Absinthe Bar in Antibes – an enchanting experience
Wandering through the serpentine streets of Antibes, you’ll also follow in the footsteps of Picasso, Hemingway, and countless other well-known artists. But nothing encapsulates the bohemian spirit of this historic city like the hidden gem underground known as Absinthe Bar.
The green fairy: absinthe
Tucked beneath the ancient stone walls of the old town, the Absinthe Bar, or Bar à Absinthe, lies a unique time capsule dating back to the 19th century. Back then, absinthe was often referred to as the ‘green fairy’, and was the beverage of choice for many artists, writers, and intellectuals.
As you step inside the bar, you’ll be struck by the atmospheric charm, a mix of history and mystery that radiates from any antique item decorating the bar. The dim lighting reflects the green bottles lining the walls, casting a spell of timeless spirit onto the vaulted ceiling.
The ‘green fairy’ is not just a mysterious tale. Absinthe, a spirit with a powerful blow, is said to induce creativity and even hallucinations, although the latter claim is more myth than reality.
At one time, absinthe was believed to have a preventive effect on malaria, and it was given to French soldiers in Algeria in the 1840s.
However, due to its alleged negative effects on the nervous system, it was banned in 1915.
Absinthe is made from garden wormwood, green anise and fennel. And it was the garden wormwood, which contains the active substance thujone, that was the bad wolf in the mixture that led to the ban.
However, today’s absinthe is quite harmless.
Today’s absinthe is carefully produced. It is free of harmful components, but its romantic and rebellious reputation remains. It is traditionally served with a slotted spoon, a sugar cube and a carafe of water, so you can drip the water slowly to dilute the spirit to your liking. It’s a meticulous ritual that transforms the simple act of enjoying a drink into a whimsical experience.
Absinthe Bar – not like other bars
But what really sets Absinthe Bar apart from others is its atmosphere. Intimate and energetic, it looks more like a private salon from the Belle Époque era than a traditional bar.
The atmosphere rumbles with an energy that feels alive, as if the walls themselves could share tales of poets, painters and pirates who have sipped their absinthe here over the centuries. The worn wooden tables, vintage absinthe equipment and the eclectic collection of artworks add the feeling of stepping into another era.
In a world that increasingly embraces the fast and the new, the Absinthe Bar, in Antibes, invites you into a lovely oasis. It invites you to slow down, enjoy the ritual and embrace the seductive tale of the green fairy.
A visit to the bar is more than just a night out. It is a journey into a different time, a different pace and a unique artistic heritage. If you ever come to Antibes, a trip to Absinthe Bar isn’t just a suggestion, it’s a must.
By Tommy Sverre – 2023