Jean Mardet's unique passion -- absinthe -- possessed him one long-ago winter in the cellars of a snowbound fortress in France. Over the years he ... Show synopsis Jean Mardet's unique passion -- absinthe -- possessed him one long-ago winter in the cellars of a snowbound fortress in France. Over the years he became a master distiller, abandoning his wife and children, traveling the world, but eventually returning to Provence where he magically distilled gentian and wormwood in the seclusion of the hills. Absinthe is the story of Jean Mardet. In his house, the uppermost house in the village, a house noted on no official register, in his cellars, among his alembics, his flagons, Jean -- priest, magician, sage -- celebrates his curious mass, surrounded by his flock, distributing his wonderful and bitter drink. And to a young boy in the village, Jean seems a wizard, and something more -- revealing to the young boy the mysteries of absinthe and mesmerizing the youth with the fabulous stories and emotions that the drink inspires. Until 17 March 1915, the day absinthe is outlawed in his country and Jean disappears, taking with him the secrets of his art and of his past. But a boy of nine has discovered the astonishing powers of absinthe, the green enchantress: he has daydreamed amid the chaos of the stills and has learned well at the hand of the old distiller. And in the mysteries of the green liqueur has discovered his own past and his own future.