Ever since I watched the characters in Moulin Rouge drink the elusive “green fairy”, I was always curious about absinthe. It’s notorious reputation came to a head when I saw a Buzzfeed video, “Americans Try Absinthe For The First Time”, which propelled my search for absinthe in Honolulu.
While a couple of places came up online, I was ultimately decided on Lewers Lounge at The Halekulani. A classy and sophisticated jazz bar, open from 7pm and with live entertainment from 8:30pm. Wanting to sip cocktails and listen to good music, we decided to make a date night of it and stopped first for dinner at Taormina Sicilian Cuisine.
Grilled Chicken with Brown Butter Sauce. THIS was excellent. Brown butter is life.
After dinner we took the short walk down the street to the beautiful Halekulani Hotel. The popular lounge was full to capacity at that time and we were put on a waiting list to get in. After about 20 minutes or so we were seated at the bar, which was perfect as this is where the absinthe setup is located.
Since we had no idea what absinthe tasted like, (or how strong it would be), we ordered one glass of that and one other mixed drink. It was prepared traditionally, which was mesmerizing to watch; the whole spectacle of it justified the $20 price tag (per drink!) in my eyes. The absinthe is poured in a glass while cold water drips onto a sugar cube, slowly dissolving into the absinthe below.
The absinthe was strong and had a robust licorice flavor, which was a issue as I hate the taste of licorice. I gingerly sipped for an hour, while taking generous sips of Jarden’s much more tasty mixed drink.
While absinthe is not my first drink choice, I’m happy to have finally tried it, especially with the amazing presentation! Lewers Lounge has a fabulous atmosphere, great service, and the live jazz was a refreshing change to our everyday music taste. We definitely want to go back and try more of their menu items. We had some delicious sorbet (no picture, sorry!), and I hear their coconut cake is to die for! If you’re looking for absinthe, a relaxing night out and guaranteed good time, head to Lewers Lounge in Waikiki!
2199 Kalia Rd.
Honolulu, HI, 96815