There are a few posts on here about Absinthe, and a lot of mixed information. I know a little about it, and figured I'd put it down into a post and get things rolling. 1. Absinthe is a liquor that most resembles Pastis/Ouzo...it tastes like black licorice. It has a clear green/yellow color. When diluted with water, it turns a cloudy white. This is due to the volitile oils in the alcohol. Pastis does this too. It has a long history of association with the French impressionist movement. At one point, it was more popular than wine in parts of France. 2. Stories of its "hallucinogenic" properties are mostly exaggeration. Thujone IS a neurotixin, but analysis of antique bottles of absinthe show that even in its heyday, Absinthe didn't have all that much Thujone in it. The "effects" of absinthe can be attributed to the nature of the experience...it's a slow, contemplative drink. It's also VERY high proof alcohol. Vodka tends to be 40% (80 proof), many Absinths are between 60-70% (120/140 proof). Two or three shots are going to be plenty to get most people VERY drunk - and much faster than they are used to. If drunk slowly, while some effects may be noticeable that differ from say, a martini, they will be subtle. Absinthe does NOT make you trip. 3. Setting fire to absinthe is a trend that comes out of the Czech republic...it's a flashy bar trick that doesn't do anything other than burn off some of the alcohol. It's NOT the traditional method of preparing Absinthe. The traditional method is to slowly drip very cold water through a sugar cube that has been balanced on a slotted spoon over the liquor. Usually, the ratio is 1 part absinthe/4 parts water. 4. Modern Absinthes vary in quality. Hills, a popular brand in the UK, is generally considered to be pure crap. Most Czech brands are also considered to be a waste of money. The Czech brands often tout the level of thujone...they're trying to tap into drug-culture and common misconceptions. Sebor Strong is one brand that is guilty of this kind of promotion. French and Suisse Absinthes are generally considered to be the best quality, followed by Spanish brands. As a rule of thumb, if it's neon green, it's crap. 5. Vincent Van Gogh is often touted as a good example of how Absinthe makes you crazy. He drank absinthe, and l he cut off his EAR. Van Gogh was certainly insane, but not from drinking Absinthe. Most historians agree that his mental condition was due to LEAD POISONING, probably from lead-based oil paints. Other reports of Absinthe-related deaths can be attributed to the popularity of the drink. It's a hard drink to make, and as it got more popular, competitors and copycats would sell imitation absinthe that was colored with dangerous chemicals....heavy metals and the like.Not smart. 6. Absinthe can NOT be made by soakinng wormwood in Vodka. There is a LOT fo crap on XXX that claims to help you make Absinthe. Little tea bags of wormwood etc. Or little bottles of wormwood extract. Anyone who has tried to make Absinthe this way can attest to the foul/bitter result. (I know from experience...BLAH). Proper Absinth is distilled. It's a careful blend of herbs (not just wormwood). If it sounds too good to be true, it is. The very BEST source of information on Absinthe is the Fee Verte website. be warned, they do NOT encourage discussion of Absinthe as a "drug" to get you high. Any posts that seem to be veiled attempts to find out how to get stoned on Absinthe will be heartily chastised. They're a bit of an elitist bunch, but they know their shit. They have a great "buyer's guide" to commercially available Absinthes (a good bottle can cost anywhere from $60-100). That's all I got. For now. My personal favorite brand is the Jade Suisse Verte 65. It's also way too pricey. The Verte Fougerolles is also great.