Synopses & Reviews
Crystal clear in the bottle, potent emerald green in the glass, and 144 proof absinthe is as illicit as it is intoxicating. It's also among history's most notorious liquors romanticized and maligned in equal measure.
Here for the first time is an illustrated exploration of absinthe's legendary allure. Sipped by Oscar Wilde, Baudelaire, van Gogh, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, and many other prominent artists and writers, absinthe was first used in ancient Greece for its healing powers. In nineteenth-century France, it became a symbol of decadence and soon a scapegoat for the social and political ills of the period, leading to its ultimate prohibition. From wild stories about its celebrated users to compelling insights into its influence on art, this lavishly illustrated book features over 60 color and 100 black-and-white reproductions of paintings and other absinthe-related art, including posters for and against the controversial spirit. For all those interested in art, literature, liquor, or decadence, Absinthe is history in a bottle.
"An engaging combination of art history, sociology, travelogue and artists' biography, this clever hybrid recounts both the praise heaped upon the alcoholic beverage and the tales of destroyed creativity and absinthe-related violence that led to its prohibition....Like its subject, this volume is addictive and enchanting." Publishers Weekly
"[J]uicy anecdotes about famous artistic absintheurs...like Beaudelaire, Rimbaud and (to show that even Americans could be decadent) Poe." Los Angeles Times
One hundred forty-four proof, notoriously addictive, and the drug of choice for nineteenth-century poets, absinthe is gaining bootleg popularity after almost a century of being banned. Due to popular demand, Absinthe: History in a Bottle is back in paperback with a handsome new cover. Like the author's bestselling The Martini and The Cigar, it is a potent brew of wild nights and social history, fact and trivia, gorgeous art and beautiful artifacts. As intoxicating as its subject, Absinthe makes a memorable gift for anyone who knows how to celebrate vice.
About the Author
Barnaby Conrad III is a bon vivant and the author of several acclaimed Chronicle books, including The Martini and The Cigar. He divides his time between San Francisco and New York.