Absinthe Infographic [built in flash professional]

It’s almost Hallowe’en in the United States. Invariably, a bunch of people will try absinthe for the first time at parties given its reputation as a “spooky” drink. This will probably involve either consuming absinthe as a “shot” or lighting it on fire, or both…


To help prepare newcomers to proper preparation and provide some solid facts around this misunderstood spirit, I’ve used the opportunity given to me by Adobe to instruct upon Flash Professional CC to also promote responsible absinthe imbibing as well. Here is a static version of the infographic we create in this series but there is also an animated Flash Player based version and an interactive HTML5 Canvas version as well:

Absinthe Infographic

You can get all of the assets used in the creation of these projects and watch the recordings at the Adobe Education Exchange:


Flash Professional is GREAT for animating things like this!

Also, if you want to lean more about absinthe, The Wormwood Society (absinthe education organization) has a nice flyer and a bunch of other great information for you.

There is a lot of bad information out there. Good information is easy to come by though… please educate yourself and others on proper absinthe preparation.



Edge Animate: Absinthe Quiz!

Psst! The correct answer is #1

I recently gave a short set of talks for the Adobe Apps for Education: Live! series which aims to demonstrate uses of Adobe products for educational purposes in short, 30 minute project examples. These are divided into two talks; a morning talk for beginners, and an evening talk for advanced concepts.

Most of the questions for the quiz are derived from the Absinthe 101 Flyer hosted by The Wormwood Society.

There is also a neat Pinterest board with links to various resources, if you are into Pinterest!

Absinthe Antiques: A collection from la Belle Époque

Absinthe AntiquesAbsinthe Antiques: A collection from la Belle Époque features pieces utilized in the preparation and serving of the famed spirit absinthe. These lovely antiques from the mid 1800s through the early 20th century evoke a time of beauty, art, new technologies and changing culture; the era known as France’s la Belle Époque. Spoons, glasses, carafes, pitchers, saucers, art …Lovers of absinthe, and antiques in general, will enjoy the beauty of these elegant survivors of time.

When I first laid my hands up on S. B. MacDonald’s Absinthe Antiques: A collection from la Belle Époque… I expected nice photographs… I expected a quick history of the spirit, absinthe, alongside a number of historical artifacts. What I didn’t expect was to gain access to such a great number of photographs comprising the wide diversity of absinthe-related objects that is to be discovered in this work.

The photographs themselves are spectacular – many composed in what appears to be either natural ambient light or directed candlelight… quite suited to the subjects presented. These subjects – these absinthe antiques – range from glasses, spoons, fountains, pitchers, carafes, postcards, sugar tongs, period photographs… the list is comprehensive in scope and the book itself is a treasure for the absintheur.

Alongside each photograph is a description of the piece and some relation to its place in the history of the spirit. Want to know what “choking a parrot” means? This book will surely enlighten you!

The format of this book is large - the beautiful photographs really do take center stage!
The format of this book is large – the beautiful photographs really do take center stage!

The book also does a fair bit toward transitioning the reader from la Belle Époque to the present day in the latter portions… binding the history of absinthe with the present resurgence is so very important.

Throughout this work – there is evident a great respect for traditions surrounding the spirit and a desire to honor and continue such traditions to this day. Whether employing true antiques or faithful reproductions in preparing the fine absinthes being produced in our current era… this book will instill a true sense of history and appreciation for both the absinthes of our glorious past and of her present and ongoing renewal. Especially so for this present day, in which lady absinthe dusts herself off from a century of imprisonment and neglect… now free to be enjoyed by the greater population once again.

Celebrate with me… have a fine absinthe today… santé!

Learn more about the book:

Discover absinthe at the Wormwood Society:

Wormwood Society Opposes Exclusive Use of the Name “Absinthe”

The Wormwood Society has released a well-worded statement on the situation involving the Swiss IGP for exclusive use of the word “Absinthe”. The full text is represented below – but you are also encouraged to view the original at The Wormwood Society website and spread awareness around this important issue.

SwitzerlandThis would require all European Union and Swiss absinthe producers outside of Val-de-Travers to discontinue use of the term, potentially causing severe economic harm to an industry still struggling to recover from over a century of propaganda and misunderstanding.

The Wormwood Society hereby states its opposition to a the establishment of a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) passed on August 16th, 2012 by Switzerland’s Federal Office of Agriculture. We have determined that the PGI has a false basis and that it should be revoked.

According to The International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, “a Geographical Indication is a sign used on goods which have a specific geographical origin and possess particular qualities or a reputation due to that place”, such as Champagne, Scotch whisky, Port wine, Idaho potatoes, Roquefort cheese, and Kona coffee.

This PGI contains a number of protections regarding absinthe, the most ominous of which is to geographically restrict the legal application of the name “absinthe” to only those spirits originating from the small Val-de-Travers district of Switzerland.

The international public was given 30 days to object to the measure and 42 parties responded in opposition, including absinthe producers in France, the United States, parts of Switzerland outside Val-de-Travers, and concerned Wormwood Society board members, but the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture accepted none of the counter arguments.

Although proponents of this geographical indication initially claimed the law would only affect producers domiciled in Switzerland, they have provided nothing to substantiate that claim. Many treaties bind Switzerland and the European Union. One relevant treaty, the?Agreement on Trade in Agricultural Products, states in Annex 8, Article 5:

2. In the Community (EU), the protected Swiss names:
— may not be used otherwise than under the conditions laid down in the laws and regulations of Switzerland, and
— shall be reserved exclusively for the spirit drinks and aromatised drinks originating in Switzerland to which they apply.

Without evidence to the contrary, the Wormwood Society can only assume this article of the treaty will be upheld. This would require all European Union and Swiss absinthe producers outside of Val-de-Travers to discontinue use of the term, potentially causing severe economic harm to an industry still struggling to recover from over a century of propaganda and misunderstanding.

Furthermore, producers domiciled in countries with participating agreements currently in place or enacted in the future stand to be similarly affected, including those in the United States. Recent comparable agreements with Russia and Jamaica demonstrate the Swiss government’s desire to forge these treaties with additional non-EU countries. The Swiss-Jamaican agreement is especially troubling since it necessitates, in another part of the world, the same restriction of the designation “absinthe” as does the Swiss-EU arrangement.

Proponents of the Swiss measure further claim that the tradition of post-ban clandestine absinthe production in Val-de-Travers cemented the region’s place in history and suggests an unbroken lineage. However, the distilling of absinthe has always been an international heritage and the greatest proportion of absinthe production and popularity occurred outside the tiny region of Val-de-Travers. Most prominent was France where, indeed for 110 years, that country had been known globally as the epicenter of absinthe tradition. Notable post-ban examples are the clandestine operations in the city of Pontarlier in France, Spain’s uninterrupted legal production into the 1960s, and New Orleans businessmen J. Marion Legendre and Reginald Parker, who clandestinely distilled absinthe, using it as the inspiration for the subsequent commercial product, Herbsaint.

The Wormwood Society finds this measure illogical and unacceptable since, historically, absinthe was made in distilleries throughout the world and continued to be legally produced outside of Switzerland after that country banned the production and sale of the spirit in 1910.

The Wormwood Society recognizes the need for legally defining the spirit known as absinthe and commends the country of Switzerland for taking the lead in that matter. However, ?the geographical indexing of the term absinthe?is misleading, inaccurate, without historical foundation, inconsistent with the typical treatment of origin designations and, whether intentional or inadvertent, may activate the enforcement of existing and future international treaties. The results of this would be the cornering of the beverage’s designation, potentially usurping the absinthe market.

The Wormwood Society thus views the aims of the Swiss PGI as antithetic to its mission of factual absinthe education and opposes it because of the misinformation upon which it is based.

Of far greater gravity, however, are the issues of suppression of free and fair trade and the diminished consumer choices that may very likely result from this misinformed and misguided measure. This measure entered into law, similar to those of a century ago, codifies a fallacy and has the potential to do great harm to the absinthe category as a whole.

Gwydion Stone, Founder/Administrator
Brian Robinson, Media Liaison