Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe

As served at Sage Restaurant inside Aria

With the 2007 arrival of Lucid Absinthe Supérieure in the U.S. market, absinthe-maker T.A. Breaux and Viridian Spirits forever changed beverage history. After 95 years of prohibition, genuine absinthe (Grande Wormwood and all) was once again available in America. Since then, Breaux has been hatching his new oeuvre, the four-bottle Jade absinthe portfolio. For the first three, Breaux worked backward, Jurassic Park-style, from intact 19th-century bottles to re-create history’s absinthe formulas—one Swiss, two French. But the fourth, Nouvelle-Orléans Absinthe Supérieure, is special.

Whereas Lucid is made in accordance with traditional French methods and represents Breaux’s palate today, Nouvelle-Orléans is made in the style of pre-ban New Orleans and represents Breaux’s palate as if sent back through time. “Everything that I do is done exactly as it was done a century ago,” he says. Even his equipment is more than 130 years old. The creation of the Jade portfolio, Breaux says, is in response to the poor quality, industrial absinthe flooding the market since his Lucid breakthrough, “so that people can sample vintage absinthe and not be cheated.” Fewer than 2,000 cases of Nouvelle-Orléans are available worldwide. Thanks to an early bottle having been personally gifted to Sage general manager Tobias Peach by the maker, Las Vegas holds the distinction of being the first city to experience Nouvelle-Orléans.

A Traditional Absinthe Drip

  • 2 ounces absinthe
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Ice water (about 3 ounces)

Pour the absinthe into an absinthe glass. Lay a slotted absinthe spoon across the top of the glass and place a sugar cube on top of the spoon. Arrange the glass directly under the spigot of an absinthe fountain filled with ice water. Turn the water on in a slow, steady trickle, completely dissolving the sugar and filling the glass to the desired level of dilution. Turn off the water and stir with the spoon.