Is a highly alcoholic anise-flavored spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of grand wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Traditionally it naturally has a green color, though it may also be colorless. It is normally diluted with cold water before drinking. The cold water will cause the drink to become cloudy.
The drink contains trace amounts of thujone. Thujone was believed to act similar to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana, and a study found thujone would cause seizures. With information like this and cases of unscrupulous makers producing absinthe with a toxin for coloring helping to fuel fears, absinthe was banned in the US and most European countries by the early 20th century. Later research though found that fears were overblown, with levels of thujone not being at the levels that could cause seizures in the drink and thujone found to not act like THC. Absinthe has in the end of the 20th century into the early 21st century has had its bans repealed in the US and many European countries, though with regulations on the amount thujone legally allowed in the drink.
In classical literature the drink is commonly referred to as "la fée verte" (the green fairy).