Friday, 1 August 2008

Swiss Absinthe sent through mail is impounded!

Over the last decade, the growing American interest in absinthe has led to the formation and development of several internet businesses who ship from Europe to the USA (as well as elsewhere) by courier. Or, as they are known with affection within the absinthe community, by the flying monkeys.

With new absinthe brands coming into the USA legally every week or so, more Americans are likely to buy locally, or from US-based retailers such as DrinkUp New York, and there will certainly be an impact on the European absinthe internet retailers.

Maybe they will take heart from knowing that while some things evolve, others never change. I loved this story from the New York Times of August 13th, 1881.

Absinthe sent by mail from Switzerland to the USA in 1881? An early precursor of La Clandestine?

I love the last sentence:

"The law provides that no liquids or fluids shall be sent through the United States mails, consequently the samples will be forwarded to Washington."

James Garfield, twentieth President of the USA, was assassinated less than six weeks later: history doesn't record whether he had an opportunity to try these "samples" before he met his fate.