According to legend, we owe this elixir to “Docteur Ordinaire”, a French doctor in exile in Switzerland. In 1805, the Pernod Fils Company from Pontarlier in France began distilling the secret formula. Absinthe was the subject of much stormy, impassioned debate, and was banned in 1915 in France. Pernod “aux extraits de plantes d’absinthe” calls for a special ritual, requiring particular skills. The water and absinthe plants extract form a subtle mixture, becoming an opal color and revealing complex flavors.