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Lucid and Kübler can be gotten at the speakeasy lounge known as:

 

The Violet Hour

1520 N. Damen

Chicago IL 60622

 

The presentation is complete with fountain, spoons, and of course, sugar if you want. Be sure and ask for sugar on the side, and also mention the spoon.

 

Google Maps

 

Also, Lucid is sold at most Binny's Beverage Depot stores in the Chicago area, the one in particular I visited being at:

 

1132 S. Jefferson

Chicago, IL 60607

 

Google Maps

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How was the Violet Hour? I was at a show across the street and saw the huge line to get in. I like the "Post No Bills" all over the boarded up exterior, but it looked like at least $15 to get in plus at least $10 for a drink from what I have heard.

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Binny's (at least the binny's in plainfield...) sells Kübler, Lucid, and Sirene.

 

As for the Violet Hour...

 

I don't know about the 15 buck cover (I got in for free) but, yes, 10 or so bucks for a drink.

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I thought the Violet Hour was a blast, truly. No cover, we were guided in by our hostess who was as hot as can be, and once seated were doted on constantly. The drinks are 11 bucks each, and are from a fixed, seasonal menu. All excellent, I might add. The only minor quibble I could make is that they serve Absinthe in what are essentially OJ glasses, but, if you request, you do get the spoon, and the fountain comes as well, of course.

 

Not least, due to the laws in Chicago, I got home and didn't smell like a smoky bar!

 

:cheers:

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Notes from a visit to Chicago from January 2009:

 

And here's the info I got back from Sonja at North Shore:

 

"Unfortunately we are not really open for tours at North Shore Distillery - we hope to offer them later in the year, but it's a challenge for us given our size and personnel (just the two of us and one part-time employee). Plus, in Illinois we are not allowed to sample or sell at our place, which is unfortunate.

 

There are some great bars here that do a nice job with absinthe and with classic cocktails. The Violet Hour is fantastic and worth a trip - definitely go early or late on a Saturday night or you'll be waiting (outside). Last I checked, they open at 6 pm, and they stay open quite late.

 

Some other bars to check out with respectable absinthe service - the Drawing Room (great cocktails & food too), Delilah's (fantastic whiskey selection, fun rocker vibe, and the owner is an absinthe enthusiast extraordinaire), and In Fine Spirits Lounge (in Andersonville on the north side - unique absinthe selection, and great cocktails), for starters. I could go on, let me know if you want some restaurant recommendations and/or more cocktail bars!"

Apparently Binny's has a bar in their South Loop(?) store and serve several different absinthes.

 

Also the Cotes du Rhone restaurant did an awesome job supporting our wine tasting.

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The South Loop Binny's does indeed have a bar, and they sell spirits by the glass. It's a great way to try many things, they often have nice bottles open. They don't have every absinthe the store carries open, but they do have several open at any one time.

 

We have recently been invited to a big absinthe tasting event here in Chicago - it's my understanding that all producers who are selling the market are being invited as well. Should be a great opportunity to taste all the absinthes available in Chicago. Once I have the final details, I'll post an update here. :cheers:

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The details.

 

It refers to "tasting all sixteen different absinthes currently available in America." As Sonja states, it seems to be all the absinthes available in Chicago (I make it about 30 available anywhere in the USA).

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I hope you can make it! And anyone else in the area as well. It should be a fun, informal way to try a bunch of absinthes without investing in bottles. The owner of Delilah's is an absinthe collector, he travels to Europe quite often and has a personal collection that might rival Shabba's.

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Any updates on the state of absinthe in Chicago? I'll be there from Oct 31st to Nov 10th and I'm looking to sample as many American brands as possible!

 

So far The Violet Hour seems to be the only possibility for a night out but I'm hoping on going to Delilah's at some point and seeing what can come of that.

 

While I'm at it, how might I get hold of some Marteau while I'm there? Ship it from DUNY?

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For retail stores, Binny's will have the largest selection. I'd recommend visiting the South Loop store, it's huge and has the largest section of absinthe I am aware of. They also have a bar in the store, and usually have a few bottles open and available for tasting. They have a fountain or two, and their prices are very reasonable.

 

Some other places to visit that do traditional absinthe service:

 

In Fine Spirits (5420 N. Clark, so on the far N side) - mentioned before -they have 4 or 5 choices

Drawing Room (937 N. Rush) - also mentioned before, they have 4 or 5 choices also,

somewhat different from In Fine Spirits

Le Bar at the Sofitel - (20 E. Chestnut) - they have 4 choices, I believe one is LTV

Those latter two are close to each other, a couple of blocks apart.

 

Delilah's does have pretty much all of the absinthes available in Chicago on the bar, so about 20 choices. Going there will provide a great opportunity to try a bunch of them.

 

Cheers and have fun!

 

Marteau is not available in this market yet, so if you want to get it you'll have to ship it to someone here. Perhaps Hiram can update on his progress in that regard.

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Thanks, guys. I do believe I'll grab a bottle of Sirene and Clandestine at the nearest possible establishment tonight, just in time for a Halloween nightcap. Which is about the same time I arrive in Chicago after a 20+ hour flight ... could be interesting.

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a 'Mrs. O'Leary's Cow' kind of dead?

 

Anyway, Chicago should have Vieux Pontarlier, Pacifique and Voyager Gin, Duplais and Mansinthe in selected bars and shops in around a month...

Edited by pierreverte

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Someone mentioned a short train ride the other day, and I missed my opportunity. I couldn't pass this one up though.

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I was at the Binny's off North Avenue this past weekend, the one that was a Sam's Warehouse Liquors, and they have an amazing selection. There is also the Absinthe Cafe a mile or so west on North Ave. and Milwaukee. I didn't stop at the Absinthe Cafe because I had a non-drinker with me.

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