I’ve been dying to take Brian to a Speakeasy.
We have heard great things about The Edison in downtown Los Angeles.
Earlier in the day Brian Surprised me with some of my favorite things:
Then off we went to The Edison.
It’s in the basement of the Higgins building, which still hosts the first generator in Los Angeles.
We entered through a back alley. And walked down a few flights of stairs to enter.
They kept with the 1920’s style throughout the entire venue. They even incorporated the original generator into the design.
Their specialty drinks stay true to the time. Brian was loving that there were so many bourbon-based drinks on the list.
I had a great drink with gin and elderberry.
Brian’s favorite was called “The Edison.”
Then, the Green Fairy came to visit us (literally)
We decided to go for the ceremonial absinthe with dripper.
I’ve never tried any form of absinthe, so I was pretty excited.
Here is a quick history of absinthe:
- At the end of the eighteenth century, the drink was invented by one Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor who distilled wormwood and other herbs in an alcoholic base as a remedy for his patients.
- At the end of the nineteenth century, absinthe was embraced by the literary bohemian crowd who gathered in European cafes and claimed the Green Fairy (La Fee Verte) as their muse and inspiration.
- The end of the twentieth century brought to an end nearly 100 years of nonsensical prohibition in parts of Europe. As a result, a new fin de siecle in crowd began discovering the delights of the absinthe drink once again. –source
Absinthe is an alcoholic drink made from Artemisia absinthium (a plant better known as grand wormwood) and a range of other herbs such as fennel, anise, melissa and hyssop. Actual recipes have always varied by country and manufacturer, as has the quality of each absinthe brand. Traditionally, the drink was quality-classified as either absinthe suisse (the best grade; alcohol content of 68-72%), demi-fine (50-68% alcohol) or ordinaire (45-50%). –source
It is believed that the louche process of adding water to the strong alcohol allows the release of essential oils from the herbs from which the absinthe drink is made, particularly thujone-bearing wormwood. These oils, drinkers believe, not only counter the usual intoxicating effects of alcohol, but they also bring the mind to a peculiar state of alertness, enhance one’s sensory perception and even unlock hidden creative powers — hence absinthe’s popularity among nineteenth-century avant-garde artistic community. –source
The Green Fairy (la fee verte)- as it became commonly known, was most popular in France. Most days started with a drink and ended with the “green hour” (l’heure verte) as one or two or more were taken for its aperitif properties. It is interesting to note that it also has aphrodisiac and narcotic properties. Authors and artists were proponents for using it to induce creativity. –source
The amazing popularity of the Green Fairy caused her eventual downfall. Many European governments, as well as the U.S. administration, gave in to the pressures of the anti alcohol lobby and banned the drink in the early years of the twentieth century. Absinthe proved a relatively easy target for the anti-alcohol movement, which blamed wide-spread “absinthism” — a mental condition the drink supposedly caused — for a whole range of social problems. French winemakers, nervous about the sharp decline in wine consumption, also backed the calls for the banning of the “green devil”. –source
I left the 1920s completely (and happily) sober with a belly full of anise flavored booze, and into the 2012 where we turned back into pumpkins:
and were welcomed home to these little cuties:
It was a good day.