Absinthe spoons (or absinthiana) are one of those “lost” habits that take us back to more glamorous eras. No matter if you are a fan of the drink or not, you can see how these spoons are small pieces of art just by themselves.
These spoons were placed on top of the glasses, and they held a cube of sugar. This way people could pour the drink over it and the sugar would slowly melt into the absinthe, taking away most of its bitterness. The drink would lose most of its green transparency and become much more opaque.
Although some of the designs were used to promote a certain shop or place (as the Eiffel Tower, for example), many of them had floral or natural motifs. This happened because the drink was also known as “Green Fairy” (or “Green Muse” to some with more bohemian traits). Some spoons resembled more mere leaves than cutlery itself.
When the Prohibition came about these artifacts were forbidden, for obvious reasons. These antiques can now be worth hundreds of dollars, and are fine examples of more exquisite times. I leave you with a gallery with several examples for your inspiration.
They are gorgeous!
What a gorgeous post! I love how these details of material culture tell us so much about a period. Also, this is providing wonderful texture for imagining Nicholas Brisbane and his absinthe migraine “treatments.”
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