Meet the “Green Fairy” at Sidedoor’s Speakeasy

Those in the know are usherered into a space where absinthe is the specialty

IMG_7666Don’t call for details. Don’t pester the hostess. Obtain the hush‑hush entry code by way of discreet interaction with the staff at SideDoor. Utter it on the allotted night to gain access to the dark, secret room above the genteel Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. Pull aside the heavy velvet curtain and taste a bygone era of bohemian delights: gypsy music, spirit‑forward cocktails, and ornate fountains dripping water over sugar cubes into delicate glasses of absinthe. The fabled “green fairy” distilled spirit from France and Switzerland, banned from sale in the U.S. from 1912 to 2007, is $11 to $19 a pour. Choose from a cache of respected brands. Alas, rumors of absinthe’s hallucinogenic properties are merely hyperbole, and the distinctive anise‑fennel flavor is an acquired taste for neophytes. A micro‑menu offers cheeses, oysters, and desserts. Lead bartender Amber Billiard oversees the sensuous monthly gatherings.

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