Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Jan 2001:ABSINTHE LEGENDRE (ABSINTHE HOUSE - NEW ORLEANS)
By Black_rabbit on Thursday, January 11, 2001 - 12:21 am: Edit

Perhaps while preparing that week's bonfire, he caught a couple lines...

By _blackjack_ on Wednesday, January 10, 2001 - 04:45 pm: Edit

Silly! Gubmint man no read books.

By Black_rabbit on Wednesday, January 10, 2001 - 05:17 am: Edit

Maybe Hemmingway caused the thing in the Keys.

Gubmint man read book- Gubmint man see green stuff in glass, not taxed, bad for kiddies brains, must outlaw. Downright Unamerican. Gubmint man feel better about things.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 03:39 pm: Edit

I have never seen any, I am not even sure they were brand names. I seen them used in some publications as slang for absinthe made in New Orleans.

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Is there any Milky Way or Green Dot merchandising art out there? I'd like to see some.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 07:20 am: Edit

So you mean to say that the Cuban Revolution wasn't financed by bootleg absinthe after all? What a shame, it makes such a nice story.

Don, I was begining to think that you and Fidel had something else in common other than a taste for fine cigars. I suppose I should have known better ;-)


By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 07:05 am: Edit

I don't think the case was about them making absinthe...it was about them selling it here and the case makes more metion of communists and unamerican cells dealing with it in the keys...not so much in cuba

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 07:02 am: Edit


I wouldn't have thought that after Moncada there'd have been more than a tiny handfull of Castro's 100 odd men left to be in the Oriente Hills in 1954, let alone set up absinthe distribution network. But who knows, maybe they were resourceful buggers, maybe they set up a few stills in them there hills ;-)


By _blackjack_ on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 06:24 am: Edit

Ix-nay on the Ientologists-scay...do you want them to sue and own this board?? :)

What the federal governement could and couldn't do as far as banning substances was pretty vague up until 1970 when Nixon greatly expanded the powers of the FDA in response to the threat LSD posed to western civilization . Mostly what they did was try to tax things to death, as was the case with the Marijuana Tax Act, that was later ruled unconstitutional.

As far as absinthe goes, who knows. Obviously, the US chose to ban ALL alcohol when Europe was just banning absinthe. It would seem to me, that upon repealing prohibition, the federal government probably considered itself out of the business of banning alcohol altogether, and there may well have been no specific federal law against it. It would seem odd if there WAS, in fact, because the federal authority to ban alcohol had been outright repealed. I suspect, however, that there were state and local laws throughout the US banning the stuff.

But this is all speculation. Since when has law made any sense?

By Don_walsh on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 05:44 am: Edit

In '54 any Reds in Cuba were in the Oriente hills and hiding from Fulgencio Batista's troops. So any liquor making they were doing for revenue was without sanction or tax hence bootleg.

(No, I'm Het thank you, no sort of Homo. Well maybe Sapiens but that's not universally agreed upon.)

Isn't permissible to argue a little even we are (somehow and vaguely) allied? (I can hear Betty screaming I KNEW IT! I SAID SO!) And what else to argue about but vagueries? If the subjects were clear cut there would be no room for debate.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 05:17 am: Edit

From what the ruling says it wasn't bootlegging it was importation. Atleast is doesn't mention bootlegging.

I know the precursors of the ATF were tax oriented, but the absinthe ban wasn't a matter of tax. The first "ban" seems to be under the same assumption that Absinthe was a problem of the french and it should stay there. It was at one time even mentioned on the front page of the New York Times...perhaps prewar Fracophobia?

Bear in mind that the muckrakers and the like didn't get a dept until much later that actually had full regulation on foodstuff. Before anylytical sciences in the 40's and 50's things were still very much stabbing in the dark. After the FDA was offically regimented it seems that the absinthe ban wasn't really based on anything. (Matter of fact I just found a Supreme Court case a few days ago mentioning that absinthe had to be green and be anise flavored to be named so, and this was like 1932!).

The laws concerning absinthe in that era are very vague, hence the newer laws being very complete in banning "absinthe and any spirits containing an excess of AA"...practically banning the name and the main flavor. I am pretty sure that the ATF even has some labeling problems with it, although it is hard to say...

Don, it seems that you and I always end up arguing over the most vague points. We sounds like Athanasius and Arrian...they argued their whole like over 1 letter Homousious or Homosious...I am a Homosious person myself..you?

- J

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 05:09 am: Edit

The U.S. laws as they exist today, regardless of when they were written and by whom, are very broad in description, and therefore equally effective.

By Don_walsh on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 04:23 am: Edit

Justin, I'm mystified. Bootlegging of absinthe by Reds in Cuba c.'54? I'm not denying your reference, I am just scratching my head and trying to make sense of it.

1. For there to have been a purpose to bootlet absinthe from Cuba whenever there would have to have been a demand for it. What demand?

2. Rackets like that (in Cuba/Gulf Coast) were the very exclusive province of folks like Meyer Lansky and Santos Trafficante not to mention Carlos Marcello, not very left oriented people, in fact they were very cozy with Washington till '60 -- maybe later. Washington was not monolothic.

3. ATF as such did not exist till '68-69 as it was given bureau status by the Omnibus Safe Streets Act of 1968. Prior to that it was the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of IRS. The 'Revenuers'. Bane of moonshiners. Eliot Ness and his mythical Untouchables were ATTD agents. Obviously they existed in the 20s and before. IRS dates to late 19th/early 20th century (paralleling the unfortunate history of the evil Income Tax.)

4. FDA dates to the 'yellow-journalist' exposes of the Chicago and Kansas City slaughterhouses in the 1920s. The various Food, Drug and Cosmetic Acts and their corresponding sections in CFR. (The Code of Federal Regulations.)

5. Your lawyer friend is sort of right in that, in comparison to 2001 regulatory environment, the original laws look feeble and vague. However, they certainly seem to have been effective! Any doubt of that ask the Legendres and see how many Milky Ways or Green Dots you can find.

6. FDA spent a lot of time chasing quack medical devices and cures, from the 30s on, some of these (in the 50s) include Dianetics which drove Ron Hubbard (SF writer and con man) to found the Church of Scientology to get out from under their jurisdiction. The CoS remain one of the world's best financed, most dangerous cults today.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 03:50 am: Edit


Just looked back at the Supreme Court Records and the absinthe is coming from the Keys and they mention association with "Communist and othe UnAmerican cells" from Cuba this is in 1954. I must have just combined them in memory, long breif and it only slightly mentions absinthe. Most of it is sugar, and tobacco, etc...

Well it is just logic concerning the 57 ban, the FDA/ATF didn't exist till around then, and the earlier bans (pre-WWI) were very oddly worded and seemingly locally oriented. Like the ban on opium was almost for San Fran. alone originally.

I am currently trying to compile all this from mircofilm, xeroxes, etc to let everyone see.

As far as my friend he is allowing me access to his law library, and the supreme and circuit records are all databased. You can go to any large law library and look through them. He is just showing me where to look, and translating the legalize to practicality.

I think I sent links to Grimbergen once concerning all this...

By Tabreaux on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 12:01 am: Edit

I haven't gone to visit Legendre about matters absinthe, but it is possible that they wouldn't even have a clear and concise history of company matters. Regardless, it's anyone's guess, as many things from that period are somewhat fuzzy.

By Don_walsh on Monday, January 08, 2001 - 08:19 pm: Edit

Dear Justin

1. Cuba wasn't Red till '60.

2. As to US ban not being till '57 that's fine theory but fact is otherwise.

Are you getting your 'legal opinions''for free? All my lawyer friends are fond of saying, free legal opinions are worth what you pay for them.

By Chrysippvs on Monday, January 08, 2001 - 07:13 pm: Edit

I would bear in mind some various items

1. The definition of absinthe is very very in the air, it has been and still is.

2. The FDA didn't offically ban absinthe until 1957, it's importation from spain etc..was banned in the same year.

3. The law banning absinthe in 1915 was made by an agency that eventually fell apart soon after.

4. From what I and another lawyer can see the first ban on absinthe was an emergency ban that in reality had little or no standing.

5. The name "Absinthe" was not banned into 1957 with the FDA ban.

6. I have seen absinthe production/importation supreme court cases reviewed as late as 1950 (One involving absinthe being imported from Red Cuba)

7. It may be possible that this sticker was added later?

Draw what you will from these findings, but bear in mind that the FDA/ATF ban (which were the first hard standing and legally binding) don't seem to appear to the late 50's.

- J

By Don_walsh on Monday, January 08, 2001 - 06:38 pm: Edit

Phil, I have no answer regarding the issue of whether N1934 = year 1934. The Legendre family were (maybe are) the makers of Herbsaint, first absinthe then pastis. They were one of three New Orleans based absinthe makers, the other brands being Green Dot and Milky Way.

And that's about all I know.

Perhaps Ted can add something.

If I had to speculate I'd say: if truly absinthe then it's pre-ban; if truly 1934 it's pastis and the American authorities must have been lax about the labeling. But that's just speculation, and worth no more than the free Kallisti electrons it's printed on.

By Frenchman on Monday, January 08, 2001 - 06:23 pm: Edit


I have a bottle of the ABSINTHE LEGENDRE (empty!)...

But i am very curious about a seal on the label; It is write :


Is it a seal of 1934 ??
If yes, perhaps Absinthe Legendre has been sold in USA after the prohibition... (like Absinthe Pernod wich sold old absinthe stocks till the WWII) ??

Has someone the answer ??

You can see the bottle to :


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