Absinthe at Sarah B

Posted on November 10th, 2009 by .

Hotel bars seem to renovate at a higher-than-normal rate, though as just one part of a larger space, the changes are often fairly restrained. So when a well-known hotel in Old Montreal, the InterContinental, installed a new bar devoted to absinthe, it caught my attention…

Absinthe, as I wrote about in my post about Bily Kun, is that mysterious green elixir that has been enthralling the creative classes since the 19th century. In fact, almost everything about the “Green Fairy” seems steeped in history- like the intricate serving process which you can see in the video below. I’ll take that over a plastic shot glass filled with cheap tequila any day.

The InterContinental’s new spot is called the Sarah B., named after the famed French actress whose spirit is said to wander the bowels of the hotel. According to the press release, anyway.

The new bar is well thought out- by dividing it into a series of smaller areas, patrons are even better prepared to enter the Mad Hatter world that comes with couple rounds of absinthe. Of course, they’ve got a full range of cocktails (including non-alcholic versions, which make as much sense to me as decaf coffee) and a range of seafood-heavy tapas. But, come on, if you’re going to Sarah B. it’s for the mystical, magical elf juice. When it comes to absinthe, people love to talk about how it’s not as powerful as the stuff they had in Europe. All I can to that is that, any time I’ve had it here in Montreal, it’s been more than enough to get me wondering if I should trim my ears back a bit…

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