Friday, April 25, 2008

J. Marion Legendre

The man who created Herbsaint

A very dapper J. Marion Legendre pictured in 1982.

The elusive L. E. Jung & Wulff "Milky Way" Logo

The elusive L. E. Jung & Wulff "Milky Way" Logo, which has long been a source of mystery to absinthe collectors, has been found.


The L. E. Jung & Wulff Company, was an old New Orleans distillery that made absinthe before the 1912 U.S. government ban, L. E. Jung & Wulff who also made a number of liqueurs before prohibition, would also make several non alcoholic cordials during prohibition to keep the firm in business during the long dry spell in the USA.

Following the repeal of prohibition in Dec 1933, Jung & Wulff would revive production of absinthe and made approximately 1500, cases of absinthe before being ordered to cease by the FACA (Federal Alcohol Control Administration) in early 1934. Following this action L. E. Jung & Wulff would market their own absinthe substitute called Milky Way.

An excerpt the from the Jung & Wulff booklet The Mixologist L. E Jung & Wulff Trustees of Southern Traditions "Est. 1883".

The TRUTH about ABSINTHE ABSINTHE originated in Algeria, and was introduced into Europe by the French soldiers. It is a distillation of sixteen herbs, roots, seeds and leaves, including the much discussed WORMWOOD.
Some people believe that Wormwood is a poison. It is no such thing, but is a valuable tonic and stimulant for the stomach--see Webster's dictionary--when taken in such quantities as it appears in Absinthe. It is harmful only when taken in overdoses as is the case with anything.
When genuine Absinthe was prohibited by Federal Law, L. E. JUNG & WULFF CO. developed a non-wormwood product known as MILKY WAY, as a substitute for Absinthe. From this product was omitted only the prohibited wormwood, and the formula slightly changed to replace the wormwood. MILKY WAY can not be distinguished, in taste, even by the greatest Absinthe connoisseurs, from genuine Absinthe. We recommend its use wherever Absinthe is called for.
MILKY WAY is a distilled product, superior to all present day American Absinthe substitutes."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Legendre Herbsaint Advertisement

From New Orleans Comes Herbsaint

Pictured is a striking advertisement for Legendre Herbsaint circa 1944 created by well known Southern writer William B. Wisdom.

William B. Wisdom created several striking advertisements for Legendre & Co., including a number of Legendre Herbsaint recipe booklets, and numerous iconic advertising slogans, with evocative period graphics. Wisdom also created tie-in ads for The Old Absinthe House, that feature Legendre Herbsaint prominently in the ad copy.

J. Marion Legendre recalled William B. Wisdom and his advertising work in Legendre's memoirs:

"I employed William B. Wisdom to promote and advertise “Herbsaint”, having a very fertile mind, he prepared recipe books and all sorts of advertising material. He painted Herbsaint as being a most delectable drink and described the product in glowing terms. Wisdom stated that the formula for Herbsaint was handed down from father to son and had been in the Legendre family for a long time. I told him that this might be questioned but he said “It is of no great importance”. As a matter of fact, I have never been questioned on this subject and I have never changed any literature printed by me and by Sazerac. No one really cares how Herbsaint came about as they either enjoy it or do not enjoy this drink"J. Marion Legendre October 5, 1984