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Membre no 732
I felt I must ask a probably stupid question, but anyway: the grilles... how were they REALLY intended to be used, back in the days? Where they intended for 1) those who wanted a hint of sugar in their absinthe, and therefor put sugar on the grille but were too lazy to stir the absinthe when it's ready 2) those who used no sugar at all, and therefor used the grille only as a drip deccelerator which helped spreading the water flow into smaller droplets (and obviously didn't care too much about the stirring, like above) or perhaps 3) just a fancy form of sugar holder, which would require a regular spoon anyway to do the stirring when all sugar is dissolved and the absinthe is diluted
L'absinthe prolonge la vie. L'absinthe accroit la conscience. L'absinthe est vitale au voyage spatial.
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Membre no 827
Damn good question. There are hints that grilles may be part of the earliest kind of "spoons".
I'd dismiss the second hypothesis, if I refer to a recent article by absinthe historian Benoit Noel, because brouilles, which serve the purpose far better, have been know to exist for quite a time before spoons even appeared.
The third cannot be discarded at all though, more so if we take into account the afore mentioned "hint". There are indeed plain spoons, refered as "syrup spoons" used to stir simple syrup for example which could have been in use with the earliest grilles.
Not having read anything proving false neither 1 nor 2, I won't say much more
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Membre no 113
I discussed this with David yesterday and here is what he said:
The grilles were a Swiss preference, we never see them in French illustrations, whereas they are often pictured in journals from Geneva, Neuchâtel and the Val de Travers (see picture from Guguss below). They were used for sugar cube(s) without a doubt, then a regular spoon was used for stirring. So they are considered as a Swiss variation of the traditional perforated spoon.
Click to enlarge
"Boire une absinthe, c’est corriger l’eau vertement." A cette pauvre vieille coueste - ~1910