And one of the special liquors offered is absinthe or The Green Fairy (la fee verte). Absinthe has a very high alcohol content (45% to 74%), is generally green in color, and has a licorice/anise flavor. It does not taste strong like Ouzo from Greece, but is very smooth if served correctly.
I was curious so I ordered the Pernod, which is a French absinthe. As you can see in the first photo, a pretty crystal glass container with ice and a spout was brought to the table, it is called an absinthe fountain. A glass of green absinthe is placed under the spout. As shown in the second photo, a silver slotted absinthe spoon is rested on top of the glass and a white sugar cube is placed on top of the spoon. Then, the spout is turned ever so slowly to drizzle onto the sugar cube and melt it into the absinthe along with adding water to evenly dilute the absinthe and allow the herbs in the liquor to come forth. Next, you sip slowly and enjoy. It was very smooth and enjoyable. The waiter had to remind me to drink it slowly as it had a very high alcohol content, which is not evident when you start drinking it. It was quite nice. I did not have a psychedelic experience though.
As you may recall, absinthe was a favorite of Parisian artists and writers in the late 19th and early 20th Century, from Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Ernest Hemingway to name just a few. It was considered a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and was banned in about 1915. Production for absinthe resumed in Europe in the 1990s and in the United Stated in 2007. The active chemical in absinthe is thujone.
Absinthe is not listed on the menu, but you can go in and ask for the Green Fairy, which is subtly hidden on the sign on the wall visible in the third photograph. The fourth photograph is of the painting on the wall by the bathroom at Digestif and lets you see how bohemian you are supposed to feel and look after drinking absinthe. So do you want to become a devotee of the Green Fairy?