When absinthe was banned in France in 1915, the major absinthe producers (then Pernod and Ricard, who have since merged as Pernod Ricard) reformulated their drink without the banned wormwood component, creating pastis, which remains popular in France today.
Pastis is normally diluted with water before drinking (generally 5 volumes of water for 1 volume of pastis). The resulting decrease in alcohol percentage causes some of the constituents to become insoluble, which changes the liqueur's appearance from dark transparent yellow to milky soft yellow. The drink is consumed cold, with ice, and is considered a refreshment for hot days. Ice cubes should be added after the water to avoid crystallization of the pastis.
Although it is consumed throughout France, especially in the summer, pastis is generally associated with southeastern France, especially with the city of Marseille, and with the clichés of the Provençal lifestyle, like pétanque.