Absinthe is a liqueur derived from wormwood with a long and storied past.

Absinthe itself is a deep green color, and is usually consumed diluted with water which has been poured over a sugar cube. Special absinthe spoons have been created for this sole purpose. The end result is a milky-colored concoction which over the years has been blamed for everything from epilepsy to insanity.

Some varieties of absinthe have an alcohol content as high as 80% (160 proof). It’s currently illegal to sell absinthe in the United States or to have it imported from abroad, but UK retailer AbsintheOnline.com is willing to ship it anywhere in the world. You’ll wind up playing “Customs Roulette,” but as an American it’s your best shot at obtaining the stuff without leaving the country.

I myself have never had the privilege of tasting absinthe, but I’m intrigued by any food or beverage that has a unique history, complicated preparation rituals, and is hard to obtain.

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