The Absinthe Forger

A True Story of Deception, Betrayal, and the World’s Most Dangerous Spirit

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Pub Date 15 Oct 2024 | Archive Date 14 Oct 2024

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Description

Step into the exclusive world of “the Green Fairy” in this astonishing true crime story about an eccentric con man who blew up the black market with counterfeit absinthe...

Absinthe, an elixir made of alcohol and herbs, is a booming business. From France to Japan, new absinthe distilleries are opening every year. Yet it is still an underground culture, associated with mystery, romance, and bohemian lifestyles, in keeping with its popularity among the writers, artists, and other ne’er-do-wells of nineteenth-century France. First produced in eighteenth century, the spirit, known as “the Green Fairy,” was banned worldwide by 1914 before the bans were gradually overturned beginning in 2005, the year Switzerland re-legalized absinthe.

Enter a bon vivant who inveigles his way into the private Facebook groups where the modern absinthe demimonde converges and charms some of the best minds (and palates) in the beverage world into thinking that he was selling them precious vintage pre-ban bottles.  How did he get away with it? 

The Absinthe Forger pieces together the forger's subterfuge and motivation. It shows how absinthe can transform a person — and even connect drinkers with a deeper, often hidden sense of self. It relates the romantic and illicit history of absinthe, from its birth in Switzerland through its coming of age in France, and on to the spirit’s modern revival starting in the 2000s.

Rail digs deep into the modern absinthe underground, whose members are still frantic to find the last remaining bottles of pre-ban absinthe, and he visits modern producers of the spirit, who have, in a generation, changed in status from daring-criminal bootleggers to sought-after celebrities. Ripe for a Netflix documentary, The Absinthe Forger is a compellingly bizarre crime drama that will make you never look at wormwood in the same way again.

This fascinating book includes over a dozen black & white photos with fin de siècle advertisements for absinthe, paintings by Degas and Manet, antique absinthe bottles and their ornate labels, along with botanical illustrations.
Step into the exclusive world of “the Green Fairy” in this astonishing true crime story about an eccentric con man who blew up the black market with counterfeit absinthe...

Absinthe, an elixir made of...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781685891541
PRICE US$32.00 (USD)
PAGES 368

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