Absinthe was a very popular drink during the 1800's, and especially during the impressionistic art movement. It was said that the wormwood in the drink would cause the consumer to hallucinate, and because of this, it was nicknamed "la fée verte" or The Green Fairy in French. These days studies have shown that wormwood doesn't really cause hallucinations, and that they were probably caused by poisonous adulterants in cheaper versions of the drink. It was banned in the USA for a time, but in 2007 it was approved to be sold under certain regulations.
Warning: If you don't like licorice, don't drink this, because that's what it tastes like! Also, Don't drink if your under 21, or if you happen to be in another country where the drinking age is lower, go ahead.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
A Pontarlier glass ( I have included a picture above. I don't have one, so I just used a wine glass, but pontarlier glasses were used traditionally)
Absinthe (of course)
Ice cold spring water
Absinthe spoon (they usually come with the absinthe, but if not... I dunno. Try a fork, maybe...)
A shot glass for measuring
A lighter or matches
Ice cubes (optional)
Step 2: Measure Out Your Absinthe
then pour it into your glass.
Step 3: Dip the Sugar Cube Into the Absinthe
then place the spoon over the glass and set the cube over the holes in the spoon (or the tongs on your fork).
Step 4: LIGHT THE CUBE ON FIRE!!!!
Using your trusty lighter (or matches), light the sugar cube on fire. Then slowly trickle the cold water over the cube until it dissolves. It helps if you let it burn for a bit because then it will dissolve more readily.
Step 5: Stir the Absinthe
As you may have noticed, the drink has turned from a clear emerald, to a light cloudy green. You may add some ice cubes, but that's not how it originally would've been drunk, and absinthe connoisseurs will turn up their noses at you.
Step 6: Time to Go Enjoy Some Impressionist Art
Drink your absinthe and ponder life while viewing impressionist art. Maybe you can break out the old paint set, and make some art of your own. You can paint haystacks or lily pads. Just, don't cut your ear off, please.
Also, here is a link to the The Infernal Galop from Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld if you want to listen to that to set the mood while you make the drink. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLBWx_2y4R4