Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (a.k.a. 'grand wormwood'), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.
Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as 'la fée verte' (the green fairy). Although it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a liqueur, absinthe is not traditionally bottled with added sugar; it is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is traditionally bottled at a high level of alcohol by volume, but it is normally diluted with water prior to being consumed.