SOURCE: Marriott

Charlotte Hotel

December 17, 2010 11:09 ET

Absinthe Makes a Comeback at the Charlotte Marriott City Center

Charlotte Smoking Bar Offers Cocktail Revival

CHARLOTTE, NC--(Marketwire - December 17, 2010) - Cocktail aficionados looking to take advantage of the newest trend in spirits should head over to Cutter's Cigar Bar at the Charlotte Marriott City Center hotel where a new Absinthe Fountain is flowing as part of a cocktail revival. The Charlotte cigar bar's focus on "retro cocktails" makes it one of the most unique smoking and cocktail lounges in the city.

As legend has it, the spirit drink Absinthe was created in the late 1700s by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire in Switzerland as a digestive tonic and to promote appetite. This anise-flavored distilled, highly alcoholic beverage is made from wormwood and other herbs and was also called "La Fée Verte" or "The Green Fairy" because it was believed to make consumers hallucinate.

Although Absinthe had been banned in the United States and most European countries for nearly a century, a majority of the allegations regarding the dangers of the spirit were perpetuated by competitors who had ulterior motives for getting the product off the market. A revival began in the 1990s when countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale. The Absinthe blend currently on the market is completely legal and meets the US standards for content.

Today, patrons of Cutter's Cigar Bar at the Charlotte Marriott City Center downtown Charlotte hotel can participate in the very intriguing experience of the Absinthe Fountain. According to Shea Gottshall, Director of Restaurants at the hotel, a glass containing an ounce of Lucid Absinthe is placed underneath the fountain which is filled with ice cold water. A specially designed spoon holding a raw sugar cube is placed on top of the glass. The ice cold water is slowly "dropped" onto the sugar, allowing the sugar water to be released into the glass and mixed with the spirit. Once the "louche" is created and the oils in the spirit are released to create the classic green and opaque appearance, the cocktail is complete. 

"The slow process of the absinthe drink allows us to patiently anticipate and appreciate the art of building a cocktail," adds Mr. Gottshall.

The Absinthe Fountain is part of an overall cocktail revival at the Charlotte Marriott City Center hotel where local seasonal ingredients are incorporated into many cocktails including making house bitters for Cutter's Cigar Bar. Fresh farm produce such as chocolate mint, arugula, and seasonal berries are also used in cocktails at the uptown Charlotte restaurants. With the growing demand of "retro cocktails," Cutter's has reintroduced such classics as the "New" Old Fashioned, and the Sazerac, comprised of Rye Whiskey, Lucid Absinthe, Peychaud's Bitters, house-made simple syrup, and a lemon twist.

Situated in the heart of downtown Charlotte, NC, the Charlotte Marriott City Center hotel recently completed a $10 million renovation. Guests of the hotel near Charlotte Convention Center can enjoy spacious rooms with 37" LCD TVs and new Marriott signature bedding as well as completely overhauled wired and wireless Internet. The hotel's many dining and cocktail outlets include fine dining at Savannah Red Restaurant and Wine Bar, spirits and smoking at Cutter's Cigar Bar, a fun and relaxed atmosphere at Champion's Sports Bar & Restaurant, as well as the new Rooftop Garden. Other facilities include a fitness center, indoor swimming pool, and whirlpool. For additional information, visit or call 704-333-9000.

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