Absinthe: The Drink for Absolutely Everyone

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.

For example, this 1893 postcard shows a group of country folk relaxing over their absinthes at the end of a hard day’s fishing.  You can see their plain clothes and informal postures.

On the other hand, when aristocrats partook of absinthe, they were always elegantly dressed and maintained very formal postures.

Yet others — like these two mountain climbers — drank absinthe without dressing up — and in quite an unusual spot!

Absinthe was such a universal drink, it was advertised in the trolley cars that people rode to work.

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.


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