A new tavern opened over the weekend in Los Angeles that is attracting the attention of the national Steampunk community, the Villains Tavern.
The Tavern is a restored building and uses many upcycled and recycled structures and itemage to achieve its distinctly Steampunk look. Reviews are starting to pour in and so far they all remark favorably upon the Tavern’s drinks and decor. Personally, I hope that they embrace their Steampunk roots and welcome the local Steampunk community. I didn’t see any Steampunks in attendance in the photos of this article, but hopefully this will change as word of the taven’s opening spreads.
Unfortunately, the Villains Tavern website is not yet up, but you can find the link here to save for a later date when the site goes live. I will definitely be passing it on to a friend of mine that lives out in LA so that he can give me a full and first hand scoop on the new establishment.
When I was writing the post for my sortie to celebrate all things Tesla last week, I discovered a troubling lack of cocktails with a particular Steampunk flair. Indeed, digging up some Tesla inspired drinks was quite the challenge, though I am quite pleased with the end result.
The lack of Steampunk themed cocktails got me wondering what it was that Steampunks drink at a party. Sure there are givens like wines, beers, rum, absinthe and tea, but what else? That can’t be the end of the beverage list. We need something a bit more.
To that end, I would like to bring your attention to a webpage called The Well Stocked Steampunk Bar. This page, which began as a thread on Brass Goggles and was expounded upon by the Steampunk community there, has a plethora of drinks suitable for your next Steampunk get together. It is especially helpful because it is broken down in to three categories to guide one’s purchasing to fit the hosted event:
- Critical items, without which you should be be hesitant to entertain
- Secondary items, that are a plus.
- Premium items, that are wonderful but expensive and/or difficult to come by and may be best for small gatherings of intimate friends.
As noted in the page, the categorization of different beers, wines, and spirits has a distinctly North American slant, so those in different parts of the world will likely differ in the classification of certain drinks.
There is probably no other drink which so captures the spirit and culture of Steampunk as Absinthe. Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit made from wormwood that rose to the height of its popularity during the the 18th and 19th centuries. The drink itself has an infamous reputation which included accusations that it was poisonous and was a purported hallucinogenic. Many well-known artists drank absinthe and said their interactions with “The Green Fairy” inspired their works. Absinthe was outlawed in the US in 1912.
The Absinthe Drinker by Viktor Oliva (1861–1928)
Absinthe experienced a revival in the 1990’s in Europe, and in 2007, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau relaxed the ban of absinthe to allow the production and import thujone-free absinthe, defined as absinthe with less than 10ppm thujone. Today, there are at least 50 brands of absinthe being sold in the United States.
Today’s absinthe is enjoyed by thousands, many of them being Steampunks as well. The Wormwood Society is a nonprofit and online community dedicated to informing the public about absinthe, debunking absinthe’s many myths, and advocating for the reform of laws affecting absinthe. If you are interested in learning more about absinthe, it’s amazing history, how to serve it, or simply share a forum with other absinthe aficionados, The Wormwood Society is an excellent place to start. They have some great resources there that truly should not be missed. You can even find recommendations for quality absinthe and all the accoutrements needed to prepare the perfect glass of absinthe in their online store.
If you are planning a Steampunk party or get-together and looking for the perfect beverage to serve, absinthe is a natural and provocative choice.