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Absinthe

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liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 11:45 AM

Does anyone know which bars sell this alcohol....and suggestions of how to drink it (straight and/or mixed) - Give me some cocktail ideas for this drink!

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    samtron608 RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 11:52 AM

    Mortons steakhouse is doing a special where you learn about, drink a little of it, and have a steak.
    http://www.mortons.com/absinthe/

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      exilekiss RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 11:57 AM

      Hi liltamby5,

      Anisette Brasserie sells a variety of Absinthe Cocktails. You might get some ideas from their bartenders. Enjoy~

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        Clyde RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 12:21 PM

        Johnny's in highland park has it.

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          LBeater RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 12:59 PM

          I've had it once. You have this special spoon where you place a small sugar cube on it and slowly pour cold water over it until the cube dissolves completely into the glass of absinthe.

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            elle driver RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 01:37 PM

            Coles downtown has it. They make "Death in the Afternoon" which was Ernest Hemingway's signature drink. http://colesfrenchdip.com/

            1. J.L. RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 01:45 PM

              Absinthe in America is sold legally, but without the potent compound thujone, which gives classic absinthe its hallucinatory properties. Having had both versions (in London), I'd say the classic version is my preferred form, tastewise. It is reminiscent of black licorice.

              There are many website with great info on "The Green Fairy"... Just google them.

              I am not aware of any place in L.A. which serves classic absinthe (with thujone). Let me know if you find one.

              6 Replies
              1. re: J.L.
                PlonkMan RE: J.L. Jan 23, 2009 03:07 PM

                >the potent compound thujone, which gives classic absinthe its hallucinatory properties

                This is a myth.

                I don't know of restaurants or bars that serve genuine absinthe (though there's now no legal reason they can't, and I'm only unaware of them because I don't make it to many bars and seldom order hard liquor in restaurants) but you can buy the real thing (now distilled in America, by St. George Spirits, and I believe others) at better-stocked liquor stores. (I've seen St. George Absinthe Verte at Beverage Warehouse in Culver City. Look for the monkey on the label.)

                1. re: PlonkMan
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                  Ranjit13 RE: PlonkMan Jan 23, 2009 03:42 PM

                  PlonkMan is right. Here is an article about the study:

                  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

                  And the study itself:

                  http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/...

                  Also, I think a lot of bars are being a little cautious in ordering bottles of absinthe. The drink is expensive and a lot of bars don't want to deal with the cost in case their customers aren't interested. However, some bars are starting to order bottles and take chances, often offering "tasting" nights to see how strong the interest is.

                  1. re: PlonkMan
                    J.L. RE: PlonkMan Jan 23, 2009 03:56 PM

                    Stand corrected. Thanks for the education.

                    1. re: J.L.
                      PlonkMan RE: J.L. Jan 23, 2009 04:45 PM

                      Well, don't be too disappointed. It's still strong drink, which has been successfully driving people batshit for thousands of years.

                      Try to search out the New Yorker article on T.A. Breaux, the New Orleans chemist turned obsessive absinthe enthusiast. (Published the year before last, I think.) I bought one of his absinthes back when you had to order it through Liqueurs de France in the UK. Good stuff.

                      1. re: PlonkMan
                        Peripatetic RE: PlonkMan Jan 25, 2009 09:11 AM

                        This Salon article is another good introduction:

                        http://www.salon.com/mwt/food/eat_dri...

                        Breaux's company is Jade Liqueurs:

                        http://www.bestabsinthe.com/

                        Unfortunately their FAQ claims that their absinthes are not available in the US.

                        The article mentions that Breaux collaberated on the import of another absinthe called Lucid. Does anyone know whether it's available at any bars in the LA area?

                        1. re: Peripatetic
                          PlonkMan RE: Peripatetic Jan 26, 2009 09:52 AM

                          Liqueurs de France sells Breaux's absinthe online, and they ship to the U.S. (And, as the website notes, the current exchange rate makes this a good time to buy.)

                2. wilafur RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 01:53 PM

                  library bar in dtla serves absinthe.

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                    Cebca RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 02:09 PM

                    GO TO THE EDISON! They have absinthe both straight and mixed, plus you won't find a better atmosphere anywehere - hit it up happy-hour time during the week and you can avoid the huge lines and cover charge.

                    They have a drink of absinthe and champagne called "The Hemingway" . . . my boyfriend can't get enough of them.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Cebca
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                      feedthebelly RE: Cebca Jan 23, 2009 02:17 PM

                      they serve it at the restaurant on hollywood and vine...there is a revolving piano there too. as the above writer mentioned, it tastes like black licorice. so its really like jaeger except you think you will hallucinate and you wont. have a vodka tonic instead.

                      1. re: feedthebelly
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                        Cebca RE: feedthebelly Jan 23, 2009 02:26 PM

                        Whoa, I would NOT compare absinthe and jaeger. Jaeger is so much more syrupy and sweet and . . . grosser than absinthe. True, if you don't like licorice you won't like absinthe. But its like cointreau and triplesec - one just has much more character and depth of flavor. It's definitely worth a try, but as mentioned above, you will not hallucinate. Sorry.

                        1. re: Cebca
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                          ahuacatl RE: Cebca Jan 25, 2009 04:17 PM

                          The anise component can't be stressed enough. I really couldn't get into it at all. I tried it a number of times in Barcelona and I was unable to get past the taste. I even ended up giving away a bottle of the stuff that snuck back on the plane with me. Yeah and no hallucinating or anything remotely like that.

                          1. re: ahuacatl
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                            The Old Man RE: ahuacatl Jan 27, 2009 02:09 PM

                            It's interesting, many national liquors are anise flavored--French Absinthe, Anisette, and Pastis, Greek Ouzo, Italian Sambuca, Arabic Arak (which I recently had) and New Orleans Herbsaint besides Jagermeister. Interestingly enough though I can't stand black licorice I like many of these drinks and in particular the mixed drink--the Sazerac.

                      2. re: Cebca
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                        The Old Man RE: Cebca Jan 29, 2009 12:11 PM

                        Is this a place an older non-clubber can go to? I'd like to see it for the preserved space and the absinthe.

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                        jacinthe RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 02:30 PM

                        Maison 140 in Beverly Hills has "l'heure verte" - daily absinthe tastings from 5-7 pm (so really, les heures vertes).

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                          vinosnob RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 04:10 PM

                          Comme Ca

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                            susiequeue RE: liltamby5 Jan 23, 2009 04:29 PM

                            We wer4e offered 9and saw many people partaking of) Absinthe at Lucques a couple of weeks ago...

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                              Burger Boy RE: liltamby5 Jan 24, 2009 06:04 PM

                              I was at The Derby in Los Feliz and I think they had 3 different brands.

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                                troublemaker RE: liltamby5 Jan 25, 2009 07:00 PM

                                If purchasing American absinthe, make sure to stay away from gimicky brands like Lucid. I find their effort to be pretty garbage. As stated earlier, probably one of your best bets of U.S. absinthe is St. George, distilled in Alameda, CA. I've found it to be pretty readily available in most Bevmo's.

                                To be honest though, if you want the "real stuff" it is not difficult at all to order legitimate bottles from European websites. You do have to buckle down and be willing to spend the extra on shipping, and on top of that, the only bottles worth purchasing are about $50 minimum. I've been doing it for years with complete success. On top of tasting better than most absinthes that are sold in the U.S., you can have the comfort of mind knowing you're not getting jipped on your thujone. If you're expecting hallucinatory effects, be readt for a big letdown. Absinthe however, will give you a slightly more giddy and self-aware type of drunkeness.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: troublemaker
                                  PlonkMan RE: troublemaker Jan 26, 2009 09:54 AM

                                  I think it's important to stress that St. George IS the real stuff.

                                  1. re: troublemaker
                                    Frommtron RE: troublemaker Jan 27, 2009 09:21 AM

                                    Yes. That is my experience, too. A little giddy. I feel kind of light and oddly positive.

                                    In addition to warning people that there are no hallucinatory effects, I'd also say that the light feeling I associate with absinthe obfuscates how drunk I am. Oh yeah, that feeling wears off way faster than the alcohol. You can go from feeling great to fall down drunk in a few minutes if you overdo it. And it's easy to overdo it.

                                    1. re: Frommtron
                                      PlonkMan RE: Frommtron Jan 27, 2009 09:44 AM

                                      Good point. I think there's a reason why the ritual of absinthe preparation involves adding a fair amount of water...

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                                    rocktheglobe RE: liltamby5 Jan 25, 2009 09:54 PM

                                    8 oz. in WeHo has an absinthe drink... it's pretty much solid alcohol and will definitely get you fairly wasted.

                                    1. Hypnotic23 RE: liltamby5 Jan 26, 2009 07:11 AM

                                      The Edison Bar downtown LA, has a woman dressed like a green fairy serving Absinthe, this is a very cool spot for food too, free to get into:

                                      www.edisondowntown.com

                                      108 W 2nd St
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90012
                                      (213) 291-3247

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Hypnotic23
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                                        Cebca RE: Hypnotic23 Jan 27, 2009 08:48 AM

                                        It's only free to get into if you get there early at night. Go after work for a couple drinks. After 8 (maybe 7 some nights?) there is a cover.

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                                        coco puff RE: liltamby5 Jan 29, 2009 12:26 PM

                                        we were in Prague over the holidays(if you haven't been, Prague is an amazing city w/great food...their currency changes to the Euro this November)
                                        anyway, this is what they did in this one underground bar...
                                        take a teaspoon of sugar and put a lighter under it and light it up(it looks really cool). wait til the sugar is somewhat dissolved" and then stir it in the shot of absinthe and down it.

                                        enjoy!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: coco puff
                                          PlonkMan RE: coco puff Jan 29, 2009 01:43 PM

                                          >it looks really cool

                                          ...and tastes like burnt sugar, the better to disguise the taste of the industrial effluent being sold as absinthe in Prague.

                                          1. re: PlonkMan
                                            Frommtron RE: PlonkMan Jan 29, 2009 01:44 PM

                                            Yep. Absinthe is not usually the color of Prestone antifreeze.

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                                          mrtripod RE: liltamby5 Jan 29, 2009 01:05 PM

                                          Don't know which restaurants - but legally over the counter you can buy several different brands of it (e.g. Lucid, St. George and Kubler) at stores such as Bevmo. Kubler is the best and most respected of the bunch listed. You can also purchase a pastis (e.g. Pernod and La Muse Verte). These are much like absinthe without the thujone. Pernod in its absinthe form was the standard during the pre-illegal days in Europe. La Muse Vete is a very good pastis. In the days of illegal Absinthe in the US, it was one of the better Absinthe substiutes.
                                          Drinking Absinthe - Depending on your taste preference, straight-up is doable. But for those who still want a palate after drinking absinthe you can dilute the absinthe by trickling cold water into the absinthe. Trickle to taste. Or if desired, buy a flat spoon with holes - place the spoon on the rim of the galss (preferably a goblet type glass so the absinthe may breath) - place a sugar cube on the spoon, then trickle the water over sugar cube. When the water hits the absinthe, the absinthe will louche (change from a clear liquid to a cloudy liquid). Now just sit back and enjoy the wide range of botanicals as it dances on your tounge.

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