|Absinthe - The Green Fairy - La Fée Verte
Vintage Absinthe from the Pre-ban Era
|Our vintage absinthe bottles & samples are offered on Absinthe Originals
Since 2002, Absinthe Originals has been offering the best absinthe antiques
and vintage absinthe bottles from France and Switzerland, the motherlands
of the Green Fairy, but also from Spain, the USA and all countries where
absinthe was produced in its heyday.
|Banned for almost a century until its recent revival, absinthe is something of a "living fossil", a coelecanth
amongst drinks, able to magically transport us back to the glittering world of Paris and the Belle Epoque, a
world of bohemian musicians and writers, of the Moulin Rouge and the cafés of Montmartre, a world of
starving struggling artists and glittering courtesans.
To drink a pre-ban absinthe from 1910, from the era of Toulouse Lautrec and Van Gogh, of Verlaine and
Rimbaud is an extraordinary and life enhancing experience - this is truly, in Barnaby Conrad's words,
history in a bottle - one has the feeling of reaching back like a time traveller into the distant past, and
feeling for just a moment a flicker of the warmth of a summer's day on a Parisian boulevard a century
ago. Vintage absinthe is far rarer than ancient cognac, pre-prohibition bourbon, or any other vintage
spirit. Every surviving bottle is a precious relic. No more than a few hundred people on earth have tasted
vintage absinthe (most of them via this website). Many purchasers extract a small sample to taste via a
hypodermic syringe through the cork, but leave the bottle otherwise intact for future generations.
We continually search throughout France, Switzerland and Spain for sealed bottles of vintage absinthe, in
fine original condition. When we do find pre-1915 bottles, they tend to sell very quickly, often to buyers
already on our waiting list, although occasionally we are able to offer them here.
|Some previously sold bottles of vintage absinthe. For bottles in stock, please visit Absinthe Originals:
|Absinthe Pernod Fils - "Garanti Fabriqué en 1913"
This is the classic "benchmark" Pernod Fils with the labels overprinted "Fabriqué en 1913"
(made in 1913). This is a very rare bottling - these bottles were the very last stock produced
by Pernod before the ban in 1914. They were sent to Holland for safekeeping and a small
quantity were released 25 years later for export in 1938 with this special overprinted label.
The balance of the stocks was unfortunately destroyed by bombing during the war. Photos
show the bottle still covered in the original cellar dust!
|Absinthe des Alpes C. Comoz
Established in 1870 in Chambery in the Savoie region, C. Comoz specialized in a unique
vermouth blanc (white vermouth) and an equally remarkable absinthe "Absinthe des Alpes",
based on a local recipe, and using mountain herbs.
The absinthe is extremely pale amber in colour, and louches almost white. My belief is that
this absinthe was originally a blanche, and the slight colour now is simply a result of a century
of ageing. It's not possible to say this with absolute certainty, it may instead have been an
exceptionally pale verte. The aroma and flavour of this absinthe are quite wonderful, very
floral, licorice root and green anise of the very finest quality are both noticeable, the louche
is thick and rich, and yet the absinthe has an extraordinarily refined feel in the mouth, very
feminine and perfumed in character. Really quite remarkable!
|Absinthe Premier Fils 65%
An exceptional absinthe bottle: an intact ABSINTHE PREMIER FILS, one of the greatest brands
of the Belle Epoque era. As you’ll see in the photos, it has the complete original branded
capsule, quite wonderful!
|Absinthe La Constantine - Constant Farcat - Circa 1910
Constant Farcat was a prominent Burgundy-based distiller specializing primarily in absinthe,
but also making a well known kirsch. Established in 1896, they remained in business up until
the ban in 1914. Their beautifully named absinthe "La Constantine" was a regional favorite,
and was, unusually, sold in a clear glass bottle. This Constant Farcat was a prominent
Burgundy-based distiller specializing primarily in absinthe, but also making a bottle likely
dates from around 1910, and was found lying alongside in the same cellar as the Cusenier
bottle Constant Farcat was a prominent Burgundy-based distiller specializing primarily in
absinthe, but also making a shown above.
This is the first intact bottle of this marque to be discovered.
|Absinthe Pernod Fils - Circa 1905
A superb bottle of Absinthe Pernod Fils in excellent condition - very good level, neck-foil
largely intact, branded wax seal, label complete with only very minor scuffing. The contents
are bright and clear. The bottle still shows slight crudity - bubbles in the glass - and likely
dates from around 1905. This is the classic absinthe of the Belle Epoque, the benchmark by
which all others are judged. Bottles in such pristine condition are extremely rare. A very
|Absinthe Jules Pernod - Circa 1890-1895
This is an extremely rare bottle, only the forth Jules Pernod bottle we have handled in 15
years. Even more interestingly, this is a particularly early bottling, as can be seen from the
crude hand-blown bottle and irregularly applied glass neck seal. Jules Pernod was an entirely
independent firm, based in Avignon, which fought bitter trademark battles with Pernod Fils
over the use of the generic term "Un Pernod" - and ultimately prevailed in the courts, winning
the right to call its product "Un Pernod" in the same way Pernod Fils did.
|Absinthe Verte J.L.T. - Circa 1880
This extremely rare and unusual absinthe dates from - at least - the early 1880's. The
hand-blown bottle is extremely crudely made, with an exceptionally deep punt, extending
nearly 4 inches into the bottle. There are many irregularities and bubbles in the glass. The
label - printed in green only - is typical of French and Swiss examples recorded from the
1850's to 1880's. It's possible this bottle is considerably older than 1880, we have erred on the
cautious side in dating it. The distillery or producer name "J.L.T." is not recorded in the
literature, but is likely to be a small manufacturer, probably of Swiss origin.
|Absinthe Dornier-Tuller - Circa 1890-1900
A very important find: a circa 1890 - 1900 "Vieille Absinthe Dornier", missing the label but
otherwise in quite outstanding condition. Remarkably good level, three-quarters of the way
up the glass seal on the shoulder. Crisply struck original green wax seal. Largely intact neck
foiling. This bottle comes from cellar well known to us from previous finds, it has lain
undisturbed since - at least - the 1930's. The one litre capacity bottle measures 31 cm tall
and has a deep punt with inverted tip. The glass is heavy and handblown, with some crudity,
especially around the base. The bottle likely dates from the 1890's.
|The Barcelona Cache - 30 intact Absinthe
Pernod Fils Tarragona bottles
This is the most important cache of
Spanish-made Pernod ever found - 30 bottles
dating from the late 1950's, all with excellent
levels and sound corks, the absinthe perfectly
preserved. The damp storage conditions mean
the original labels are all damaged to some
degree, and in some cases are missing entirely,
but it's precisely these conditions that have
preserved the corks (and the absinthe inside)
so perfectly. All the bottles have the famous
embossed "Pernod" glass seal on the shoulder,
and all have most of their original neck foil.
Each contains about 900ml of absinthe.
|After the ban in France in 1915, a small part of the original
Pernod Fils company decamped to Tarragona in Spain, and
continued making absinthe according to the original recipes
and protocols. Production continued in a small way until the
1960's. This is the absinthe Hemingway wrote about in "For
Whom The Bell Tolls" and elsewhere, and is the closest thing
available to pre-ban absinthe.
|Absinthe Pernod Fils - Circa 1895
A fine intact Absinthe Pernod Fils, good colour, aged but intact label, good level, intact neck
foil, grey green branded wax seal near perfect. A lovely bottle.
|Absinthe Pernod Fils Green - Labelled for the US market
This is a rare find, very few US-labelled Pernod Fils bottles have survived in this sort of
condition. Marvellous near mint label, really excellent level, substantial remains of original
green wax seal on the cork (which protrudes about a millimeter above the lip of the bottle but
which is original, untouched and in excellent condition). The staining visible on the neck foil
is not seepage from this bottle - another liquor bottle stacked above this one must have
leaked on it at some stage. US-labelled Pernod Fils like this is rare and very sought after.
|Absinthe J.V.& Ca - Neufchatel (Doubs) - Circa 1880
Very early and crudely hand-blown bottle of great character, with an exceptionally deep punt
(around 8cm) and many irregularities in the glass. The bottle has a non-standard capacity of
0.65 - 0.7 litre. Intact label, and the remainder of the original red wax seal, on which the
Swiss Cross can just be made out. Good level, and no moisture or seepage round the cork.
The contents are amber coloured, bright and clear.
|Absinthe Edouard Pernod - Lunel (Herault) - Circa 1870-1880
This is an exceptional bottle. The branch of Edouard Pernod in Lunel was sold off and
changed it's name to Gempp Pernod in 1880, so this bottle can be dated with confidence to
prior to that date. It's the earliest intact sealed absinthe bottle yet unearthed.
Handblown one-litre bottle with many small bubbles and irregularities in the glass, as one
would expect from a bottle of this era. Crudely applied glass neck seal, and perfect fully
intact branded wax seal on the cork. Not a trace of seepage, and an excellent level. Beautiful
label, in overall very good condition. The contents appear in excellent condition, amber
coloured, bright and clear. A highly important survival from one of the greatest marques.
|Absinthe Suisse Grande Distillerie Lyonnaise - Circa 1890-1895
This is an exceptional bottle - a circa 1890-95 Absinthe Suisse, marked "Grande Distillerie
Lyonnaise". Lyon was a noticable centre for absinthe production, and an "absinthe Lyonnaise"
was a specific regional recipe (a high percentage of angelica root in the distillation, and
veronica added to the colouring step). This is the first example of an absinthe Lyonnaise we
have found. It's an absolutely superb tasting absinthe.
"Absinthe Suisse" was the highest quality designation possible in the era, indicating a
naturally coloured absinthe of the finest quality. The wording "Grande Distillerie Lyonnaise"
almost certainly indicates that this was manufactured by the Ferrand Freres distillery in Lyon.
The bottle has a capacity of around 600ml and is crudely blown, maybe dating from even
earlier than 1890-1895.
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