To quote the frog puppet, it’s not easy being green.
So many people, when the subject of absinthe comes up, say: “Wasn’t that a trend like two years ago?” It’s as if we were talking about something as ephemeral as form-fitting velour sweatsuits. (Though come to think of it, those had more staying power than anyone might have imagined).
But really, quality absinthe has been around for…a really long time. From what I understand, absinthe’s origins date back to 18th century Switzerland, where there are records of it being made in the Neufchâtel region. Then again, I don’t know much about it; if you really want to learn about absinthe you should turn to the website of the Seattle-based Wormwood Society. Its founder, local distiller Gwydion Stone, makes an absinthe under the brand name Marteau—it should be available in Washington liquor stores in days to come.
Like Stone, Bastille bar manager Charles Veitch is a total absinthe obsessive. As such, he has brought nine absinthes to Bastille—I recently had the chance to try them all diluted with a little water. My three favorites were: Woodinville-distilled Pacifique (Pacific Distillery), elegant Trillium made by Integrity Spirits in Portland, and the extremely hard-to-find, exquisitely complex Nouvelle Orleans from New Orleans’ famed absinthe distiller T. A. Breaux of Jade Liqueurs.
Bastille’s other absinthes: St George, Taboo, Kubler, Duplais, Lucid, Pernod.
Monday evenings in the back bar at Bastille, all the absinthes are $8. That’s a deal when you consider some of the higher-end ’sinthes here go for as much as $19 regularly (and that a bottle of Nouvelle Orleans, should you be able to find one, will cost you over $100).
I suggest you check this out early in the evening during Bastille’s happy hour—4:30 to 6pm daily.