Absinthe in Czech Republic
We alway like to try the local food and drink when we travel. You can’t visit Porto without trying the port wine. When we visited the town of Cognac, we needed to sample a range of cognacs. Absinthe is widely found in the Czech Republic. When we looked at things to do in Prague, we found two large absinthe bars. After our river cruise one day, we decided to do a detour to visit an absinthe bar in Prague.
One night David went out after dark to look for interesting pictures. One of the places he found was the Green Devil’s Absinth Bar. It was lit up at night with a green glow, like the drink that is referred to as the “green fairy”. That was the spot David picked for our adventure.
A Little More About Absinthe
Absinthe is a high alcohol drink made from a variety of herbs. Anise and fennel gives it a liquorice flavour. Wormwood in the absinthe is responsible for the hallucinogenic side effects sometimes claimed. The actual chemical is thujone and it is illegal in many countries.
Absinthe (or absinth) is made in two forms in the Czech Republic. The more common and less expensive version is mixed and macerated. It is bitter and often served with sugar. The more expensive and rare form is distilled. The Green Devil’s Absinth Bar had a large supply of both versions. In the main showroom, there were many different absinthes for sale. Along with an interesting display case of cannabis products, not totally dissimilar to cbd products like cbd candy. Pot was decriminalized in Prague in 2010. David engaged Tomas in a discussion and we were invited to go downstairs to the bar for a tasting.
David had tried absinthe in France. But he wanted to sample the local Czech or Bohemian variety. He definitely wanted to visit an absinthe bar in Prague. David started with an absinthe ice cream cone. But that did not have the punch he was looking for. He could hardly taste the liquorice flavour!
The Green Devil’s Absinthe Bar Was An Interesting Spot
We should have known when we looked at the shop from the outside that the inside would prove to be equally as interesting. The theme of green devils was repeated throughout the shop. Green devils were sometimes offset by colourful fairies.
Everywhere we looked we saw an eclectic collection of knick knacks. Many of the decorations were absinthe in theme. Of course, no discussion of absinthe is complete without some discussion about Vincent Van Gogh.
The lower bar level had another extensive collection of different types of absinthe bottles.
We enjoyed just looking around when we chose to visit an absinthe bar in Prague.
Our Absinthe Taste Test
We watched Tomas take another couple through a taste test. So we had a bit of an idea of what the absinthe process was like. We chose to taste test one of the good distilled absinthes (St Antoine – 70% alcohol and 25mg/l thujone). The absinthe was poured into a glass. It looked like a clear liquor at this point. The glass was then put under a large glass container filled with ice water. You do not drink the absinthe straight!
Tomas opened one of the spigots and let water droplets fall slowly into the glass of absinthe. In a little bit of time as the absinthe was diluted, the liquid turned green. Tomas used a light to show us the colour. As the water droplets continued, the absinthe in the glass turned a more milky consistency, called the louche effect. This made the absinthe taste smoother. It is usually mixed 1:3 or 5 with water.
When the glass was full, Tomas gave us the full glass of absinthe and water. He also made sure we had another glass of cold water. For those people not used to drinking straight alcohol, it was one sip of water to one sip of the watered down absinthe.
Trying A Different Version Of Absinthe
Not to be content with drinking the watered down version, David asked Thomas about taking a shot straight. For this Tomas provided a small glass with the very strong, high drug content (200mg/l not 25mg/l) macerated absinthe. David was told to sip slowly and hold the liquor in this mouth before swallowing. It definitely had a stronger taste. But also had more of the liquorice taste that David was looking for.
David likes liquorice drinks so he definitely wanted to visit an absinthe bar in Prague. The absinthe did not have a strong liquorice taste and will not replace his favourite Italian liquorice drink. But it was still good to try.
Visit An Absinthe Bar In Prague For Something Different To Do
We did lots of tourist things in Prague. So it was great to visit an absinthe bar in Prague. It was not something we would normally seek out. But definitely the right spot to do it.
If you want to visit an absinthe bar in Prague, we would definitely recommend you visit the Green Devil’s Absinth Bar. It is located in the old part of town by the Old Town Square and behind the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. The staff seemed very knowledgable. And the decoration of the bar itself was a great attraction!
We ran out of days on our visit to Prague. So we did not head back after dark. We were told that the bar was very busy at night. And had a very different vibe than our quiet day visit. That may be a livelier scene for you to see.
Did you visit an absinthe bar in Prague? What did you try?
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