In 2004 I was treated to a night out while visiting some friends in Paris. Marcelle took us to a little place on Rue La Fontaine.
The bar was in the basement, and had that old world feel as you walked into it. Dark, a little dank, but AWESOME ambiance.
The speciality of the house a true verte style absinthe, aged over 130 years.
(You had to be in the know to order it, and the bar owner had to know you)
The verte louche (green milkiness/cloudiness) was mesmerizing, the thrill of sampling something that old and that rare got my heart beating evening before drinking it.
Marcelle was the first to be served, then myself, then my wife.
Watching Marcelle go through the rituals of placing the sterling silver spoon atop the glass, lighting the sugar cube on fire, letting it melt into the glass below, then slowly adding a few drops of ice cold spring water.
I was like a child at Christmas, I could not wait for my turn.
Finally, I was walked through the rituals watched my glass of absinthe change into this wonderfully strong, deeply scented elixor....
I do not remember the rest of the night, the next morning I was still a haze, my wife slept until 4 pm.
Marcelle our gracious host made sure we made it back to our hotel room.
NOW THE REST OF THE STORY...
Marcelle explained that the absinthe we experienced the night before, was technically illegal, and the cost for the 3 drinks totaled $330 Euro ($495 US at the time)
I think I am glad I don't remember paying that bill.