(File photo) Aa glass of absinthe.

London - What’s this? Can St Jamie of Oliver really be advocating a bottle of absinthe to make your Christmas party swing?

In the December issue of the Jamie magazine an article extols the joys of the super-strong tipple, which is still banned in many countries for its supposed tendency to induce psychotic episodes.

The wholesome father of four, patron of healthy eating and all round good egg, has given the rubber stamp to the addictive green-tinged spirit, known as the Green Fairy (La Fee Verte), which gets its potent flavour from a combination of star anise, fennel, wormwood, angelica, juniper and coriander.

Absinthe originated in Switzerland in the 18th century and proved popular in France among Parisian artists and writers such as Vincent van Gogh, who supposedly cut off his own ear while under its influence.

It was banned in America and much of Europe in the early 20th century, but its popularity soared in the 1990s when EU laws were relaxed.

For a festive tipple, the Jamie magazine recommends mixing one part absinthe to at least five parts chilled water, with a spoonful of sugar. Who’d have thought absinthe could ever get the ‘pukka’ seal of approval? - Daily Mail