Oscar Wilde scandalized England with it. Bjork sparked a craze in Iceland with it. And in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! Kylie Minogue embodied it, sprinkling Paris with green fairy dust. The United States, of course, banned it! All that for an emerald-green anise-flavored liqueur distilled with oil of wormwood (with an alcohol level up to 75% by volume). If you really want to experience the Tinkerbell-like effects of this traditional "muse of artists," read Jad Adams's book, Hideous Absinthe: A History of the Devil in a Bottle (University of Wisconsin Press, $24.95), then pour yourself into a bona fide absinthe bar: Try Literarni Kavarna (Salmovska 16) in Prague, Bar Marsella (Carrer de Sant Pau 65) in Barcelona, or the oh-so-queer Angels Cafe Bar (131 Hurst St.) in Birmingham, England. Have them serve it in the traditional manner, poured over a sugar cube on a slotted spoon into a glass of water. The green liqueur will turn milky white. What a trip--before you've even had a sip!