A wine flavoured and fortified with spices and herbs, whose name is derived from the wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Incidentally, this is also used for the famous spirit absinthe with its characteristic green colour. The main ingredient of the plant is the essential oil thujone, which causes the typical bitter taste. Wines flavoured with herbs, roots, barks, blossoms and various sweeteners were already produced in ancient China, Mesopotamia and ancient Rome. The Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) was aware of the digestive properties and healing power of the drink and experimented with it against jaundice and tetanus. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23-79) praised a spiced wine called "hypocras". The Romans called spiced wine "aperitivum" because of its appetising effect.
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