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Best Absinthe Bars in London or Best Drinking Experiences – The Absinthe Parlour in East London

Spring is definitely in the air and our thoughts naturally turn to the warmer, longer evenings of the summer months and what we might get up to that’s different and fun.

For a unique drinking experience / place to drink absinthe / alternative thing to do in London this summer, we think you might well like The Absinthe Parlour – it is definitely a venue with a difference!

Based in Hackney in East London, The Absinthe parlour is located within the building of The Last Tuesday Society, a “curiosity museum”, which houses all number of peculiar items, including mummified fairies and the skeleton of a mermaid, a two headed kitten, art made of human hair, erotica and dead babies in bottles… to name but a few.

The Absinthe Parlour itself is equally intriguing and curious. It describes itself as “a drinker’s cabinet of wonder filled with unusual spirits, from the old world and new, together in one curious exhibition of extraordinary elixirs”.

The cocktail bar is a celebration of the famous absinthe, a drink notoriously associated with creative genius (think Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde), and surrounded by myths of blindness, hallucinogenic properties and being poisonous.

Despite all that – or perhaps because of it – absinthe is seeing a revival, which is evident in the success of The Absinthe Parlour. In 2019, it was voted the Best Bar in London at the 7th annual Design My Night Awards by a public vote of over 180,000 Londoners, and in 2020, their absinthe menu was shortlisted for Imbibe's Specialist List of the Year.

Looking at the menu, you can see why it was shortlisted.

Allison Crawbuck and Rhys Everett, co-founders of The Absinthe Parlour, also launched the UK's first Absinthe distillery Devil's Botany located in Leyton, East London. Distilled with a background in mixology, the Devil’s Botany range has been handcrafted to highlight absinthe’s versatility in cocktails.

And every drink on The Absinthe Parlour menu has one of their signature absinthe blends at its heart. You can start simple with a small glass of just absinthe, served in the traditional manner, with a fountain, spoon and sugar cube, or you can try the highballs, where absinthe is mixed with liqueurs of passion fruit, kumquat, mint or melon and an appropriate mixer. Or, if you are feeling very adventurous, there are cocktails where absinthe is expertly mixed with other spirits, liqueurs and mixers for a drink experience with equally enticing names, such as Merchant of Florence, Eye Contact, Vanity Slayer and From the Ashes.

The only thing you won’t find on the menu is a drink that does not involve absinthe!

So, if you are looking for something “curious” yet bang on trend to add to your things to do in London this summer list, The Absinthe parlour leads the way.

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