24 Amazing Pre-Prohibition Absinthe Posters

Absinthe. The name alone already connotes a lot of baggage. Made by a French doctor in the late 1700’s, it was originally intended for medicinal purposes. This MD was banned in Switzerland, which probably made the debate around the matter that much more questionable. Made from lemon balm, mint, fennel, hyssop and wormwood (a supposed hallucinogen), plus the 110 – 144 amounts of high-proof spirit, Absinthe had a fighting battle throughout its entire course in history, even up to this very day.

Before Absinthe was banned, it was rather enjoyed by many folk around the world, mostly in France. Otherwise known as “Green Muse” by Parisians, Absinthe posters hung on the walls of many establishments. For anyone who visited New York around the year 2000 or so, these posters were as common as, well, the common cold. Almost everybody who was anybody had at least one hanging in their flat. And how can you blame them? One look and you’ll be just as hooked on the gorgeous artistry, as you will be with the half naked women that adorn many of them. Here are 25 posters to ponder, made during the time that this lovely green drink was still quite taboo.

Absinthe Poster - Ducros Fils Triple Rectification

This one pretty much says it all. Drink a bottle of this and you will have a smile plastered on your face for so long it’ll remind you of the time your mom used to say – that it would get stuck like that. Yup, just like that.

Absinthe Poster - Blanqui

As if you needed another reason to drink. This beckoning lady is as welcoming as the head trip you’re yearning for. And if you’re lucky, maybe she’ll even come to life and do a toast with you.

Absinthe Poster - Liqueur Aux Plantes

This one is simple. Either you’ll feel like Van Gogh and get all up in his head. Or feel like Van Gogh and decide to chop your ear off. Hopefully it’s the former rather than the latter.

Absinthe Poster - Maurin Quina Le Puy

So this is what people mean when they call you a little green devil.

Absinthe Poster

This is as classic as they come. Although the picture painted here makes it look so harmless, don’t be fooled. Just like a batch of special brownies, they might look soft and chewy on the outside, but they’re crazy and narcotic-filled on the inside.

Absinthe Poster - La Fee Verte

Otherwise known as “The Green Fairy”, Absinthe is portrayed in the exact light that everyone knows it to be. A little bit fantastical, and a little bit mischievous. What other drink can say the same?

Absinthe Poster - Montmartre Bois Donc Tu Verras Apres

This one looks like Poison Ivy from the Batman comic books. What are the things they have in common, you may ask? We’ll there’s the red hair, the alluring stare and a penchant to knock people out with just a little dose.

Absinthe Poster - Bourgeouis

Absinthe is so good you’ll have to hide it from your pets. Even the cat can’t help but steal a little from the bottle. But unlike the warm fuzzy feeling this feline gets from milk, he’s going to have a Pink Floyd-like experience in that metaphorical fish bowl he likes so much.

Absinthe Poster - Suisse La Bleue Clandestine

It can bring out the evil in all of us.

Absinthe Poster - L alcool Voila L Ennemi

How this was a pre-prohibition poster is beyond me. If they were trying to sell the stuff, this doesn’t seem like it would do the job. Unless, of course, you were looking for something to kill your wife with, then this probably got the ball rolling.

Absinthe Poster - Terminus Absinthe Bienfaisante

Looks like the missus was trying to figure out why her husband was acting like such a clown. If the clothes weren’t enough to give her a clue, then it must be something he drank.

Absinthe Poster - Vote De La Chambre Des Deputes

Public condemnation at its worst. If this was something that happened these days, there wouldn’t be any space on the streets anymore.

Rosinette Rose Oxygenee

Apparently Absinthe came in other variations as well. What was it that Kermit the frog always used to say? It’s not easy being green? Then be rose!

Absinthe Poster - Superieure Cest Ma Sante

For those who enjoyed drinking on their own, absinthe was the way to go. A couple of shots of this and you’ll find yourself partying with the rest of them. Even if it is just in your head.

Absinthe Poster - Dance Macabre

A little of this will make you feel like you’re in heaven. A lot and you’ll feel like you’re in hell.

Absinthe Poster - 100 Percent Pure

Oh, so this is what Wormwood looks like. Where’s Uncle Screwtape?

Absinthe Poster - Eden

This was the real forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

Absinthe Poster - Barth and Cie

Look! Even Mr. Monopoly enjoys his Absinthe. Pass Go and Get Drunk!

Absinthe Poster - Draconiques

The answer to all medical dilemmas. If you can’t find the cure to what’s afflicting you, then just get as drunk as a skunk!

Absinthe Poster - Extra Superieure J Edouard Pernot

Possibly the early 1900’s version of a roofie? This guy looks like a creeper.

Absinthe Poster - Pretvorit Ta Mysi

Absinthe, for the schizo in you. And if you don’t believe me, just ask the voices in your head.

Absinthe Poster - Perle

Whoever said drinking alone was sad, has never had absinthe. This dame looks like she’s a happy camper if you ask me.

Absinthe Poster - Parisienne

I don’t know what should scare this girl off more – the gigantic bottle attached to her ass or the weird wizard-looking dude trying to cop a feel.

Absinthe Poster - Distillerie Du Monrtbart

I guess this guy ran out of his supply early. Looks like he’s taken to begging on the streets for his next fix.

Even after all the years that Absinthe has finally been given a clear name in the world of alcohol, many are still afraid to try it. With its crazy amounts of alcohol and the supposed head trip that comes with it, it feels a lot loaded to me. The fact that one of its main ingredients was once hailed as a hallucinogenic, I’d be a little afraid too. But why not try it and decide for yourself? The next time you feel like being a little Marilyn Manson freakish – which is really a lot freakish – ask the bartender to give you a shot. Just make sure you’re with a friend or two in case the green devil in you decides to make an appearance.

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