Absinthe: The Forbidden Spirit
By Tania Brasseur, Tamara Berger (Illustrated by), Michelle Bailat-Jones (Translated by)
2024 • Helvetiq
A journalist and photographer set out to the "absinthe valley" in search of the history, the botany and the illicit mysteries of the "Green Fairy".
Invented in a small valley in Switzerland, absinthe was the drink of choice for 19th century Bohemians. Van Gogh, Picasso and Oscar Wilde swore by its creative powers. But by the early 20th century, the drink was prohibited around the world.
This “other prohibition” lasted nearly 100 years. Only in 2005 was it legal to make absinthe again in Switzerland. This is the story of the invention and reinvention of the much-feared drink, and of the craftsmen who kept the traditions alive, despite the risks.
Swiss journalist Tania Brasseur travels through the few remote valley of Switzerland and France where absinthe is made today, and meets the people who have brought about absinthe’s renaissance. Along the way she discovers the turbulent story of “the green fairy’s” heyday in Paris, and delves into how it is made, how its very success led to its prohibition, and why it has now become a darling of barkeepers everywhere. With more than 100-photos from Tamara Berger, and illustrations by Ajša Vera Dorothy Zdravković, this is an intimate look at a stunning region of Europe never seen this way before.
Tags: alcohol, beverages, Books, food history, food journalism, food writing, french, Pre-Order, swiss