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Welcome to our review page.  Absinthe has been legalized since 2007 for distribution within the USA.  Much effort has been put into diminishing the false misrepresentation that has haunted this drink for over 100 years.  Since legalization, educated connoisseurs, distillers, and distributers of absinthe have tirelessly spent much time at our bar scenes educating about quality absinthe, traditional methods and cocktail options. I have been in the Absinthe scene for over 10 years,  and have sampled over 80 brands of absinthe. Many bars have branded themselves  “Absinthe bars”. We decided to write reviews  around absinthe bar knowledge of traditional methods of preparations, brands of absinthe served at each establishment, and knowledge and preparation of both traditional and modern cocktails. Along with the absinthe experience, ambiance is also of great importance.​​

Our rating system based on:

1-10  Fairys for each criteria

1) Ambience 
2) List of quality absinthe 
3 )Bartender knowledge of classic preparation
4) Absinthe cocktails 
5) Absinthe ware , fountains, glasses, droppers etc 
6) Self absinthe preperation 
7) Traditional and cocktail absinthe pricing 
8) Absinthe drinker crowd 
9) Overall impression 
​10) Fauxinthe Served - 10 deducted or 10 added if none on the menu



11)list of quality absinthe
Apothéke Bar Review
   


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From the website:

"Inspired by the history and rise of the apothecary in Europe as well as the artistic influence of absinthe dens in 19th century Paris, Apothéke is the first of its kind. The entire experience from wandering down a hidden street to find the entrance, to tasting the first sip of a specialty cocktail made with exotic herbs and fruits – is a privilege.
At Apothéke, the presentation of a cocktail is just as dramatic as the cocktail itself. The bar is no longer a bar. It’s a stage. A chemistry lab. A theatre. A unique-shaped Austrian crystal glass is carefully selected for each cocktail, and into it, is poured a beautiful, jewel-colored liquid. This is much more than a cocktail bar – this is a cocktail apothecary."

My partner and I arrive at this place in Chinatown. A no name speakeasy style (hidden gem) bar surrounded by Chinese food takeout spots. The only sign displayed was of a chemistry vial with a sign the read “Chemist”.  The place is nice and cozy and had a very dark intimate atmosphere and beautifully decorated in a Victorian style theme. Apothéke seems to attract a nice trendy crowd on a Thursday. 

We finally made our way to the bar. It was a very crowded bar with such an extensive cocktail list. 
Being that we were there for absinthe, we immediately wanted to know what was on the menu. I would say they had a decent collection. Refer to the menu pictures.. The cheapest price for a glass of absinthe was $25.  So I gave it a minute and flipped the menu and referred to the cocktails. Beautiful cocktails with unique recipes, but ONLY 1 Absinthe cocktail out of the 28 listed. Seriously? Ok no problem. I asked the bartender to serve me the Devils Playground. Bartender: “ not available” ok…..It was the only Absinthe Cocktail listed. What next.. 

I looked up and asked for a Copper & Kings Absinthe "Death in The Afternoon cocktail". I said to myself, this shouldn’t be a problem. The bartender asked me “what is that?(easiest cocktail to prepare: absinthe and champaign) then he had to ask his coworker… Finally after so much confusion they brought our drinks. It was what I ordered with an exception. It didn’t taste like the lavender Copper & Kings absinthe that I had ordered to make this drink. It was Pernod Absinthe that they used, I was a little ticked being that I paid $20 for this drink. I told them I had asked for Copper & Kings Absinthe and they ASSUMED I wanted Pernod.….Of course I couldn’t leave this place without a proper Absinthe pour regardless of the price. 

Next up, a traditional absinthe pour. I have bought every absinthe that was available on the menu in the past, but I was adamant that my partner try the Copper & Kings lavender absinthe blanche. I had to point at the bottle, otherwise the bartender would have no idea what I was referring to, and I didn’t want to end up with Pernod again. So they poured my absinthe into a La Rochère glass. They didn’t asked how I wanted my absinthe and again assumed I wanted simple syrup. I politely stopped the bartender and told him that I did not want any simple syrup. Bartender gave me a dirty look as if I was too picky. Next they brought a Pernod see-saw brouilleur and began to pour the water. There were onlookers video recording the see-saw louche as I'm assuming they did not want to pay the high price for traditional glass of Absinthe but mystified by the traditional method.

In the end I folded and ordered one of their signature drinks, The Pillow Talk. It was quite delicious. But for being an absinthe bar, knowledge of absinthe preparation was lacking, as well as pouring traditional cocktails. To add, they need to lower their price if there were any interest and or curiosity to try this magical drink that we love at this bar. I hope to return at some point and see if there is any improvement on an “off night”



1-10  Fairies for each criteria

1) Ambience - 8
2) List of quality absinthe - 9
3 )Bartender knowledge of classic preparation - 5
4) Absinthe cocktails - 1
5) Absinthe ware , fountains, glasses, droppers etc - 7
6) Self absinthe preparation - 0
7) Traditional and cocktail absinthe pricing - 3
8) Absinthe drinker crowd - 3 (on a Thursday)
9) Overall impression - 5
​10) Fauxinthe Served - 10 added. none served

Absinthe NYC Rating - 51 Fairies