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May 12, 2010 01:24 PM

Absinthe in the quarter?

Any bars in the French Quarter that serves real absinthe?

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  1. Pravda....on Decatur next door to Maximo's

    7 Replies
    1. re: Liz Gober

      For the best selection of absinthes, I second the vote for Pravda. The Old Absinthe House is frat-'n'-tourist hell, and the Pirate's Alley Bar has gone Disney with staff dressed as pirates.

      I would think (although I can't confirm this) that any upscale bar would stock at least one or two decent absinthe nowadays. Ask for Marteau, Pacifique, any of the Jades, Obsello, Kubler, or Lucid.

      1113 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

      1. re: BrooksNYC

        Ill check out pravda for myself passed it a million times though.

        1. re: joedontexan

          It has a courtyard out back that's very pleasant in nice weather!

          1. re: BrooksNYC

            And Pravda has the cleanest Ladie's Room in the quarter!!!

        2. re: BrooksNYC

          brooksnyc thanks for the tip on pravda really enjoyed the place

          1. re: joedontexan

            Hey, Joe. You're most welcome, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

            I haven't been to NOLA in a few years, but Pravda is (or was) sufficiently off the tourist radar to feel mellow instead of crazed. How was it when you visited?

            1. re: BrooksNYC

              The place had a very cool laid back vibe I really liked a lot and of course I had to try absinthe while there. very nice place.

      2. I had absinthe at both Olde Absinthe House (go figure) in the Quarter, and also the Green Room on Decatur across from Louisiana Music Factory. I believe the Green Room had several varieties to choose from, although my faculties were definitely impaired when I stumbled out.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Christine

          Pirates Alley Cafe right square up next to jackson square has it a lot of it.

          Pirates Alley Cafe'
          622 Pirates Aly, New Orleans, LA 70116

          1. re: Christine

            I've been to the Olde Absinthe House in teh French Quarter, that place rocks. Very strong stuff.

          2. Kevin

            By real stuff, if you're referring to the bootleg made from Northern Wormwood in the former Yugoslavia and Czech Republic, you won't find it here. The absinthe's found in the states contain a very low percentage of thujone, which is the ingredient known to produce the "green fairies".
            Nonetheless, you will enjoy the ceremony, which comes with the serving of Absinthe, but too much and you won't enjoy the effects the next day quite as much. Have fun.

            3 Replies
            1. re: serich

              Very little thujone survives the distillation process. Over the last 10-12 years, samples of Belle Epoque absinthe from sealed bottles have been extensively analyzed, and it turns out that most pre-ban absinthes contained UNDER the current U.S. limits of 10ppm/l of thujone. (Thujone, a component of wormwood, is present and measurable in common foods and beverages such as vermouth and kitchen sage.)

              The 100 mg. of thujone contained in a bottle of so-called "high thujone" Czech absinth (sic) is roughly equivalent to the amount of thujone in a healthy pinch of sage — the featured player in turkey stuffing. Unfortunately, this hasn't stopped unscrupulous vendors from peddling the thujone myth for profit. Don't fall for the hype! In composition and methods of distillation, the best (legal) modern absinthes are identical to absinthes made before the ban.

              Visit The Wormwood Society for history, research, absinthe reviews, and other information:

              And for more information about thujone than you ever wanted to know, see:

              1. re: serich

                The "real" stuff, French & Swiss made, didn't have much thujone either. Their recipes were designed around flavor, not cramming thujone.

                Read how Ted Breuax, a new orleans based scientist and bartender, cracked the myth by reverse engineering preserved historic bottles:


                1. re: kibbles

                  Thanks, Kibbles! As you say, the great nineteenth-century absinthes were mostly French and Swiss, and — as it happens — low in thujone. (Honestly, thujone is a dead end and never had anything to do with anything.)

                  And thank you for giving Ted Breaux a shout-out. It was Ted's exhaustive research that really paved the way for absinthe's re-legalization in the U.S. His Jade brand absinthes are still among the finest commercial absinthes available today:


                  The folks at Pravda! know Ted, so the bar probably stocks Jade Nouvelle-Orléans. If you don't see it on the drinks menu, ask the bartender. (Currently, Nouvelle-Orléans is the only Jade available in the U.S., with others to follow soon.)

              2. I heartily recommend the Green Goddess if you would like to try absinthe- they have some really amazing cocktails involving absinthe, as well. Their food is delicious, too!

                Green Goddess
                307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                1. FYI dicussion of absinthe itself is in Spirits forum for years, example links below. Including faked-up European absinthe products (not just Czech), other pastis liquors, history, science, myths old and new -- fads like burning sugar cubes, also misconceptions spread even by Wormwood Society and wikipedia. (Enthusiast enclaves cultivate their own conventional wisdoms and gurus, both accurate and inaccurate, and it's hard to point out the latter to people who've accepted them as gospel.) I've tasted real absinthes and collected related literature since long before the "revival," and it's enlightening to compare what's now online. F'rinstance, obsession with low thujone other than as a regulatory issue (and that in turn obsolete by FDA's own data); low thujone in absinthes isn't automatic, but IS predictable (as with other distillates with BPs near ethanol's; note that homepage _still_ shows wrong BP), and is not a recent discovery at all, but rediscovery of century-old information available in modern sources. Links: