Hello! I am back from a short break and this time, I am going to introduce one of my favourite bar near my campus, the Seoul National University area. The Sheep in Solitude, 혼자노는양 [read: hon-ja no-neun yang]. It is a bar with stories — Each and every time I visit the bar, I will be able to bring back information and stories about different drinks here on the menu.
One of my favourite drink here at the bar is the Dow’s Port. The one I had was a 2007 vintage Port, one of the Portugal based wine that has been awarded a perfect 100/100 score on Wine Spectator magazine. Never mind the complicated score sheet, what I really like is the amazing full-bodied texture, the beautiful aroma of ripe blackberries, the crisp hint of floral hint at the background, and the syrupy but spicy finish. A refined, polished dessert wine I will definitely stock a dozen of these back home next time when I own a house. : D
What makes this bar stands out is the Absinthe fountain set standing elegantly on the bar. I bet it is one of the very few bars in Seoul that carries such a special appliance in making a Green Fairy, a legendary aromatic drink that was so widely (and wildly) consumed since the 18th century until it was banned in most of the Europe and US.
The notorious Absinthe, or more known as the Green Fairy, was once blamed for causing psychosis, or even murder. Even so, it was also a popular drink for renowned writers and artists such as Ernest Hemingway, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso, to seek inspirations. We were excited to discover that the bar serves Absinthe, but it took us awhile to finally order one because this green colour, herbal-menthol scented liquor is known for its hallucinogenic effects.
The process of preparing an Absinthe is like preparing rites. You need an Absinthe fountain, a special spoon, a sugar cube, and a glass to make the drink. The fountain contains of ice cold water and the tap on the fountain is tailored to drip the water slowly so as the sugar and the water can mix well with the liquor down in the cup. The whole process was quite bewitching.
I’d love to video the whole process, but the decision of ordering one came so sudden that I got so excited that I forgotten about recording it down completely. However, I found a really good short clip about the process of making a Green Fairy that I find watching it particularly fascinating, and strangely, it soothes my mood!
You can check out the video above if you are interested to know how a glass of Green Fairy was made. I don’t know why but I think it was the visually appealing ritual, the myths and the fact that it was actually banned for some time before resurfacing as a cultural or hipster icon that makes it an attractive drink.
This is what you get after dripping enough water into your glass– a beautiful shade of pearly mint green in your glass. You’ll get layers of mints, pepper, sweetness from the sugar cube and the bitterness from the nutmeg on your taste palette — Not exactly my type of drink but watching the process of making the drink from an Absinthe fountain was entertaining. This combination got me a little illusional effect that night though. I would say it is the whole package: the visual, the history, the tales and the mystical, peppery and minty taste that get you hooked.
혼자노는양 Sheep in Solitude in a midsummer’s night. One of the best place near the SNU campus that I would recommend anyone who needs a drink after an eventful day.
Below are the photos taken at the same bar another time during winter. It was much quieter compared to the above picture since it was the final exam season. I was there with one of my best girlfriends and best sul-chingu (술친구 drinking buddy) in SNU 😉
Writer’s Note: One of the best bars around the area of Naksongdae/Sillim that offers you the variety, good atmosphere and non-dilluted, quality drinks. I love sitting at the bar, listening to the owners talking about the history of different liquors. The atmosphere is cosy and homey, an excellent place to wind down after a heavy artisan burger meal at 9ounce Burger just opposite the street.
혼자노는양 Sheep in Solitude *Click to Link to FB*
서울특별시 관악구 낙성대동 1625-25
1625-25, Nakseongdae-dong, Gwanak-Gu, Seoul. 151-818.
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