For many, March 5 this year is the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of abstinence and reflection before Easter. But for those who haven't given up alcohol or sugar for Lent, consider it National Absinthe Day, at least according to those at Pernod Absinthe. (Here's a primer on how to drink absinthe)
One of the earliest commercial producers of absinthe, Pernod recently re-introduced its 19th century "original formula," eschewing artificial colors for plant infusions and swapping out a grain neutral base for a grape-based one, along with securing more traditional, French-based ingredients. To celebrate both Absinthe Day and the Pernod Absinthe Original Formula, the brand has teamed with several venues throughout the city to serve up special cocktails for the special day (Note: We weren't supplied an ingredients list for these cocktails, so be brave. Ask when you get there):
Apotheke: An early adopter of absinthe when it once again became legal in the U.S. (back in 2007), the semi-hidden Chinatown bar will serve up two special cocktails, The White Lie and Green Persuasion. You can also, of course, score Apotheke's traditional sugar and ice water drip preparation, served in a classic individual balancier. 9 Doyers St #1, 212.406.0400 apothekenyc.com
Extra Fancy: This Brooklyn-based bartender hangout is incorporating the Green Fairy into its dinner menu. Follow up Maine Mussels or a Connecticut Style Lobster Roll with a special Chess Pie with Absinthe Cream. 302 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn 347.422.0939 extrafancybklyn.com
PDT: The now iconic East Village speakeasy, hidden behind a fake phone booth inside Crif Dogs. Please Don't Tell is offering three commemorative cocktails: the Green Deacon, Paddington and For Peat's Sake, along with a classic ice water drip service. 113 St. Marks Place, 212.614.0386 pdtnyc.com
Booker & Dax: It's still cold outside, so a hot drink is very welcome. Particularly one served up with a bit of weirdness, as in the The French Colombian cocktail featured in Booker & Dax's Red Hot Poker selection. That's right, they jam a red hot poker right up your glass. Do it. 207 2nd Ave, 212.254.3500 momofuku.com/new-york/booker-and-dax
And two spots where Absinthe Day happens every day:
Maison Premiere: Absinthe and oysters are the mainstay at Brooklyn's Belle Epoque New Orleans-themed restaurant. Sit down to dine on a full menu, or sit at the bar and watch the bartenders dazzle as you meet new and interesting people. One of the largest selections of absinthe (and Juleps) in the city, and $1 oysters from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, 347.335.0446 maisonpremiere.com
The Dead Rabbit: This FiDi vintage-inspired Irish pub and craft cocktail bar continues to wow bargoers with innovative drinks and award-winning service. Proprietors Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry recently celebrated their one-year anniversary with a new, extensive cocktail menu. You can secure the classic absinthe fountain ice water drip, or opt for The Immigrant (nettle tea-infused Jameson Black Barrel Irish whiskey, Pernod absinthe, elderflower liqueur, lime, cucumber, fennel, Bittermans Boston Bittahs $14). 30 Water St, 646.422.7906 deadrabbitnyc.com
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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