We'd like to go see this historic place while in NOLA. Is it still around?
Absinthe comes to America. Absinthe soon found its way to the Little Paris of North America, New Orleans. The drink, which was spelled absynthe in an 1837 New Orleans liquor advertisement, enjoyed a vogue under such brand names as Green Opal, Herbsaint, and Milky Way. (Today, one can still find a version of this made without wormwood and marketed under the name Herb Sainte.) Of all the ancient buildings in New Orleans's famed French Quarter, none has been more glorified by drunks and postcard photographers alike than a square, plaster and brick structure at the corner of Bourbon and Bienville streets. " The Old Absinthe House " with its scarred cypress bar was visited by many famous people:
The building was constructed in 1806 for the importing and commission firm of Juncadella & Font, two Catalans from Barcelona. In 1820, after Francisco Juncadella died and Pedro Font returned to his native Spain, the place continued as a commission house for the barter of foodstuffs, tobacco, clothing, and Spanish liquor. Relatives of the original owners turned it into an épicerie, then a bootshop. Finally, in 1846, the ground floor corner room became a saloon known as " Aleix's Coffee House," run by Jacinto Aleix and his brother, nephews of old Senora Juncadella. In 1899, the Aleix brothers hired Cayetano Ferrér, another Catalan, who had been a barkeeper at the French Opera House. In 1874, Cayetano himself leased the place and renamed it the " Absinthe Room " because of the numerous requests he had for the drink which he served in the French manner.Stationed along the long cypress bar were marble fountains with brass faucets which slowly dripped cool water, drop by drop, over the sugar cubes perched above the glasses. Over the years, the place became known as " The Old Absinthe House."
But on July 13, 1907, Harper´ s Weekly noted, " The growing consumption in America of absinthe, 'the green curse of France,' has attracted the attention of the Department of Agriculture, and an investigation has been ordered to determine to what extent it is being manufactuired in this country." Just five years later, on July 25, 1912, the Department of Agriculture issued Food Inspection Decision 147, which banned absinthe in America.
Phil & Liz