Absinthe is a storied spirit, traveling a winding road over more than 200 years that started with it as a patent medicine. It grew to a widely popular drink with cultural influence, being driven underground by being falsely associated with violent crime and mental illness, and finally being largely decriminalized by 2011.
History aside, absinthe isn’t for everyone. The anise flavor is strong with this spirit. So much so that I’ve seen cocktail recipes calling for naught but a rinse of the glass. Further, it packs a wallop. Distilled absinthe is typically between 45% and 74% ABV, though some modern cold-mixed varieties can reach 89.9% ABV.