Absinthe Salon, Sydney


87 Albion St, Surry Hills
02 9211 6632

Social drinkers, gift hunters, and people who simply like new and quirky ideas are being delighted by the world’s very first Absinthesalon which opened this week in a beautifully refurbished terrace at 87 Albion St, Surry Hills. From the street it appears to be a rather unusual gift shop with absinthe fountains and spoons, even chocolates and absinthe-infused candles for sale, but entering into the inner sanctum where Australia’s largest range of genuine absinthe is served, is like stepping in to another place and time – Paris in the early 1800s.

Taking advantage of Sydney’s new Small Bar licensing laws, absintheurs Gaye Valttila and Joop Van Heusden have created a venue that is sure to become a destination for those wanting something more than a little different.   “Absinthe is all about style, creativity, decadence, and relaxed social intercourse” explains Valttila.  “Its long history is full of mystique, controversy and mis-information with exaggerated claims of mind-altering properties” she explains.  One well known fact is that the bars of Paris were full of the social elite of the time enjoying the Green Fairy especially in the twilight hours that became known as The Green Hour in respect to the savored tipple.  The whole experience can be lived again in our own Surry Hills.

As he sets a superbly ornate absinthe fountain on the table with its four small taps positioned over sugar-cubes resting on top of glasses each containing a different variety of absinthe, Van Heusden explains:  “We deliver the true absinthe experience, of which the pouring and drinking ritual is an important part”.  As cool water drips slowly dissolving the sugar into the glass he continues.  “You can see the absinthe turning cloudy, this is called the louche effect which awakens the Green Fairy so she is ready to drink.  You can add more or less water depending on how you like it”.  Sure enough the absinthe tastes as special as the setting in which it is served.  Both encourage relaxed conversation and some time to unwind.


Whether a seasoned absintheur or a complete novice to the enticing Green Fairy, Joop and Gaye will find an absinthe that is sure to delight you.  And whilst you wait for the absinthe to louche enjoy the freshly made petite four or indulge in a delicious absinthe-filled chocolate.  Open from 4pm to 10pm Tuesday to Sunday this is truly a unique way to enjoy a social evening.  With seating limited to 30 people it is best to book especially on Friday and Saturdays, so phone 9211,6632.



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