Absinthe Fountain

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Dec 2000:Absinthe Fountain
By Chrysippvs on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 02:13 pm: Edit

yeah I seen those...There used to be some more online but the site has since dissapeared. Can't wait to make my way over there to see what I can come up with.....

By Petermarc on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 01:17 pm: Edit

i assume you've seen the catalogs on the frenchman's site?

By Chrysippvs on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 01:06 pm: Edit

I have read that somewhere as well. Absinthe glassware can get really particular. I want to get my hands on some of the old catalogs..

By Petermarc on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 12:57 pm: Edit

oh, by the way, there is a group of collectors
who only look for the "verre de patron"

By Petermarc on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 12:51 pm: Edit

the fact is i have found glasses that were obviously made by the same glass-blower, same
shape, height, and dosed at the same height and
the thickness of the glass at the bottom changes
the actual dose by a good half ounce. there have been two explainations other than the variations
of hand-made glass that have been given to me.

one) that the shallow dosed glass is called the
"verre de patron" or bar-owner's glass. it was often expected that the bartender (often the owner)would drink with the clients. in order to
be social and appear to be drinking the same amount, the owner could drink less from the glass
which had a short dose due to the thickness of the glass at the bottom.

two) "verre de voleur" or theif's glass. the bar-
tender (often the owner) could pour a short drink
that appeared to be correct based on the height of
the glass and the dose-mark or assumed correct

both explainations are amusing, and to some extent, i'm sure, true...but the fact that they
are hand-made, and never the same, is real, and
in my opinion, the true beauty of the glass
(and it feels so good in your hand)

By Chrysippvs on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 11:10 am: Edit

Like I said earlier the nature of hand blown glassware gives for tons of irregularities. I have some swirls glasses that are cut just like Eggs and have really deep "egg" like doses, I have others with like funnel like doses, and others till that are shallow monimettes doses.

Also the swirls on the glass may be on alternating heights depending on how the blower made them. That is the great thing about antiques, no two are the same...

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 09:52 am: Edit

Wierd. Perhaps someone out there knows the reason why.

By Absinthedrinker on Saturday, October 07, 2000 - 04:38 am: Edit


I only recently realised that thing about the swirls giving different measures depending on whether you look from the top or side. It makes quite a difference doesn't it...

By Chrysippvs on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 12:17 pm: Edit

I have noticed that too. I have noticed that as well...I hate really watery absinthe...

I have one particular glass in the Y pattern that actually holds 2 fl oz and is too large for any spoon that I have excepting a really well balanced les Pelles.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 11:16 am: Edit

Many thanks for that.

The swirls on my 2 glasses (my only absinthe glasses) go quite deep into the stem, although one holds a little more absinthe than another. If I fill by looking from the inside the absinthe level ends up about 1 cm above the top of the swirl. If the glass is then filled up to the top with 3 large ice cubes in the glass I end up with about 1 part absinthe (usually Deva) to 3 parts water. This is just right for my tastes.

It's strange that if I put even a tiny bit more absinthe in than this it tastes far too strong for me and a tiny bit less tastes far too weak. With other spirits that I don't drink straight it doesn't really that much difference to me. I've always thought this a bit odd.


By Chrysippvs on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 11:04 am: Edit

I see what you are saying. Usually the top of the swirl cuts is the top of the dose. But the dose in the glasses veries quite a bit. Some are really shallow and some are very deep pits into almost the stem of the glass. There are also some Swirl-East glass Hyrbids. With all handblown items the doses are going to vary a bit here and there...

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 10:50 am: Edit

On a standard "swirl" sort of absinthe glass does where the top of the swirl pattern stops correspond to the amount of absinthe you should put in a glass?

(I've always found that if you look inside the glass and add absinthe up to the top of the swirl pattern gives just the right amount for my taste. By looking inside the glass from above and doing this the fill level ends up about 1cm above the level you would achieve by looking at the glass from the outside and filling to the top of the "swirl" pattern. If you can understand this paragraph you're doing well.)


By Chrysippvs on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 01:05 pm: Edit

All depends on your tastes...I have vintage glasses that are well over 10oz and some that are only 2 or 3 oz. I like my absinthe with around 3 parts water in a 72% absinthe..now with Deva or something that is around 55% I like it with around 1.5 oz water just enough to get a solid louche in the mixture.

- J

By Bob_chong on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 11:58 am: Edit

Thanks for the tips. How many ounces should the glasses be? That has always confused me--I mean, 1 oz. absinthe + 5 oz. water = 6 oz., but I assume there should be some headroom. 8 oz? 10 oz?


By Chrysippvs on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 11:41 am: Edit

nah I forget the exact name..I saw them a few months ago...just take a look at my site or Frenchman's and get an idea of the type of glass you like and search it out at flea markets. I have tried to etch my own with some success. You can find some old fluted wine glasses at a local flea market I am sure and etch them...just buy a few to practice on...

Just look around and mail me the results of what you find...just measure out a fluid oz of liquid into the glass and use that as your etching line.

Good luck with it all!


By Bob_chong on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 10:34 am: Edit


I have thought about getting some glasses--will have to check Target for some--and etching a dose line onto them myself. Craft stores sell etching compound for about $7. With a little masking tape and about ten minutes of effort, I could have some decent enough homemade replicas. Do you know what brand of glasses I should look for?


By Chrysippvs on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 09:55 am: Edit

I think those muse fountains are not very attractive, and not only that, they don't accomidate many vintage glasses (most Y, Chope Yvonne, and some others) They are around 100 dollars with shipping although many of them have broken in transit. Those Spanish absenta fountins are nice but only accomidate one and have no base. And the glasses that come with the set aren't dosed (cut or etched). I am not sure the price of the set, but you could go to Target and get some glasses that look just like Egg glasses for like 12 dollars for a set of 4, they are not dosed but they are a bargin none the less.

- Justin

By Bob_chong on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 09:00 am: Edit

Anyone get one of those La Muse Verte fountains seen in the guide--or know where to get them and how much they cost? They look ok, for what they are. It looks like the set comes with a bottle of LMV, two spoons, two glasses, and the fountain.


By Wormwood on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 04:14 am: Edit

Here is a really nice one I saw for sale on Ebay this week it says its new and made in Spain. In case you don't have a few thousand for a French Fountian.

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 01:23 pm: Edit

Justin and Don,

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.


By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 07:52 am: Edit

Yes it was Domingo who built her own. She sent me pics, and if she doesn't turn up to post them maybe I will have to do so. It was a very creditible job.

Six spigots, wow.

By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 07:27 am: Edit

Here is a pic of my fountain..it is a 6 spigot made by "JR" so says the monogram inside the top dome...

Hope this helps...finally got it leak proof a few weaks ago...they are great to have at parties, I was at a tasting a few weeks ago with it and let me telll you, it beats the crap out of using a big carafe. It can usually pour around 30 glasses of absinthe (around a bottle worth). I got a really great deal on it from a dealer abroad but they usually run from around 2000-2700 dollars, although I have seen some for like 3000 dollars with no spigots or lid...

Domingo, you out there? I know you made one a while back???

Hope it helps,


PS Don, when you have one built I would love to see one...

By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 07:17 am: Edit


By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 06:35 am: Edit

In short it's a piece of bar top equipment. It is NOT for delivery of absinthe, but of water.

A related device called a Tantalus is used to deliver liquors through multiple hoses to simplify a bartender's life (and also look really neat). The liquor bottles are usually inverted.

I am unaware of the timeframe of the origin of the Tantalus, though, so cannot say whether or not it was contemporary with Absinthe Houses, bistros, etc, Or if it is a more modern innovation. Anyone know?

By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 06:29 am: Edit

Of course! Delighted to do so, to best of my meager ability. There are much better people on the forum to handle this and maybe they will jump in and add to my poor attempt.

An absinthe fountain was/is a reservoir of water in a slightly elevated glass container, with usually four faucets (most usually at 90 degrees to each other) so that drinkers can trickle water through sugar cubes at a controlled rate, more conveniently than doing so by hand from a carafe.

Usually found in absinthe houses, bistros, etc but nowadays the province of collectors and absintheurs lucky enough to have acquired an old one, or enterprising enough to have crafted a new one.

Some members of the forum in the past have posted photos of pretty impressive fountains they have cobbled together.

Doubtless many fine examples can be found in the usual reference books (Collins, de la Haye, etc.) or on the websites devoted to absinthe memorabilia.

I believe Justin has one, although I have not seen it nor a photo. Maybe we can coax him into posting it?

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 04:14 am: Edit

I've no idea what an absinthe fountain is or what one looks like. Can anybody enlighten me?


By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 04, 2000 - 02:08 am: Edit

If you want a fountain with just one spigot -- that is, you drink your Fairy alone and there isn't any diversity of opinion about sugar or no sugar -- then the design becomes a lot simpler....

Begs the purpose of a fountain, though. An absinthe fountain is a social device.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 06:40 pm: Edit

I would like to see it. Until I run across an absinthe I want to put sugar in, however, I have no use for it.


By Don_walsh on Tuesday, October 03, 2000 - 01:20 pm: Edit

I am having a chat with local Thai custom lab glassblower as I think I could shave a LOT of the cost off a 'modular lab glass' fountain. Hassle would then be shipping to USA. But the thing wouldn't bee to heavy. Anyway I will definitely make up a couple for myself. And post the photos and net costs.

Anyone even vaguelt interested in this project?

By Don Walsh on Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 03:04 am: Edit

I have completed the design of two fountains from standard taper pyrex glassware, a two liter one that would cost $500 to put together and a 5 liter that would run about $600. Four position, all glass, no tools required to put together.

Anyone interested, pls email me and I will give you the catalog number for the components from Chemglass, and the list of minor hardware (clamps and clips and ringstand) to support the fountain.

If and when I put one together I'll post the photo

By Don Walsh on Monday, September 25, 2000 - 01:41 am: Edit

Dear Bob

It's a real problem, because unless you know what the glass was used for, from the time it was purchased and by everyone who ever handled it, you just can't tell. In the research lab, we use very aggressive agents to clean glass chemically -- hexavalent chromium (chromic acid) which is a carcinogen, saturated potassium hydoxide in anhydrous ethanol, etc -- and these present their own problems to the technicians and the environment. Nowdays, to a large extent this has been supplanted by oven baking at 450 C for 24 hours, which ashes anything organic -- but what about inorganics? Like, say, thallium salts, or beryllium salts?

All in all, glass that will be used for potables ought to never have been used for anything else. That's what I am saying.

And at Jade Liqueurs, that's the approach I have taken. New glass, and nothing else. What used glass we have, we don't use for making things we drink, or sell, and we are phasing out all the used stuff anyway even for other less critical applications.

By Bob Chong on Sunday, September 24, 2000 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Cool offer, Don!

As to the used glassware, there's no easy way to decontaminate the stuff, is there? I'm no chemist, but I assume that since likes dissolve likes, etc., it might take a full battery of cleansing agents unless one knew exactly what had been used in the glass, right?


By Don Walsh on Sunday, September 24, 2000 - 10:16 pm: Edit

I agree. However, one needs to buy NEW and not used glassware because otherwise, potential contamination is a real downer. And buying new ground glass jointed glassware is a little pricey, plus, it tends to attract the attention of the drug cops, who assume you have a different application in mind.

All that being said, I will design such a modular fountain with standard taper glassware and publish the design here.

By Midas on Sunday, September 24, 2000 - 09:00 pm: Edit

I think a fountain made out of chemistry and medical equipment would look fabulous in a sinister sort of way. Dr Jekyll chic.
- Robert

By Corsetgirl on Sunday, September 24, 2000 - 10:02 am: Edit

leggos! woo-hoo!
*blush* Actually with all of the soapmaking and stuff I'm doing the Absinthe Fountain is just an idea I'm kicking around.


By Anatomist1 on Saturday, September 23, 2000 - 04:30 pm: Edit

Well, if you're going to stray that far from something that looks nice, I would suggest using chemistry or medical equipment. With all the odd-shaped glassware, tubes, stoppers and spigots available, duct tape will be nowhere in sight. It should be as easy as playing with legos or an erector set.


By Corsetgirl on Friday, September 22, 2000 - 11:37 am: Edit

No clue, but I imagine it'll involve calling in favors, for now I'm planning to make something goofy-looking with a lot of duct tape, but functional :)

By Anatomist1 on Friday, September 22, 2000 - 09:42 am: Edit

Hey Corsetgirl,

Do you have access to a glass lab? What are you planning to make the fountain with?


By Corsetgirl on Thursday, September 21, 2000 - 05:02 pm: Edit

As always you are absolutely wonderful. sounds difficult, but I'll probably give it a go anyways! I'll make sure to let everyone know how it goes. Well, now I have to start thinkin' about the details.


By Chrysippvs on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 08:19 pm: Edit

I have one..e-mail me for any specific questions you may have..take care..

By Rose on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 07:32 pm: Edit

The darn things are so expensive. I'm kind of a DIY chick so I was wondering if anyone has directions on how to make one. . .or even a diagram or picture?

Thanks in advance,

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