Thursdays: The Green Hours at Catherine Lombardi
In mid-19th century France, absinthe (which is green and often referred to as "The Green Fairy" or "La Muse Verte") was so popular that the hour of 5 PM, was referred to as "The Green Hour" or "l'Heure Verte." From 1906-1912, absinthe was banned in most European countries and The United States. It was the victim of a malicious campaign of misinformation and hysteria. It became legal again in The U.S. only in the last few years. Of course, we were the first bar in NJ to serve absinthe legally in the 21st century.
During the banned period, "absinthe-replacers" like Pernod and other pastis stood in. The Pastis d’Autrefois (which we carry) is remarkable, but most of these were shadows of the absinthe that once was. Well absinthe is in the midst of a tremendous renaissance. Absinthe is back!
Good absinthe is served with water added slowly from an absinthe fountain (pictured above) over a slotted spoon holding a melting sugar cube. It is also a serious cocktail ingredient.
Henceforth, Thursday at 5 will be The Green Hour at Catherine Lombardi. In fact, all of Thursday evening will be The Green Hours. We will offer all of our absinthe (and d'Autrefois pastis) at a 20% discount and all of our absinthe cocktails will also be offered at a discount. We will feature special cocktails that feature absinthe as well. Some of these are classics and some we have created right here.
The Sazerac is a classic of course, as is the Death In The Afternoon, which combines absinthe with Champagne and brings to mind Hemmingway's famous book of the same name. I read it just before attending my first bullfight in Madrid. The Corpse Reviver #2 likewise is a classic that brings together gin, Lillet and absinthe. The Winter Mommisette is a classic that our bartender Chris twisted a bit with our own chestnut syrup. The Barrio Viejo is a borrowed drink that we saw at our friend Phil Ward's award-winning cocktail bar Mayahuel. We stole it. Shout out to Phil! It marries Tequila with absinthe in a wonderful mixed-marriage of New and Old World.
Finally, my favorite absinthe cocktail is the Scorched CP Fizz. Chris and I came up with this one together. It's a variation really on an unappetizingly named classic called SeaPea Fizz. It's basically an absinthe fizz with demarrara sugar sprinkled on top and the bruleed with a flaming spray of bitters and over-proof rum.
So come by The Cocktail Bar at Catherine Lombardi on Thursdays for The Green Hours