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absinthe (ăbˈsĭnth), an emerald-green liqueur distilled from wormwood and other aromatics, including angelica root, sweet-flag root, star anise, and dittany, which have been macerated and steeped in alcohol. It was invented in the 1790s by a Dr. Pierre Ordinaire, a Frenchman who lived in Switzerland, and the liqueur became enormously popular, particularly in late-19th-century Paris. Genuine absinthe is 70% to 80% alcohol. Because it caused harmful neurological effects (due to the presence of thujone, a toxic chemical in wormwood), absinthe was banned in many countries; where it still is available it is no longer as toxic as it once was.
See study by J. Adams (2004).
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A green liqueur having a bitter licorice flavor and a high alcohol content.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. another name for wormwood (the plant)
2. a potent green alcoholic drink, technically a gin, originally having high wormwood content
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005