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© 2011 Helana Brigman
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“Arrr, what’ll it be matey?” growled the soon-to-be Pirate friend in Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans.

“2 Absinthes please!”

Only in New Orleans does a “real life pirate” take your order.  Only in New Orleans are there actual Pirate’s Alleys specializing in antique-distilled absinthe and the ambiance of a nineteenth-century absinthe house.  If you ever find yourself in Jackson Square looking for a peculiarly good time, take the small alley to the left of St. Louis Cathedral, walk a block, and enjoy the blissful beverages complete with green fairies.

Pictured: The Olde Absinthe House in New Orleans & Pirate’s Alley Café (found in the alley alongside St. Louis Cathedral off of Jackson Square)

This place takes Absinthe seriously–specializing in 4 varieties of absinthe, the house is always ready to serve its crystalline cubes and slotted spoons.  They sit out on the counter beckoning you to order not wine, not beer, but absinthe.

Pictured: An essential ingredient in Absinthe-making: sugar cubes and the slotted spoon.

For $10 you can get a middle-shelf absinthe with Absente liqueur.  For the big spender and tourist, $20 will get you the fanciest and most specialized of absinthes–the Absinthe Superior Nouvelle Orléans (truly Absinthe Supérior) (made in a 130 year old New Orleans Absinthe still with a rum-liqueur base).  It’s twice the price, but a taste of New Orleans history and flavor.

Finally, the good stuff! 4 kinds of Absinthe are most popular in the country (and the Quarter).  The bottles retail as follows:

Absente – $47.99 for 750 ml

Kubler Absinthe – $44.99 for 1 Liter

Lucid Absinthe – $54.99 for 750 ml

Absinthe Superior Nouvelle Orléans (truly Absinthe Supérior)- $110.99 for 750ml (made in a 130 year old New Orleans Absinthe still with a rum-liqueur base)

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice chat with your new Pirate friend as you enjoy the sweet licorice tastes of absinthe.

Pictured: Heather and long-time street performer, the Pirate (found everyday at the Olde Absinthe House).

Traditional Absinthe

Much of the romance behind Absinthe lies in the preparation ritual popularized in nineteenth-century Europe.  The pouring of the liquor over the sugar cube, the watering down, and always, the flaming ice cube create an impressive presentation and drink.


* 3 ounces Absente Liqueur

* 1-3 sugar cubes (depending on how sweet you like your beverage)

* 2 1/2 – 3 ounces water

Special Equipment Needed:

Absinthe Glass & Spoon

1.) Place Absinthe Spoon over Absinthe Glass and top with a sugar cube (can use 1-3 here).  Pour 3 ounces Absente Liqueur over Sugar Cube slowly.

2.) Dissolve the sugar cube with 2 1/2 – 3 ounces water (preferably with an Absinthe Fountain).

3.) Stir with Absinthe Spoon and enjoy! Makes 1 serving.


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Absinthe, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  1. Dan Novak
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:02 am | #

    One of my favorite bars!

  2. Posted July 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm | #

    Dan- I never would have pegged you for a pirate’s alley fan! But then again…you do like the 19th century…and who doesn’t like absinthe?!

  3. Heather
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm | #

    Pirate’s Alley is definitely my favorite bar in the quarter for many reasons. The absinthe selection is nice, and I do love my absinthe, but the people are also a huge attraction for any bar, and Pirate’s Alley is full of characters! It should also be noted that the distance between Pirate’s Alley and the St Louis cathedral is apparently the shortest between a bar and a church in the US. Only in New Orleans! 😉

  4. Posted July 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm | #

    Heather- That’s truly awesome. You’re right…the walking distance between the church and the bar are non-existent! In fact, when we were sitting in the bar, we were technically looking right at the church (the gardens!).

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