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A spirit commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the green fairy), absinthe is derived from botanicals including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (a.k.a. “grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.

In late 19th- and early 20th-century France it arose to become a popular drink particularly among Parisian artists and writers: Ernest Hemingway, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley and Alfred Jarry.

Banned in much of Europe and the United States in 1915 because of its reputation as a psychoactive drug, it has since been revived (1990) and now nearly 200 brands of absinthe are being produced. Here’s to ya! Sante!

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