Absinthe Minded in Los Angeles

Thousands of industry professionals spent a week in July attending Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Los Angeles bar The Thirsty Crow is “Absinthetaking Tales home” with a new, highly popular and profitable drinks program.

“Before my New Orleans trip, we stocked only one absinthe,” says Bar Manager Cooper Gillespie, who is responsible for the bar’s cocktail program. “Now we stock seven and counting.”

Those seven — Grande Absente, Kubler, Lucid, Mata Hari, Pernod, La Sorciere Bleue and St. George — now are part of the bar’s Absinthe Minded Tuesdays at which guests can try a different absinthe cocktail each week for $5 or experience absinthe straight for $12.

“While at Tales of the Cocktail, I did a walking tour where one of the stops was Pirate’s Alley Cafe and the Old Absinthe House,” Gillespie continues. “The bartenders did an amazing job of presenting absinthe and absinthe knowledge. My eyes were opened to a beautiful new world. I wanted to share this experience with everyone I met when I returned home. Thus, Absinthe Minded Tuesdays were born.”

The Corpse Reviver #2, The Millionaire and the Absinthe Root Beer are part of an ongoing promotion during which patrons can sip on a different absinthe cocktail for $5 every Tuesday. The bartenders also impart some knowledge on absinthe’s misunderstood past. Banned in the United States until 2007, absinthe previously was thought to have hallucinogenic properties.

“We have inserts in our menus telling people about the night in addition to online promotion via Facebook and Urban Daddy,” she says. “However, word of mouth has been the best marketing so far. We’ve been doing this for about a month. Right now, we have a core group of 20 or 30 people who show up each week for absinthe specifically.”


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