In late 1800s France, absinthe was the most popular drink! Everyone — from the butcher to the artist to the aristocrat — drank absinthe. The mode of preparation was nearly always the same — drip iced water and perhaps a sugar cube into the absinthe and enjoy. The main difference was not in the absinthe preparation, but in the appearance and circumstances of the people drinking the absinthe.
It was also associated with celebrities. For instance, this poster depicts two famous actors of the day — Constant Coquelin and Sarah Bernhardt — drinking absinthe. The actors later sued, as their likenesses had been used without permission.