Artist Celebrated with Absinthe


glass of cocktails

glass of cocktails

RENO, NV--Take a step back into turn-of-the-century Paris. Nightlife was grand, absinthe was the drink, and artist Toulouse-Lautrec was its star. Through the end of the year, there's a chance to view his famous works and drink his cocktail of choice.

No one else quite captured the nightlife of 1890's Paris like Toulouse-Lautrec.

"It's a look at the cabarets, the casinos, the theaters and the circus life of the city at the time," said Amy Oppio of the Nevada Museum of Art.

His most famous works depict dancing and drinking, two things Toulouse-Lautrec was familiar with.

"He is really known for those bar scenes, he also enjoyed a drink," said Oppio.

"Toulouse pretty much drank himself to death, so we have to do it in a toned-down matter," said Justin Jensick of Chez Louie.

Throughout Midtown, four bars are paying tribute to Lautrec, mixing up absinthe-laced cocktails in his honor. He was an alcoholic. His signature drink: half absinthe, half cognac. A little strong for many of today's drinkers.

"So I kinda took that and played off of that and tried to make the same type of cocktail but a little more palatable," said Duncan Mitchell, owner of Chapel Tavern.

"They can come in, experience what the guy was about and through that. It might inspire them to go to the museum," said Mitchell.

Cocktails are really more of an American creation. Most Parisians at the time were drinking wine, but not Lautrec, he would have fit in just fine in the Midtown bar scene.

"The mid-century painters, artists, musicians, they would definitely like it down here," said Shawn Plunket, Owner of 1864 Tavern.

After all, with four unique cocktails and a little bit of history, what's not to like?

The signature drinks are currently available at 1864 Tavern, Campo, Chapel Tavern, Death and Taxes, and Chez Louie. Mixologists have put their own unique spin on each one, but they all contain absinthe.


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