Absinthe Ritual

Friday & Saturday Night – 6pm to 9pm

If you’re looking for something different for dinner in the Hunter Valley, let us transport you to a bygone era… ‘La Belle Époque’, where Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen transforms into a smokey, sensual ambience, with waitresses and singers from the Moulin Rouge era.

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Give the Green Fairy her wings by experimenting with a variety of French and Swiss Absinthe, along with traditional cocktails and our famous shared plates. Come visit the Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen at night to see for yourself why the myth of ‘la fee verte’ was discovered, because as they say… the fairy is in the louche.

Where: Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen.

When: 6pm to 9pm Friday and Saturday Nights.

About Absinthe

Historically referred to as “la fée verte” or the green fairy, absinthe is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from three main herbal ingredients – grand wormwood, green anise and sweet fennel.

Originating in the late 18th century, it rose to prominence in Switzerland and France and was frequently associated with the literary and artistic circles of the Belle Époque (Beautiful Era) in Western Europe from 1871 to 1914. Everyone from Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde to Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh was known to indulge in the highly alcoholic drink with its distinctive green hue.

But the development of absinthe was not welcomed by all, with the spirit banned in the United States and much of Europe by 1915 after being portrayed without evidence as an addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen.

A revival of interest in absinthe began in the UK in the 1990’s, with the drink now readily available in many countries across the world, including Australia (although at no time was it illegal to import it to or manufacture it here).

About Our Ritual

Hunter connoisseurs keen to taste the magic of the green fairy can head out to the Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen, which hosts a traditional Absinthe Ritual at our Pokolbin premises from 6pm to 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Transforming the restaurant with green lights and a smoky, sensual ambience straight from the 1920’s, complete with saucy singers and in-character waitresses, patrons can select from the extensive range of absinthes from France and Switzerland, which have been crafted to serve as an aperitif before your meal.

The spirits range in alcoholic content and flavours, from the Lemercier Absinthe (45%), which offers a light and easy drink with a fruity apple influence and a medium anise content, through to the Lemercier Amer (72%), a dry and medium to full-bodied spicy absinthe that provides hints of nutmeg and cinnamon flavours along with dried fruits.

But drinking absinthe is about more than just trying a new flavour – it’s about the ritual.

Drinks are served with a specific set of traditional instructions that include pouring ice cold water over a French ‘A La Perruche’ sugar cube sitting on a special perforated spoon, which is resting on the rim of the glass containing the absinthe.

As the sugar dissolves, it drips through the spoon along with the water, causing the absinthe to slowly begin to change into an opalescent version of its former self.

After the sugar has disappeared from the spoon, patrons must slowly stir the absinthe and add more water, diluting it according to taste and the alcoholic strength of the absinthe until you end up with a ratio from 1:1 and up to 3:1.

Often referred to as the French Method, this ritual is designed to bring out the subtleties of the undiluted spirit from within its botanical essences including anise and fennel, which in turn produce the milky opalescence effect in the liquid known as the louche.

At Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen, the absinthe ritual is perfectly complemented by a selection from our mouth-watering menu.

Patrons can choose their own combination of dishes or opt for one of the indulgent Absinthe Packages. For $75, the Toulouse-Lautrec offers one glass of absinthe with two sharing plates of your choice, while the Moulin Rouge ($166) includes two glasses of absinthe with two sharing plates and two mains. Step up to a truly gourmet experience with the Edith Paif package for $210, which allows you to savour three glasses of absinthe with breads, two sharing plates and two mains.

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