Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Are you going to Paris this year? For many travellers, Paris is their favourite city, with all its restaurants, bars, and shops. It's easy to imagine oneself back in the Belle Epoque days when absinthe flowed freely, and the Moulin Rouge dispensed absinthe WITHOUT burning it as they do in the film! I had a girlfriend in Paris a few years ago, so it has special memories for me too. If you are visiting Paris, my favourite city, soon, then you must visit Luc-Santiago Rodriguez at my favourite "bricks and mortar" absinthe shop.
11 rue d'Ormesson
Phone Number: + 33 (0)142716973
Luc's shop is an oasis, a hidden treasure in the historic Marais area of Paris and once inside you'll forget the bustle of the Parisian streets as you discover all the secrets of absinthe with the help of a wonderful tour guide (no tipping, please!). Luc has one of the finest ranges of absinthes - and absinthe accessories - available anywhere with almost all the French absinthes preferred by real absinthe lovers and some of the favourite Swiss absinthes too (unfortunately the French legislation on fenchone content in drinks limits the number of Swiss absinthes on sale).
Luc's shop is probably the only "bricks and mortar" retailer where you can buy both the distilled absinthes which won Golden Spoon awards at the 2006 Absinthiades in Pontarlier (Recette Marianne from Claude-Alain Bugnon's Couvet distillery, and the Jade La Blanchette from Combier, Saumur).
I've been visiting Luc since he first opened his shop in 2005 and have enjoyed a few glasses with him over that time. Bad salesman that I am (or good salesman that he is!), I have probably bought as much from him as I have sold to him. But with his Gallic charm, his amazing selection of absinthe, and, above all, his knowledge of and passion for his subject, it is all too hard to resist.
PS If sampling absinthe with Luc has whetted your appetite, then in the square next to his shop there are some great restaurants. My favourite is Le Bistrot de Diane, at 2 Place du Marché Saint Catherine. And if you arrive at Luc's before he opens, the restaurant looks straight onto the shop, so you can enjoy lunch and a drink or two while you wait!