An absinthe glass and spoon. Absinthe was an extremely popular alcoholic drink in the 19th century, especially in artistic circles in France. It is made from a variety of herbs and plants including wormwood and received a scandalous reputation in the Victorian period for its supposed hallucinogenic side effects. The preparation of the drink became highly ritualized as its popularity increased and involved placing a sugar cube on a decorative slotted spoon over a shot of absinthe. Traditionally ice water would then be steadily dripped onto the sugar and mix with the flavours in the absinthe to create a particular taste. Modern preparations involve setting the sugar cube alight, dropping it into the shot of absinthe then dousing the flames with water before consuming.