Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Today is the birthday of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns, and is the time when Scots around the world, including many living outside Scotland, celebrate "Burns Night." Tonight abundant quantities of haggis, tatties and neeps will be eaten, "washed down" (as Wikipedia puts it) with a few drams of Scotch.
As an Englishman who has sold a few bottles of finest Scotch in his career (including Famous Grouse, The Macallan, Highland Park, Black Bottle etc), I have mixed feelings about the current move towards a vote on Scottish independence. But I am a great fan of Burns Night.
Now, however, I am someone selling a few cases of finest absinthe around the world, and who hates the idea that anyone should try to set fire to absinthe. Something I still see from time to time. although thankfully more often with lower quality absinthes that, arguably, deserve nothing less! So I want to mark Burns Night by declaring that henceforth this night - and hopefully all other nights - shall be "No burns Night" for absinthe (note the small "b" please; there's no anti-Scottish sentiment here). It's time to stop, for once and for all, scenes like this:
"No burns Night" is, of course, more a manifesto of future intent, since we cannot stop all absinthe burning immediately. But to help absinthe drinkers around the world tonight, I wanted to publish a very short list of some of the best bars where they carry a good range of quality absinthes, which they don't burn and hopefully never will. It's just one or two bars in ten or so countries around the world, and I'll be pleased to add the names of any bars that should be included in this list. Please add details in the comments, and I'll post into the main list.
SOME BARS AROUND THE WORLD WHERE THEY DON'T BURN ABSINTHE
The Soho House Group
Brompton Bar and Grill, London
SCOTLAND (not yet a separate country, but listed separately here in honour of Robert Burns!)
Bond No. 9, Edinburgh
Maison Premiere, New York
PDT, New York
Chinatown Coffee, Washington DC
Hundreds more bars in New York, California, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Massacusetts, Rhode Island, etc.
Clive's Classic, Victoria, BC
Dieu du Ciel, Montreal
Absinthe Salon, Sydney
Bar Tram, Tokyo
Sky Bar, KL
Absinthe Bar, Fleurier along with probably every single bar in the Val-de-Travers!
Grune Fee, Solothurn
Antibes Absinthe Bar
La Petite Absintherie, Leipzig
MANY MORE BARS GLOBALLY, INCLUDING NEW BARS IN THE NETHERLANDS, SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA ETC!
Sadly, Burns died in 1796, just one or two years before the first commercial absinthe distillery was established in Couvet, Switzerland, so he probably never had the chance to taste absinthe. But to him, and to those responsible for the bars listed above, and to all the other non-burning bars too many to name (hopefully an ever-growing list) ... Slàinte! Santé! Cheers!