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History of Absinth

Plante d'absinthe

It was in the Swiss region of Val-de-Travers at the end of the 18th century that mother Henriod sold her secret recipe to Major Daniel-Henri Dubied. Interested by affaires, he started distilling bigger quantities and launched Absinth on the market.

Since 1797, he industrialized the product with the help of his son-in-law: Henri-Louis Pernod and inaugurated his first distilling factory in the town of Couvet.

In the beginning of the 20th century, several distilling factories opened their doors and the farmers cultivated woodworm in the whole region which they stored in dryers. Cultivating and distilling Absinth became the principal activities in Val-du-Travers.

But, the succes of this aperitif disturbs others... The vine growers, together with the anti alcohol movements attack Absinth. On the 5th of July 1908, the majority of Swiss cantons accept the initiative to prohibit the manufacturing and the sale of Absinth on the Swiss territory.
Two years later, on the 7th of October 1910 the law comes into effect but at the Val-de-Travers, the production of Absinth doesn't stop. It rocks just in clandestinity.

During the whole of the 20th century, the prohibited Absinth finds it's own market. On the 1st of March 2005, the federal chambers, stop the prohibition. After a hundred years of clandestinity, Absinth can be distilled legaly again.
Alambic clandestin

A new era begins in the distelleries, who profit from a new concession !

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Absinthe Alain Rey
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