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French Absinthe Fountain

French Absinthe Fountain


Imagine you have taken a table at the Café de la Paix, a favorite rendezvous for Manet and the other impressionist painters of the day. It is early evening on a chilly November day, and you have all the time in the world to watch the carriages rattling up the Boulevard des Italiens toward the recently constructed Opéra. A waiter with a waxed moustache and fresh linen apron comes by to take your order: "L'Absinthe, s'il vous plait."

With the first sip of the tongue-numbing, stomach-warming, idea-changing green drink, you forget all your troubles. You are, in fact, now under the spell of the "Green Fairy". With a well-sugared absinthe sitting before you on the marble tabletop, you muse philosophically, "Absinthe, on a winter evening - lights up in green the sooty soul."

Exactingly reproduced in France from an antique original, our Belle Epoque Absinthe Fountain captures all the spirit of that age. Fully functional and highly decorative, it features a mouth-blown, hand-etched glass jar standing on a heavy nickel silver base. The lid has a classic acorn finial and is removable for adding water into the jar. The metal spigots operate independently allowing from a very slow drip to a steady stream.

Very French...very decadent...very Moulin Rouge...very absinthe...

Fountain stands 21" high and measures 11" wide spout to spout. Glass measures 6" in diameter.

Crystal clear in the bottle, potent emerald green in the glass, and 144 proof - absinthe is as illicit as it is intoxicating. It's also among history's most notorious spirits - romanticized and maligned in equal measure. Sipped by Oscar Wilde, Baudelaire, van Gogh, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, and many other prominent artists and writers, absinthe was first used in ancient Greece for its healing powers. In 19th century France, it became a symbol of decadence and soon a scapegoat for the social and political ills of the period, leading to its ultimate prohibition.

Traditionally, absinthe is poured into a glass over which a specially designed filligreed absinthe spoon is placed. A sugar cube is then placed in the bowl of the spoon. Cold water is slowly poured or dripped over the sugar cube until the drink is sweetened & diluted to taste - anywhere from a 3:1 to 5:1 ratio of water to absinthe. During this process, the components that are not soluble in water, mainly those from anise, fennel and star anise cloud the drink, giving absinthe its eerily green, milky opalescence. The addition of water is an important step, causing the herbs to "blossom" and bringing out many of the flavors originally overpowered by the anise. With the increased popularity of absinthe, the Absinthe Fountain, a large glass jar of cold water on a base with spigots, came into use in the cafés of France. It allowed a number of drinks to be prepared at once, and with a hands-free drip patrons were able to socialize while diluting their absinthe to taste.

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