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Hi all. I was wondering about the popularity of absinthe in France today. My girlfriend and I took a recent trip. We started out in Bordeaux. I, at once, went to the local liquor store to pick up some absinthe. All they had was François Guy 45. When I asked if they had any other COs, I was told "There are some stores that carry a higher alcohol level, but they are very difficult to find."

 

So, the odessy took me to:

 

Cap Ferret

St. Emilion

Quimper (Brittany...great oysters btw)

 

Nothing! Is it that difficult to find? Is it popular in France at all? Will it be? I plan on going back very soon, and would love to stuff a suitcase.

 

Cheers

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There are very well-stocked stores in Paris and Marseilles, and in Pontarlier of course. Maybe other cities as well.

But the majority of French people I've spoken to both there and at home seem to know about as much as the average American, which is to say virtually nothing but myth and misinformation. The main difference as I see it is that the French national passion for pastis seems to promise a larger market for absinthe if the public perception of it ever comes back to reality.

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in 2002 I was in Paris and asked our hostess where to get a good bottle of Absinthe and she was mortified. She said it was drugs and if it was legal people would be going crazy in the streets.

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Thanx Molly ;)

 

No, absinthe is not popular in France at all.

When you ask for absinthe in a cafe, 98% of the french waiters will look at you like if you were a martian and will tell you what everybody here strongly believes : absinthe is illegal, it's forbidden, but there are false absinthes like Absente. You were lucky to get F. Guy !

In Paris it's a little bit different AKA there are some places where you can find absinthe : 3 shops, somes cafés. People heard about absinthe more than in the rest of France so they are a little bit more aware of. And of course there is my absinthe shop, Vert d'Absinthe where I explain everyday at least to some people what absinthe is and no, I'm not a bootlegger openely selling absinthe !

It will take time for absinthe to get popular again in France and I think absinthe will be popular in the US sooner.

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Well hopefully an absinthe renaissance in the U.S. will prompt the average Frenchman to rediscover their own nation's rich history during the Belle Epoque. Consider it a 'thank you' for the Statue of Liberty :cheers:

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Actually one of the best places I found was Balade en Provence in Antibes:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/spiritsreview...57603936494224/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/spiritsreview...57603938732559/

Also there is the Versinthe Absinthe Distillery in Aix en Provence:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/spiritsreview...57603938990757/

There was also the shop in Paris where Anthony Bourdain went in his No Reservations travel show the Episode "Why the French Don't Suck" (made during the anti French craziness a few years back) - it was north of the Flea Market in the middle of nowhere. It was actually easier to go to the Gallerie Lafayette (kind of the Paris Macy's ) to find some brands. But yes, it is hard to find and has about as much standing as gin does in a high end London wine shop (Trust me they don't like it when you ask ).

Provence in general and Marseilles seem to be the places to go.It seems much more popular and accepted in the south- a number of times I got invited to try a number of homemade samples too.

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While in France I was also surprised by the general perception of absinthe. But when you think about it, the whole thing makes sense. There was a huge campaign to demonize absinthe in Europe and to do that you really have to convince most of the people that it really is bad. My understanding (may or may not be correct) is that the US just sort of followed suit. I don't think that there was a huge campaign here in the US like they had in France. There was probably something, but we didn't have Lanfray murders and we probably didn't have a huge wine industry that was in danger.

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The French wine industry was never really in danger of being supplanted by absinthe. But I'm sure they saw the merit of aligning themselves with the Temperance Movement to attack the strongest available alcohol while depicting their own product as one less likely to lead the people into l'alcoolisme.

 

I know of someone of French descent who grew up in a village in SE France. He says his grandfather was the last in his village to make absinthe (clandestine). He was very surprised that I was going to make this dangerous liquor. Dangerous because it's so strong. They'd water the pastis, but never the absinthe. With that, they'd do shots. :blink:

 

No wonder they have a bad opinion of the drink.

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There was also the shop in Paris where Anthony Bourdain went

Heure Verte, who we heard from a few posts back, may know a little about this shop.

 

this is the shop that was filmed:

 

Caves du Roy, 31 rue Simart 75018 PARIS Tel. +33 (0)1 42 59 12 10

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There's also a absinthe bar in Lyon called "La Fee Verte". I'm just mentionning it but I wouldn't recommend it if you want to sip a nice absinthe...

I went there quite a long time ago, but as far as I remember they didn't have many interesting absinthes...

 

However, it's quite a nice place to sit in and have a bite during the day!

 

Anyway, the place is here.

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I will be taking a trip to Marseille and the south of France sometime soon and was

wondering where I would be able to get some quality absinthe around Marseille?

All I found so far was a Pastis shop that carries VDF called La Maison Du Pastis.

They also have some macerated Absinthe that I have never heard of.

If anyone has some better recommendations it would be greatly appreciated thanks.

 

www.lamaisondupastis.fr

Edited by Captain Tom

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