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100+ Top Bars: Absinthe Specialists

It's not the "green fairy" favored by turn-of-the-20th-century artists and writers before absinthe was banned in the U.S. in 1912, but today's absinthe drinks (sans the psychoactive component thujone) pack a high-octane punch, varying from 90 to 148 

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Bar Uncommon
The bar is modern and upscale, but with a funky edge, and the cocktails follow suit. The bartenders are craft cocktail experts and put a fresh spin on New Orleans' classic drinks, as well as offering original concoctions. Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel, 817 Common St., (504) 525-1111;, @baruncommon

Carousel Bar
The city's only revolving bar is a common stop for celebrities and tourists looking for classic cocktails and an upscale atmosphere. Lucid and Vieux Pontalier absinthes are served as cordials, in a London Fairy martini, a Pierre's Sazerac, and with Champagne in a Death in the Afternoon. Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., (504) 523-3341;, @hotelmonteleone

Known primarily as a restaurant, there's a separate bar at Herbsaint, where bartenders craft specialty cocktails. The bar uses Kubler Absinthe, Absinthe Ordinaire, Legendre Herbsaint and Pernod for drinks including a Champagne cocktail and a traditional version of absinthe prepared with a slotted spoon, sugar cube and cold-water drip. No flaming cubes here. 701 St. Charles Ave., (504) 524-4114;, @Herbsaintdining

Pirate's Alley Cafe
You can get an absinthe made with a flaming sugar cube and sample several different versions. Its location off Jackson Square, bar employees who stick to the bar's pirate theme, classic cocktails and outdoor seating make it a popular spot. Cash only. 622 Pirates Alley, (504) 524-9332;

Old Absinthe House
It's been the quintessential spot for absinthe (now made with Herbsaint produced in New Orleans) since mixologist Cayetano Ferrer created the Old Absinthe House Frappe in 1874. It also serves the reputed hangover cure, absinthe Suissesse, as well as classic New Orleans cocktails — and spiced popcorn. 240 Bourbon St., (504) 523-3181;

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