Wormwood, absinthe or mugwort is an aromatic plant with a scent of camphor used to flavour vermouth. It is also the name given to the potent drink, 68% alcohol, of the same name. Another species is used to flavour the liqueur génépi.
Leaves of some varieties are used as a fresh condiment to flavour fatty meats such as pork and eel, and may be used in marinades, mainly in Germany, the Balkans and Italy.
Absinthe the drink is an unsweetened light green liqueur flavoured with wormwood balm, mint, hyssop and fennel and with a pronounced flavour of liquorice. It is usually diluted with water, in the same way as Pernod or ouzo. This changes the drink from clear green to milky white. It was first produced by HL Pernod in 1797. However, it has been banned in France since 16 March 1915 because of the damage caused to those who drank it. Pernod subsequently occupied the niche vacated by absinthe with its eponymous drink. Absinthe is now only rarely available. For instance, Christies auctioned a bottle in 1988.