Monday, December 17, 2012

Absinthe - Bar Marsella

I'm always fascinated by the era of The Belle Époque, it was a period in French history between 1871 to 1914. The peace and prosperity in Paris allowed new technology and scientific discoveries and the arts to flourish.

Many masterpieces of music literature, theater and visual arts gained recognition. It is considered as a "golden age" and Absinthe was a popular aperitif  belonging to that time. A trendy herbal spirit referred to as “the green fairy” due to an opaque green color. But let’s not get into the history, how about we talk about its effect? I myself didn’t get the hallucination from the drink, maybe I did but I wasn’t sure? But there are many free-spirited Bohemian drinkers did made a strong impression, I guess we all know that painting by Degas which hanging in the Musée d'Orsay -A woman drinking absinthe with her eye glazed.  And the one by Manet? The lonely man sitting by an Absinthe as a date perharps? Oscar Wilde was saying "What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?", Ernest Hemmingway called Absinthe "Brain-warming, idea-changing liquid alchemy", how about Picasso, Van Gogh, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin...

Opened in 1820 in El Raval, Bar Marsella, probably the first bar of Barcelona ​​visited by the likes of Picasso, Gaudi and Dali, Hemmingway for an aperitif... The bar is located in a side street of La Rambla and is therefore easy to reach but don't go there expecting some lavish bar. Marsella is a run down looking, yet when you walk through the door you can see the tiled floors, tired cabinets lined with cobwebs liquor bottles, ancient mirrors and  dusty chandeliers. This bar has an antiquated, deliciously old picture mood. You feel as though you have walked back in time, transported into century Paris spectacular. The feel of chaos, as prostitutes and thieves cavort just outside the street around the corner with the mix of local bohemians, you feel as the part of the history and part of the Barcelona nightlife. 
If this licorice flavour Absinthe was the tipple of choice of talented people for inspiration, I too have to drink a few to salute them. I placed a cube of sugar on a small cocktail fork on the top of a glass of absinthe. Then slowly poured chilled water over the sugar until the green liquid dowse with water so it turns a dreamy cloudy hue. I drink it slowly and imagine that I am seducing Winona Ryder like Dracula ”Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green fairy who lives in the absinthe wants your soul. But you are safe with me”.  

When I walked out of the Bar Marsella after a few French poisons, I think to myself, I know I can never write like Hemingway and Wilde or slice my ear off but when I looked at the sky I definitely saw starry night as Van Gogh did and I am fascinated by the Belle Époque.

Address: Carrer Sant Pau 65, El Raval, Barcelona

Ernest Hemingway's champagne cocktail -Death in the Afternoon 

Pour 1 part of absinthe into a champagne glass. 
Add iced champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. 

No comments:

Post a Comment