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Cheap fountains/drippers and other questions from an Absinthe amateur


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#1 Dredgy

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:37 AM

Hi, my first post here, I hope to be able to learn a lot and contribute to this forum.

I'm a bit of an absinthe amateur (I've had a few here and there) and I have also come into a restaurant that I hope to improve by offering an absinthe experience. This kind of thing is the first of its kind in this remote Australian town, though our market is good for it and the restaurant has a history of innovation in the area and I want to keep pushing the boundaries.

However, as there is a lot of other stuff going on and being redone, I have a very small budget for introducing this, and due to my remote location most accessories will have to be ordered online (driving up the expense).

So what I want to be able to do is offer an absinthe experience - dripping water over sugar on a spoon until a good louche is achieved. I want an experience where people at the next table will go "wow, what are they having?". For this reason I've ruled out the discrete drippers.

For budgetary reasons I cannot afford to put a proper fountain on every table, so I would only start with 2 or 4 (I need something cheap, preferably $50ish), have the waiter put the fountain on the table, wait for the drip to conclude and then remove it from the table. If the trial goes well I'd upgrade.

Things I've looked at include see saw drips (in my price range) but I am unsure how they work (does the see saw drop water in 2 locations, so do I need two sugar cubes). Another thing I've looked at is absinthe pipes, but have absolutely no damn clue what they do or how to drink from them. Do you drip water in down the stem or just mix it?

I'd appreciate any answers or new ideas you may have.

Thank you for your help :)

Josh

#2 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

Just get a number of carafes that pour a very thin stream and train your servers in the proper pouring technique.   Watch this:

 

 

 

Picardine-CC-43KB.jpg​

 

 

 


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#3 Joe Legate

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:06 PM

Oh sure, if you want to be all traditional and shit.  ;)



#4 peridot

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:23 PM

Fountains are awesome but expensive and fragile enough that they can end up smashed even a brain fart during otherwise careful handling.  :angry2:

 

I second the idea of using carafes. And that personal touch is pretty classy.


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#5 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:44 PM

Watch this video. Buy this cruet. I don't necessarily agree with the opinion on Taboo. There are much better choices now. Please consult with the review section.


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#6 JosephLabrecque

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:11 PM

Every "see-saw" I've ever used is only good for one glass at a time. So, one sugar cube (if that's what the patron desires).

 

Most fountains will be from $80-$250 USD. Drippers are also expensive.

 

I'd totally go the cruet route via fingerpickinblue.



#7 ripper911

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:59 PM

Maybe get a couple of cheap fountains and a few cruets. Use the fountains when there are multiple patrons at a table ordering absinthe, and use the cruets when it's only one. Then upgrade to an assortment of fountains as funds permit.

Edited by ripper911, 13 January 2014 - 07:08 PM.


#8 TheLoucheyMonster!

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:28 PM

On the plus side for fountains, they are a visible advertisement that absinthe is available. 

 

Many minuses, such as breakage, cleaning and maintenance time, and take up space. Tough to judge if the former will pay for the other.

I think ripper has a good idea, say one or two fountains available for a party of 4 or more.



#9 Songcatcher

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:29 PM

For budgetary reasons I cannot afford to put a proper fountain on every table

 (I need something cheap, preferably $50ish), 

 

A true absinthe carafe. $50

 


The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.


#10 Evan Camomile

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:51 PM

I prefer carafe pouring. Fountains are a hassle unless you have a lot of people louching up at once.

 

Now if only I could convince the bars around here to do the same. A 4 spigot fountain on a bar just for one drink gets in the way.


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#11 baubel

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:55 PM

I'd say carafes are the way to go.  There's an absinthe bar in Austin that has fountains...but they don't let the customers use them.  They'll bring one to your table, but only the waitstaff get to use it, and will prepare your glass for you there at the table, even leaving the spoon on your glass even if you don't want any sugar, lest the "water splashes out on you."  It wasn't an unbearable experience for me, but I did find it a bit awkward and uncomfortable, like a stranger insisting on preparing a cup of coffee or tea for you.  I understand the rationale involving risks of drunken or buzzed patrons handling and potentially abusing expensive equipment on an almost nightly basis.  I don't have to like it, but I understand it.  I hope you train your employees on how to recognize someone passionate about absinthe and the correct way to use the equipment. 

  I can't really say, but so far as I know, there hasn't been any abuse of equipment at any of the Rocky Mountain Green Hour events, and good fountains seem to hold up to usage at such events.  However, they don't occur on an almost nightly basis.   


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#12 JosephLabrecque

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:53 AM

At various bars I've been to - they have filled a small mixed drink shaker with ice and water. These serve quite well at controlling a stream of water and you probably already have an army of them.



#13 Dredgy

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 02:07 AM

Thanks all.

There's an absinthe bar in Austin that has fountains...but they don't let the customers use them. They'll bring one to your table, but only the waitstaff get to use it, and will prepare your glass for you there at the table


That is probably how we'd do it if we went the fountain route. Mainly because we would only have a couple of fountains and leaving it on the table would cause us to run out! (Assuming it sells well)

hope you train your employees on how to recognize someone passionate about absinthe and the correct way to use the equipment


Of course. Though I'm not expecting many people here to know anything about Absinthe. I'm fairly limited in knowledge myself, though have been researching vigorously the last couple of days. My staff are eager earners and I've covered whisky, with extensive wine training on Monday. The problem is this being a rural location, there is little exposure to things like this (growing up here I remember shooting Czech absinthe, before moving to the city and travelling internationally). I want to make this both a novelty and a learning experience for the guest.

At various bars I've been to - they have filled a small mixed drink shaker with ice and water. These serve quite well at controlling a stream of water and you probably already have an army of them.


Actually a pretty genius idea. Simplicity rules. I might use this over a carafe, as they are very cheap and easy to source.

On the plus side for fountains, they are a visible advertisement that absinthe is available


Such a big plus, as many people would just see it and want to try it as a novelty.


Can someone please run me through the concept of absinthe pipes? I've only just discovered them in the last few days. I've seen a few videos of filling them, not not sure how you drink from them / the point of them?


Thanks again for all the responses.

#14 Joe Legate

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:43 AM

Absinthe pipes?  Bullshit.



#15 gee13

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:51 AM

Can I ask where in Oz?

#16 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:56 AM

Absinthe pipes?  Bullshit.

 

Yeah. The people who want to argue their legitimacy point to brandy pipes. Personally, I think it's a pretty flawed idea even with brandy... kind of like sucking your fine beer out of the bottle through a straw. As applied to absinthe, I think it is just another feeble attempt to make it appear to be drug-like or have some other illicit connection.

 

If memory serves, it seems to me we had a thread not all that long ago with a video where some rocket scientist added flame to one resulting in him setting his face on fire.


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#17 Dredgy

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:59 AM

Central West Queensland. I can't name any closer than that sorry as I'm finalising contracts and want to keep it pretty hush. I will get back to you though. Nowhere near Perth for you unfortunately, though some spots in WA certainly need a nice absinthe bar.

Yeah. The people who want to argue their legitimacy point to brandy pipes.


Brandy pipes are a stupid idea, even heating the brandy with a flame is rather pointless. But. I get the gist now and will steer clear of that whole area.

Edited by Dredgy, 15 January 2014 - 04:01 AM.


#18 peridot

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 12:08 PM

Before I knew anything I bought an absinthe pipe. It's been nine years and I still have no idea what use I could possibly put it to, but it's pretty and I don't want to throw it away.


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#19 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:23 PM

Siamese Fighting Fish bowl.


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#20 gee13

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:32 AM

Central West Queensland. I can't name any closer than that sorry as I'm finalising contracts and want to keep it pretty hush. I will get back to you though. Nowhere near Perth for you unfortunately, though some spots in WA certainly need a nice absinthe bar.

Yeah. The people who want to argue their legitimacy point to brandy pipes.


Brandy pipes are a stupid idea, even heating the brandy with a flame is rather pointless. But. I get the gist now and will steer clear of that whole area.

A long way from the wild west matey. Yeah theres nil scene here or bars that serve real absinthe so we are quite left to small circles and backyard sessions consuming everything from Preban PF to Delaware Phoenixs and more rotund varieties of my current favourite COs. They are La Grenuoille, Pernot Authentique, Butterfly, Berthe de Joux, Sade, Rubis and La Coquette. Im fortunate to have also met a fewtrue likeminded aussie absintheurs on this forum who have started out at the same time and we have shared a close friendship via networking and samples.

Good luck with your ventures.

#21 Dredgy

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:33 PM

Thanks :)

 

I used to live in South Hedland for 3 years, I know what it's like, trust me. Hope to get into this world of Absinthe a bit more.



#22 Songcatcher

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:30 PM

Absinthe pipes?  Bearshit.


The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

and the sad silent song, made the hour twice as long,

as I waited for that sun to go sinkin'.


#23 Jack Griffin

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 06:04 AM

Pipes with absinthe are a long tradition, and can often be seen in old illustrations, photos and post cards. They were typically made of Macedonian Briar, and filled with tobacco.

#24 Joe Legate

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:46 AM

I think this is the sort of pipe in question:



#25 JosephLabrecque

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:49 AM

Looks quite fragile. Also looks like a pitcher plant  :dry:



#26 Jack Griffin

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:49 PM

I knew that...I was being a wise-guy.   :tongue:



#27 Joe Legate

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:32 PM

Ooops. :blush: 



#28 deltapapatango

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:15 PM

I would buy a pipe like that. Kinda cool actually.

#29 ilion

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:52 AM

I have to admit some of them have nice aesthetics but I can't imagine ever using one.




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