In the early 1800s, French soldiers conquering and colonizing Algeria were given daily rations of absinthe because military leaders thought it would help their men combat malaria.
When those soldiers returned home, they started demanding the drink at their local watering holes in France. Its rise to popularity was swift, but so was its fall. The spirit rich in herbs such as fennel, anise and wormwood has had a tumultuous history in the annals of public perception.
In the early 1900s it was banned in much of Europe and the United States after dubious links to violent crimes became highly publicized. Much of Europe realized the error and lifted the ban decades ago, and in 2007 the U.S. followed suit.