Absinthe has lost much of the bad-boy image it earned in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the beverage of choice for bohemians from Baudelaire to Oscar Wilde. But the theater of preparing this beverage remains unchanged, and Eleven is the local venue of choice.

Absinthe has lost much of the bad-boy image it earned in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the beverage of choice for bohemians from Baudelaire to Oscar Wilde. But the theater of preparing this beverage remains unchanged, and Eleven is the local venue of choice.

Tuck yourself into a cozy chair at the end of the bar and watch as your bartender performs the absinthe ritual called louching.

Straight absinthe is poured into a glass, which is topped with a slotted spoon and a sugar cube set aflame. When the fire dies off, ice water drips from an absinthe fountain over the sugar cube. Moments later, the drink turns a soft, opaque chartreuse. Get ready for a punch of sweet anise and fennel flavor. Sipping is recommended for this liquor, which does not fall short on alcohol content.