Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Pernod Absinthe x L'Atelier Joel Robuchon.

Last Friday I was invited along to michelin-starred L'Atelier Joel Robuchon in London for an evening with Pernod Absinthe to kick off London Cocktail Week 2014. Having never tried Absinthe before, I was keen to finally give it a go. To be totally honest I'd always been too scared, what with it being illegal in most countries for many years, and the rumours of hallucinations and the famous 'green fairy'. But you know what, I didn't have any hallucinations, and in small quantities, it's absolutely fine (and mighty delicious)!

Pernod Ricard Abinsthe tasting at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon

Edd met me at L'Atelier, and we headed up to the roof top for the infamous Green Hour (the time of 5pm in Paris when everyone flowed into the bars and roof terraces to drink Absinthe in the 1800s). Tom from Pernod Absinthe greeted us with the 'Van Gogh in Havana' cocktail to start with, which is made with Pernod Absinthe, Plymouth Gin, Lillet Vermouth, sparkling wine, fresh mint and almond syrup, and we joined the rest of the group. It was lovely to see a familiar face in Clerkenwell Boy, who I hadn't seen for almost a year!

After tasting my first sip of Absinthe within the cocktail, I was hooked - it tastes just like liquorice! I soon finished it, and then we were on to the 'Green Beast' in these awesome pipe glasses! We all exclaimed how we wanted to take the glasses home with us, little did we know that they had prepared goodie bags for us all with the glasses inside them!

Pernod Ricard Abinsthe tasting at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon for LCW

Pernod Ricard Abinsthe tasting at L'Aterlier Joel Robuchon

Pernod Ricard Abinsthe tasting at L'Aterlier Joel Robuchon

After drinking up our Green Beast cocktails, we were then taught how to drink Absinthe the traditional method - with an Absinthe fountain, sugar cube, and iced water. I actually got a video of the entire method, so I'll get this up for you at the weekend as it's actually really interesting! For now though, I'll give you some photos and a quick explanation;

The iced water is put into the fountain, and you put a shot of absinthe into the glass, the glass then goes beneath a fountain spout, and on top of the glass rests a stirrer, with a sugar cube resting atop. You then start by very slowly dripping the iced water onto the sugar cube, thus dissolving it into the glass of Absinthe. Once the sugar cube is dissolved, you then fill up the rest of the glass with the iced water, depending on how strong you like your drink. 

Pernod Abinsthe tasting at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon for London Cocktail Week
Pernod Abinsthe tasting at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon for LCW

Pernod Abinsthe tasting at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon for LCW

Pernod Ricard Abinsthe tasting for London Cocktail Week

After drinking our glass of Absinthe, we all had another go, until it was time to soak up some of that alcohol with food. The staff at L'Atelier brought out plates of delicious canapes, including my favourite from the evening; Absinthe Macarons. Officially the best Macarons I have ever tasted in my life (even better than the Champagne ones I had at Hakkasan last week)!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is an absinthe macaron. And the best macaron you will ever taste. #greenhour #pernod #macaron #french

Absinthe canapes and macaron for London Cocktail Week
We stayed longer than most, chatting to the guys from Pernod Absinthe and discussing our favourite restaurants, the history of Absinthe, and our mutual love for Havana! L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon are collaborating with Pernod Ricard and will be exhibiting a Pernod Absinthe installation throughout the month of October, showcasing a variety of traditional absinthe glassware, including 2-tap and 4-tap fountains, punchbowls and absinthe pipes. You can also head to L'Atelier over the next four days to taste the Van Gogh in Havana cocktail, which is being served exclusively for London Cocktail Week this week! 

Pernod Ricard Abinsthe tasting at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon

Thanks for having us, we had a really fantastic evening!

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  1. I saw you going to this on twitter and I thought it looked fab!! I'm a bit of a light weight and I don't think I could really take absinthe...I could definitely handle an absinthe macaron though!
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  2. Those pipe-shaped glasses are seriously cool. I must confess I'm not a huge fan of absinthe (because of the licorice taste) but I do love the history behind the drink and the ritual of melting the sugar cube into the glass etc. Also it always feels a bit 'forbidden' when you drink one which I suppose adds to the thrill of it ;)

  3. I have to admit I agree on the dislike of absinthe due to the licorice taste, but I think even I would be tempted to drink from those fabulous glasses!

    Can you believe I haven't had one cocktail this week? I'm highly disappointed in myself.

    Katie <3

  4. It looks like you had a pretty fun evening. I think one drink of Absinthe would make me very merry indeed.


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