Many 19th century companies used the elaborate barware to advertise their brands. Today many contemporary distilleries are also producing decorative branded barware for the same purpose.
A perforated or slotted spoon was used to dissolve a sugar cube in a glass of absinthe, usually to sweeten the drink and counteract its mild bitterness. The bowl of the spoon is normally flat, with a notch in the handle where it rests on the rim of the glass. Originating circa the 1860s, absinthe spoons were often stamped with brand names or logos as advertising, much like modern alcohol paraphernalia. Sometimes they were sold as tourist items; for example, some might be shaped like the Eiffel tower, for example the spoon Eiffel Tower #7, which was made for the inauguration of the building in the year 1889.
Adding ice cold water to absinthe is a common part of preparation. It was sometimes considered an art form, and bars often had "professors of absinthe" who would show new drinkers how to properly add water one drop at a time.
Absinthe was commonly served in normal bar-ware, but eventually specific glasses were popularized. These would commonly have a short thick stem and faceting to enhance the absinthe's appearance. Glasses were marked with a dose line, by either etching or a glass band, showing how much absinthe should be poured into them. The term 'reservoir glass' covers several styles of glassware with a small bulge at the bottom which marked the dose. They were the first type of glass made specifically for absinthe. A less common variation, called the bubble-reservoir glass, contained a defined bubble shaped reservoir.
As absinthe has reemerged on the market so has the paraphernalia associated with it. Several companies produce replica absinthiana and several have modernized the traditional designs. Whereas absinthe barware of the 19th century was primarily used as inexpensive promotional items, the modern versions are often cast of silver, or elaborately manufactured to jewelry quality. Notable examples of this include Kirk Burkett's silver absinthe ware, the Obsello absinthe spoon, and the unique Absinthe Superiour grille shown in the section.