val de Travers by Dr Pierre Ordinaire. The absinthe elixir recipe was bought in 1797 by Major Dubied who, with his son in law Henri Louis PERNOD, opened the first distillery in Couvet (Switzerland).
  • 1805 :To meet the demand of a French clientele and to avoid high customs duties, Henri Louis Pernod established an absinthe distillery in Pontarlier (France) under the name of “PERNOD FILS”.
  • 1830 :“the bohemian” Absinthe became the “green muse” and source of inspiration for artists painters and poets. Charles X sent French troops to conquer Algeria. Absinthe was used there as a preventive medicine for typhus, dysentery and malaria.
  • 1830-1847 : “the green hour” Back from the colonies, the victorious soldiers contributed to the success and expansion of absinthe on the Parisian boulevards.
  • 1870-1890 : Destruction of the vineyards in France by mildew caused a shortage of and an increase in the price of wine. The development of distilleries making bottom of the range and dubious quality absinthe made the drink cheap.
  • The first temperance societies were set up, campaigning against the use of alcohol.
  • 1904 : 208,000 hectolitres of absinthe consumed in France
  • 1905 : Crime de Lanfray. Petition demanding the prohibition of absinthe in Switzerland.
  • 1906 : “death to absinthe!” Pressure from the temperance societies and professional wine growers demanded the prohibition of absinthe.
  • 1910 : “Time gentlemen please” Absinthe banned in Switzerland.
  • 1915 : “Absinthe sends people mad” It is banned in France and goes underground.
  • 1988 : Decree 88-1024 specifying the permitted percentages of thuyone, fenchone and pinocamphone.
  • 2001 : Return of the bitter absinthe plant elixirs to Pontarlier. There are currently around one hundred absinthe based spirits on the European market.
Numerous books about absinthe and its history have been published. To find them :

- Marie-Claude Delahaye – Absinthe museum 95 430 AUVERS/OISE (
- Benoit Noël :