Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic beverage 45–74% ABV. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium ("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). It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a liqueur, but it is not traditionally bottled with added sugar and 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.