A tip o’ the glass to Old Spirituals’ friend, and the editor of The Poisoned Glass, Beth Crosby, for pointing out that today is National Absinthe Day!

Absinthe was a central element to my first book, The Poisoned Glass, which is the true and tragic story of 17-year-old Jennie Bosschieter’s murder in 1900. And in honor of National Absinthe Day, here is the first cover of The Poisoned Glass, a lovely original drawing by acclaimed artist Alexandra Balestrieri! If you would like to see more of Alexandra’s artwork, I highly recommend visiting her Instagram and her page on Etsy!

Alexandra Balestrieri original artwork for The Poisoned Glass

 

If you aren’t familiar with absinthe, it’s a legendary type of spirit that tastes like licorice. In the US, it ranges between 90-148 proof. It’s a plant-based alcohol made from fennel, wormwood, anise, and other herbs.

 

The Absinthe Drinkers (1881) by Jean Francois Raffaelli.

 

It’s noted primarily for being a controversial drink, which is said to bring on hallucinations, which made it a favorite with turn-of-the-century artists. Its nickname la fée verte, or the green fairy, comes from its distinctive green color. In advertisements it’s often depicted with a green woman, luring the viewer to drink a glass.

Absinthe originates in Switzerland, though many associate it with France. Its reputation as a dangerous drink resulted in its being banned in 1915 in the United States.

There’s good news for those who are interested in trying absinthe: it’s back on the market today! Have you tried absinthe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Old Absinthe House, New Orleans, circa 1900