Ville Magazine l Insider Access for City Lifestyle Mar/Apr 2016 / People Issue - Page 15
Famed for its lucid effects, absinthe was the green drink of choice for turn-of-the-century artists like Van Gogh and Picasso.
Sources say that absinthe was so popular during the Belle Époque that five o’clock was known as the Green Hour. It originated
in France and has deep roots in New Orleans where the 200-year-old Absinth House is a staple of the Vieux Carré, still attracting
tourists today. For over 100 years, the “green muse” was illegal in the U.S. and the supposed hallucinationic properties in
wormwood helped contribute to its notorious reputation. Now that it’s been legalized, distillers and craft cocktail bars have
been experimenting with authentic absinthe. Can the elusive 120-proof green fairy send you floating into a transcendental
state of madness? Only the brave will find out. Written by: Lauren Adam l Photo: Artem Efimov
Pacific Distillery is the leader in local authentic
absinthe production. Their Absinthe Verte Supérieure
is made in accordance with the classic 1855 recipe
using a hand-hammered copper alembic pot still –
producing something very similar to what you would
drink in 19th century France. Try their recipe for the
Obituary Cocktail and see if you can stay alive through
Tavern Law celebrates drinking’s colorful history with a throwback style
reminiscent of prohibition. The ban on booze in the U.S. has some overlap
with the absinthe embargo, and their menu incorporates a thoughtful
nod to the forbidden elixir. On the smoky side is the Dusky Hummingbird
with Mezcal, lychee liquor, lime, agave, and absinthe. And for something
ever so slightly more traditional: Antoinette’s Guillotine with cognac,
rum, grapefruit, lime, ginger, and of course absinthe.
2 ½ oz. Voyager Gin
½ oz. Dry Vermouth
¼ oz. Pacifique Absinthe
Add to mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled.
Strain into frosted cocktail glass. Lemon twist.
Where better to get a Sazerac than the downtown namesake? Sazerac
was born in New Orleans in the 1830’s when drugstore owner Antoine
Amédée Peychaud began serving his patrons toddies mixed with his
bitters and Sazerac de Forge et Fils cognac. During the absinthe ban, the
drink was made with herbsaint. Now you can get it with Old Overholt rye
whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, sugar, lemon peel, and an absinthe rinse.
1406 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122; www.tavernlaw.com
1101 4th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101; www.sazerac.com
French singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter,
screenwriter, writer, actor, and director, Serge Gainsbourge is the
namesake of this old world Greenwood pop culture-inspired lounge.
Absinthes ranging from the French La Fee to Sweden’s Mansinthe, the
Spanish Obsello, and Portland’s Tillium are all served in the traditional
method. They also serve a mean brunch. 8550 Greenwood Avenue, North Seattle,
Washington 98103; www.gainsbourglounge.com
THE BARREL THIEF
Possibly the original hair of the dog, The Corpse Reviver is meant to bring
your party-loving self back to life. Get it at the Barrel Thief in Fremont
where small local producers and distributors are priority. Their Corpse
Reviver #2 uses “morning after gin,” house triple sec, lillet blanc, absinthe,
and lemon juice. 3417 Evanston Ave. N. #102, Seattle, WA 98103; www.bthief.com
LA RITUAL FÉE VERTE
Typically, absinthes are bitter. However, the flavor profile should be herbal
to some extent. To drink absinthe in true French form, purveyors should
follow a very specific method. Usually a sugar cube is placed on a flat
perforated spoon, and then iced water slowly drips onto the sugar, which
gradually dissolves into the absinthe. The absinthe will turn a milky neon
shade of green ready to take drinkers on a wild ride.
PEOPLE ISSUE l VILLE l 15