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ABC Radio Segment on Absinthe

Australia’s Radio National show “Blueprint for Living” has done a suitably sympathetic piece on the absinthe revival in Australia.

Presenter Michael Williams  gets an education from Ben Luz at Bar Ampere in Melbourne over the history, markers of quality and proper ways of drinking absinthe – all over a nice glass of La Clandestine.

It’s worth checking out their Absinthe aperitif list – it is quite an impressive offering worth investigating should you find yourself in the area.

You can down the episode through this link.



Posted by Jonathan on Jan 6th 2016 | Filed in Bars,Cocktails,Culture,Interviews,News | Comments (0)

Old Rye & Absinthe @ Zu Zu Mamou


High on anticipation, I ascended the stairs alongside well known cafe East Terrace Continental in Adelaide to investigate something of a pop-up bar & bistro that has made an appearance in the lead up to the Adelaide Fringe, and alas will disappear along with the merry band of carny’s upon the completion of Mad March. The distinctive logo in the stairwell confirmed I was heading in the right direction to find a worthy blender of one of the most famous absinthe cocktails.


Zu Zu Mamou has been teasing on Facebook with the promise of fine New Orleans-style Creole cooking and cocktails to match.  One of my first questions to them was whether they could make a mean Sazerac with French absinthe?  That they could was the promise, and challenge accepted I eagerly awaiting for their formal opening this week.

Upon reaching the upstairs dining room & balcony – that might I say, is a prime position to take in the sights and sounds of the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Adelaide Fringe frivolities – I was greeted by the most enchanting femme elegante hostess, Shoshannah, who upon hearing my desire for the liquid soma of the Deep South ushered me to the bar.


Zu Zu Mamou’s touring Melburnian mixologist Murphy, eager flex his fingers into the precision processes of creating this marvellous drink, left the option to take it up a notch and  suggested the Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey 100 Proof, rather than the standard workhorse of Beam Rye. I sometimes believe it is better to listen to the experts at important times such as these, and acceded to his suggestion. For this undertaking he used the La Fee Bohemian, which while not an absinthe I would choose for fountain consumption, for the important glass wash is an entirely suitable cocktail absinthe.


Making a decent Sazerac to me is almost a bit more like surgery than cocktail making – left in the hands of the inexperienced the outcome can be the equivalence of malpractice. No such fears here, as Murphy’s swirls & stirs produced a Sazerac that was worth sipping slow and contemplating. Smokey and smooth, with a perfectly pitched citrus tang and appropriately integrated bitter notes, I happily let this one drain over half an hour of good conversation.

I think this bar may be an important staging ground for my Adelaide Fringe explorations this year and will need to be revisited to immerse myself in the extensive Cajun cuisine on offer. See you on the balcony!

Posted by Jonathan on Feb 3rd 2015 | Filed in Bars,Cocktails,Reviews | Comments (0)

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