I went to a party Friday night where a friend brought a bottle of Absinthe. I've always wanted to try it, more from the romantic writers' & painters notion, than loving licorice flavor. I don't. However, it was very good which says something since I'm not a big licorice fan.
To serve, you pour a jigger and a half into a glass, place the spoon with a sugar cube over the glass and pour cold water over the top. The color changes from darker clear green to milky white pale green and smells/tastes of, but not overpoweringly, of licorice.
Absinthe was particularly popular in the 1800's with writers and artists in France but was banned in Europe and the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century becuase it was thought to be highly addictive and psychoactive, which later proved to be myth. Personally, I think the absinthe "fans" should have been taken into account on that one. Any food or beverage you feed to crazy people won't take the crazy away, it will just make the beverage take the blame.
Europe lifted the ban in 2005, followed by the U.S. in 2007.
For more info, check out Wikipedia.