Time and time again my commrades and I treat Las Vegas like a high-end fraternity outing. Stock up on the Bud Light, handles of vodka, few stray bottles of Fireball whisky and an end-of-the-world-YOLO mentality. Trust me, it’s obnoxious.
But on our most recent trip to the city of sin, we decided we’d duck into the more pretty part of the town. One of our stops? An Absinthe Bar at the beautiful Sage Restaurant tucked into the Aria Resort & Hotel.
If you’ve yet to enter Aria, or the monstrous CityCenter plaza that houses it, boy are you in for a euphoric treat. The restaurant is located just beyond the bank of check-in kiosks in the lobby, and features a sleek modern look throughout — featuring larger than life portraits of contemporary art, a perfect backdrop to the amount of Absinthe we’re about to be dazed on:
There I am above, taking up the entire bar while chatting it up with one of the most down-to-earth managers that ever set foot in Vegas, our ambassador from the Czech Republic himself, Robert! Robert had tons of tales of his colorful restaurateur family and their business in the Czech region, much of which has been brought over stateside. Lucky for us on multiple counts! We had Robert’s company, along with the rest of the restaurant to ourselves. I guess coming in during an off Saturday morning will definitely do the trick:
Pictured above are just a few example of the high ceilings and big decorations throughout the space. Call me cinematic, but the grandiose environment was definitely fitting of a movie absinthe drinking scene. A closer look at the above picture will reveal the Absinthe Cart we’d soon be drunk off of.
It gets shuttled around the restaurant for all to gaze upon, order from, and experience:
The Absinthe Bar in all its glory. Our two dignitaries, Robert and Aaron, put on their P.H.D. hats and laid down the real knowledge of the history of Absinthe and how to correctly serve it… and trust me, this isn’t True Life on MTV, you really have no idea:
There’s essentially three different methods of preparing your Absinthe concoctions, all of which varies with what type of Absinthe your are drinking. The first of which is the “Drip” method, as pictured above, you slowly drip cold water onto a sugar cube that will melt into your glass. Why the drip you ask? The slow drip over the cube brings out the essential oils and herbs (green anise) that’ll bring a different delivery to your pallet. The brands of Absinthe we used for this method were Pernod & Obsello.
The second method is simply on the rocks with some cold Fuji Water, or any chilled bottled water for that matter. This technique was paired with the St. Georges Absinthe, a 120 proof bottle with no artificial coloring, which is why it has a white milky hue after stirring water into it:
The third and final method is the Fire & Ice Technique, and you guessed it! It involves fire and ice! This isn’t you’r typical “light the alcohol on fire and drink” method that you may be familiar with, it’s truly an art:
Our bartender let us in on a secret, you are actually suppose to inhale the fumes out of the burning absinthe cup after pouring over ice (similar to inhaling hooka smoke and holding it in your lungs) followed by a generous swig of the Leopold Absinthe. The combination of inhaling the absinthe vapor and drinking the absinthe itself made us feel right at home! Two sips in and I was sufficiently toasty.
No big deal, just a waterfall of flaming absinthe! No wonder this is their best seller:
An empty stomach is no way to stay alive during a Vegas long-haul. We tried to sober up with some of their delicious and refreshing Yellow Tail Sashimi & Oysters Dishes, take a look:
Whether you’re trying to swoon your better half up with a nice dinner, or going all out like we did and getting a flaming absinthe glass to start off the night in Vegas, there is definitely no excuse for not stopping by and treating yourself to a real Absinthe drink at Sage! Stay Hungry:
Sage Restaurant (ARIA Resort & Casino)
3730 Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV