For years, absinthe was considered far more dangerous than most liquors. In fact, it was banned in both the United States and the EU for nearly a century due to its alleged hallucinogenic qualities. But in fact, it appears that the absinthe itself—the distilled spirit of wormwood—was not responsible for the problems faced by early drinkers. No, the blame would fall to adulterants in either the cheaper forms of the drink or in the mixers.
Today, absinthe can still be dangerous. Especially when mixed with stupidity. Or fire. Or both. A lesson a Russian bartender and patron learned to their combined shock and horror.