The exact origin of absinthe is unknown, but this strong alcoholic liqueur was probably first commercially produced around 1797. It takes its name from one of its ingredients, Artemisia absinthium, which is the botanical name for the bitter herb known as wormwood.
Green in color due to the presence of chlorophyll, it became an immensely popular drink in France by the 1850s. Said to induce creativity, produce hallucinations, and act as an aphrodisiac, the bohemian lifestyle quickly embraced it, and absinthe soon became known as la fee verte (the green fairy). But in July 1912, the Department of Agriculture banned absinthe in America for its "harmful neurological effects," and France followed in 1915. Although absinthe is now legal in many jurisdictions, it's still banned in some places around the world.