The green hour

Absinthe was present on every table at aperitif time. Consumption peaked around 1900 with Pontarlier boasting 25 distilleries, 111 bars, cafés and drinking stands and producing some 15 million litres of absinthe, of which 7 were from the Pernod distillery. The green hour also featured in artistic and literary environments: Rimbaud, Verlaine, Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh, Jarry and many others believed that inspiration could be found at the bottom of an absinthe glass. It was the time of French cabaret, the Moulin Rouge, the Chat Noir and Aristide Bruand's Mirliton, the golden age of can-can, the reign of famous dancers, singers and actors such as La Goulue, Jane Avril, Yvette Guilbert and Lucien Guitry... a bygone era!

Unfortunately, excessive consumption known at the time as "absinthism", the virulence of the temperance leagues, scientific opinion, the wine-producing lobby and the political world got the better of absinthe around the time of the First World War. On 17 March 1915, a law banning the production and consumption of absinthe was unanimously approved by the French parliament. The drink suffered the same fate some years earlier in Switzerland on 7 October 1910, following a vote by Swiss citizens.