Strong Alcohol – Shades of Absinthe

Green Fairy

Absinthe allegedly caused madness in the minds of writers during the Belle Epoque. These days it seems you don’t need to drink absinthe, or any alcoholic drink, to write crazy prose. I came across this extraordinary writing in Pravda:

Strong Alcohol Drinks Destroy Russian Gene Bank

Another legend says that drinking alcohol is absolutely normal for a Russian person. This is definitely not normal. A drinking man is an enemy to himself and to his family. Russians are a small nation – less than one percent of the Earth’s population. That is why, if Russian people destroy their own gene bank, they will gradually mix up with other nations.

Pravda means truth in Russian, but what is going on here? It sounds very similar to the rants of anti-absinthe zealot, Dr Magnan, whose experiments on guinea pigs were used by an unholy alliance of abolitionists and the wine growing lobby to ban absinthe in the early years of the 20th Century. Magnan firmly believed that absinthe represented a grave danger to the French genetic pool. Magnan even gave evidence to the distasteful eugenics movement, which was a precursor to the darker racial based theories that were to blight the Continent years later.

I am sorry to see that this sort of nonsense is given breathing room in a mainstream publication.

On a happier note our friends at Oxygenee Ltd are offering this charming absinthe pitcher:


Collecting absinthe from the pre-ban era is an area of growing interest. This absinthe pitcher, in the form of a bull dog, is an unusal and rare example. Absinthe spoons, absinthe fountains and absinthe glasses are all avidly collected by enthusiasts. If you are interested in starting your own collection then visit the one authoritative souce for absinthiana:

Boule Dogue” is looking for a new home. Like all absinthe antiques you can actually use him when enjoying a glass! Sante!

5 responses to “Strong Alcohol – Shades of Absinthe

  1. B. - Formerly anonymous

    If you’re enjoying collecting pre-ban absinthania, why not start collecting pre-ban absinthe as well? has the best options I’ve found. Great stuff.

  2. What are the prices like, B?

  3. Boule Dogue said:

    “a coelecanth (sp) amongst drinks, able to magically transport us back to the glittering world of Paris and the Belle Epoque, a world of bohemian musicians and writers, of the Moulin Rouge and the cafes of Montmartre, a world of starving struggling artists and glittering courtesans”

    Magically transport! Sounds like he’s agreeing with me at last!

    It’s certainly a delightful idea – drinking a bottle of pre-ban absinthe, using the genuine paraphenalia of that age. Like a form of ritual communion with the past, he’s a lucky man.

  4. The last timeI heard someone mentioning genes was the daughter of that idiot called Jean-Marie Le Pen who was arrested in Germany for saying people have different genes and should be discriminated accordingly!
    On another note it is refreshing to see that some people agree to the importance of history in drinking!

  5. Le Pen 👿 Let’s hope he is not “king maker” in the upcoming elections.

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