The absinthe museum

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:The absinthe museum
By Don Walsh on Monday, September 11, 2000 - 08:20 pm: Edit

Naturally, a century ago no one had sophisticated (or otherwise) gas chromatographs with which to determine thujone content accurately. And frankly it is not a trivial task even today.

By Absinthedrinker on Monday, September 11, 2000 - 06:58 am: Edit


Actually Mme Delahaye doesn't allow photography, but I had already taken a couple of shots before I found out. I guess it woulddn't hurt to put one up. If you plan to visit I should warn you that it is not easy to get to from Paris as you have to change trains and there are not many connections. The round trip took us nearly 4 hours and Auveres is only supposed to be 35 km from Paris!!!

By Midas on Monday, September 11, 2000 - 06:07 am: Edit

My god, sounds like you had a fantastic time. I've vague plans to go to France in a few months, so I'll surely be taking the side trip to Auveres. Did you take any photos of the museum? If so, post a couple here, I for one would love to see them.
- Robert

By Absinthedrinker on Monday, September 11, 2000 - 05:52 am: Edit

I'd like to share my visit to the Absinthe Museum in Auveres and encourage anyone who is visiting Paris to make the trip. On the day we visited, Mme Delahaye was there in person which provided a wonderful opportunity to chat on all matters connected with the Green Fairy. The museum has a very comprehensive display of absinthe related artifacts and any collectors will be drooling at the various fountains, carafes, spoons etc, etc. There is a small selection of spoons for sale at quite competitive prices. The absinthe bar set up in the first floor just makes you want to sit down and pour a shot - but this being France of course you can't. While I was there Mme Delahaye was working on her forthcoming book on spoons. From what I saw it looks very comprehensive and improves upon her previous coverage of spoons by using photos rather than drawings. The book is now expected to be available in January/February and will be sold over the web. More good news is that she is publishing her next book on absinthe (the one after the spoon book I think)in English.

I asked her several questions about La Fée and I hope I have the answers straight, my technical French is not very good. Apparently the Thujone content of the first batch of La Fée was 3.8 mg/l and the second batch was only slightly higher. The recipe she uses is based on an original one that she has found but is not that used by any of the big names of the past. I think I understood her to say that it contains an dditional 'secret' variety of wormwood as well as Grand and Petite wormwood. One interesting point that she made was that the thujone content of the absinthes of old was often misrepresented as they often assayed the total essential oils rather than just the thujone. She is of the opinion that absinthe will not return to France, not so much because of its thujone content, but because of its high alcohol content.

Anyway it was a very memorable day, as was lunch in the village restaurant in the hotel where Van Gough stayed before committing suicide.


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