La Fée Celebrates 10 Years since returning Traditional Absinthe Distilling to France

On the 25th of July 2010 La Fée celebrates the 10 year anniversary of returning the distilling of traditional absinthe to France, launched on the same date in 2000 at the Groucho Club in Soho, London. This paved the way for the French & Swiss Absinthe Renaissance which we are experiencing today.

George Rowley & Marie-Claude Delahaye
Rowley & Delahaye oversee a distillation of Grande Absinthe – La Fée Parisienne

In 1999 two of the most influential pioneers in the field of absinthe; Englishman George Rowley & Frenchwoman Marie Claude Delahaye joined their expertise and employed a Parisian distiller in the returning of legally distilled traditional absinthe to France for the first time since the 1915 ban.  Rowley had previously introduced absinth to Europe from the Czech Republic in 1998 setting the precedent for the spirit in the EU.  Delahaye, a cellular biologist at the Marie Curie University as well as the founder of Le Musée de l’Absinthe, Auvers-Sur-Oise, France.

And so, after overcoming legal boundaries and sourcing a 19th Century recipe from Le Musée de l’Absinthe  La Fée returned the Green Fairy to her spiritual homeland.  After  ten years distilling our award winning Traditional French Absinthe, our Paris based operation is further expanding the absinthe category across Europe, the Americas & Asia-Pacific; with La Fée currently available in over 30 countries.  La Fée also distil ultra premium Absinthe in France and Switzerland.

EU authorisation triggering absinthe renaissanceGeorge Rowley & Marie-Claude Delahaye
Commercial EU authorisation, triggering the absinthe renaissance.  Drafted in Bayford – signed 21.07.1998. Original document censored for commercial reasons & Rowley & Delahaye working on development of La Fée.

Absinthe is once again becoming a common word in day to day vocabulary in bars and restaurants to wider appreciation of 19th Century culture. Since La Fée rejuvenated the Absinthe category there has been a surge of interest from the film industry, authors and consumers; with La Fée offering a window back to the impressionist period so famed for its love of Absinthe. (Picasso’s Absinthe Drinker has recently sold at Christie’s for $31m).
La Fée Parisienne Absinthe drinker by PicassoLa Fée Parisienne Absinthe
“La Fée captures the aroma and taste that great writers such as Rimbaud, Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent Van Gogh enjoyed at the end of the 19th Century”
Marie-Claude Delahaye

Modern drinking culture has embraced almost forgotten Belle Époque era cocktails, which can now be re-created with the help of La Fée Absinthe.  Third party testing of pre-ban absinthes shows La Fée Absinthe Parisienne to be a historically sound example with similar levels of thujone to 19th Century originals.

Red Eye Cocktail

The Red Eye – created by Tim Ward at The Hemmingway Bar, Ritz Paris

French Absinthe Renaissance, a brief timeline:
1999 George Rowley & Marie Claude Delahaye embark on their mission to return traditional absinthe distilling to France.
2000 La Fée Absinthe Parisienne distilled in France and approved by the French Authorities for Export
2003 La Fée AUX PLANTES D’ABSINTHE selling in France
2003 La Fée Trade Mark approved by USA for Absinthe…

US Trademark US Trademark for La Fée

2004 La Fée Launch in Australia
2006 La Fée launch the world’s first Ultra-Premium Wine based Amer Absinthes La Fée XS Francaise (Distilled in Pontarlier, France ) & La Fée XS Suisse (distilled in Couvet, Switerland)

La Fée X•S Francaise AbsintheLa Fée XS Suisse

2008 La Fée launch NV Absinthe Verte after many years development La Fée introduce the first Premium Mainstream Absinthe for the wider spirits market.  NV is 38%ABV, making it the perfect party spirit.

NV Absinthe Verte

2008 La Fée Launch in the USA
2010 Available in over 50 territories world wide / 20 States in the USA and 30 other key countries around the world – making for a lasting French / English alliance.

La Fée Global network map

Critical Acclaim:
The drinks industry has awarded La Fée’s portfolio some of the highest accolades received by any absinthe brand:  For taste, innovation, design & packaging:

Absinthiades, Pontarlier
-Chicago BTI  Gold for LFP & LFB
-San Francisco World Spirits Comp
-International Wine & Spirits Competition
-International Spirits Competition
-Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition


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