Over the years there have been many books written about absinthe from people who probably have quite an obsession with the drink, for varying reasons. And hey, considering you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to say you’re someone who will appreciate that someone took their time to do so. Whether the books are good or bad we’ll leave up to you, but here are four books about absinthe for you to add to your collection.
Hideous Absinthe: A History of the Devil in a Bottle by Jad Adams
Mysteriously sophisticated, darkly alluring, almost Satanic: absinthe was the drink of choice for Baudelaire, Verlaine, and Wilde. It inspired paintings by Degas and Manet, van Gogh and Picasso. It was blamed for conditions ranging from sterility to madness, to French defeats in World War I. The campaign against the devil in a bottle resulted in its ban throughout most of Europe. Its reputation for toxicity eventually extinguished the fin-de-siècle’s infatuation with absinthe, but not before it had influenced generations of artists on both sides of the channel. This book is a biography of the green fairy: from its place in the lives of writers and artists who were inspired, and ruined, by it, to its more recent rediscovery by Ernest Hemingway and today’s would-be sophisticates.
A Taste for Absinthe: 65 Recipes for Classic and Contemporary Cocktails by R. Winston Guthrie and James F. Thompson
A Taste for Absinthe celebrates this storied and complex liquor by bringing you 65 cocktail recipes from America’s hottest mixologists to enjoy as you discover the spirit that has fascinated artists, musicians, and writers for centuries. Whether you want to learn everything you need to know to host “L’Heure Verte” (the Green Hour) and impress your friends with your beautiful accoutrements and practiced pouring technique, or just make a delicious drink, A Taste for Absinthe will bring you up to speed on the most talked about liquor in history.
Absinthe, Sip of Seduction: A Contemporary Guide, Revised Edition by Bettina Wittels and Robert Hermesch
This visually rich journey into an alluring subculture takes an intimate look into the contemporary world of absinthe. With colour reproductions of lithographs, posters, postcards, cartoons, antiques, and tools of the absinthe drinker, Absinthe explains the history, culture, and mystique of the drink known as the Green Fairy.
The Book of Absinthe: A Cultural History by Phil Baker
Opening with the sensational 1905 Absinthe Murders, Phil Baker offers a cultural history of absinthe, from its modest origins as an herbal tonic through its luxuriantly morbid heyday in the late nineteenth century. Chronicling a fascinatingly lurid cast of historical characters who often died young, the absinthe scrapbook includes Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Dowson, Aleister Crowley, Arthur Machen, August Strindberg, Alfred Jarry, Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Allais, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso. Along with discussing the rituals and modus operandi of absinthe drinking, Baker reveals the recently discovered pharmacology of how real absinthe works on the nervous system, and he tests the various real and fake absinthe products that are available overseas. The Book of Absinthe is a witty, erudite primer to the world’s most notorious drink.
All these books are available on Amazon. Whether you’re drawn to history, mixology, or the poetic essence of the famous green fairy, you’ll appreciate these books.