A drinker’s cabinet of wonder filled with unusual spirits, from the old world and new, together in one curious exhibition of extraordinary elixirs.
Allow each round to provide you with a passage to the furthest corners of the world, transported to an experience outside the categorical boundaries of time.
Seek and you shall find: hidden here are explorations of alchemy & magick, pleasure & fantasy, celebrating the point at which mystery sparks intrigue for a world unknown.
The Society’s Cocktail Bar is truly a hidden treasure of East London.
Winner of “Best Bar in all of London” – DesignMyNight Awards 2019
Absinthe Menu Shortlisted “Specialist List of the Year” – Imbibe 2020
Absinthe — there is no spirit so notoriously favoured by the rebellious minds of art & literature. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec famously meandered the brasseries & brothels of bohemian Paris carrying a hallowed cane, filled with a personal stash of the green spirit. PaulVerlaine & Arthur Rimbaud’s explosive affair, famously fuelled by a shared love for Absinthe, would eventually result in the attempted shooting of his young lover by Verlaine, twice. An Absinthe induced vision of 19th century France is forever immortalised in Vincent Van Gogh’s jarring colour juxtapositions and, most famously, in the tale of his self-mutilated ear gifted by the artist to his favourite prostitute. Pataphysics founder, Alfred Jarry, was perhaps the only Absintheur mad enough to drink his Absinthe neat, being a devout alcoholic who considered water to be a terrible poison. Even the ‘Wickedest Man in the World,’ Aleister Crowley, wrote an ode to “The Green Goddess” while observing its lucid influence upon the patrons of The Old Absinthe House in New Orleans. Pablo Picasso, Charles Baudelaire, Oscar Wilde, Émile Zola —the list of famous Absintheurs would inspire anyone to pick up a glass of this tantalising elixir, but what is this “tongue-numbing, brain-warming, idea-changing, liquid alchemy” as described by fellow Absinthe drinker Ernest Hemingway?
Collectors, drinks historians & absintheurs — Allison Crawbuck (Brooklyn) & Rhys Everett (London) opened The Absinthe Parlour & Cocktail Bar at the Society in 2016, bringing with them a shared passion for the mysterious world of Absinthe & the macabre. Together, they have curated the UK’s most extensive list of premium quality, traditional absinthes & curious cocktails to pair.
In 2019, it was voted the Best Bar in London at the 7th annual Design My Night Awards by a public vote of over 180,000 Londoners, and in 2020, their absinthe menu was shortlisted for Imbibe’s Specialist List of the Year.
Their passion for the Green Fairy has taken the duo around the world in search of the many unknowns that still remain in the alluring history of Absinthe. They host a programme of drawing salons, lectures and tastings that explore the origins and rituals of the alluring elixir.
In December 2020, Allison Crawbuck and Rhys Everett launched London’s first Absinthe distillery: Devil’s Botany located in the city’s east end.
They are also authors of Spirits of the Otherworld: A Grimoire of Occult Cocktails & Drinking Rituals, published by Prestel/RandomHouse (Sep 2021 | ISBN 9783791387147).