Friday, January 6, 2012

Toulouse-Lautrec's Drink: The Earthquake!

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - A corner in a dance hall
Photo of "A Corner in a Dance Hall" painting by Toulouse-Lautrec courtesy

One of my favorite artists is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901).  I especially like his crowd scenes.  Whenever I visit the Art Institute of Chicago, the first thing I always do is go to the Impressionists/Post-Impressionists section to see At the Moulin Rouge.  What I didn't know is that Toulouse-Lautrec is credited with creating a drink that became very popular at the time, called Tremblement de Terre or Earthquake, which is half absinthe & half cognac.  In the early 19th century absinthe was believed to cure digestive disorders, and so some thought the drink he created was almost wholesome!  In time, however, some brewers began using lethal solvents in the production of absinthe, which led to the eventual outlawing of absinthe in most of Europe and the United States.

Who is your favorite artist?

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