Allegedly created as an elixir in the 1790s by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire of Switzerland, absinthe became so popular in bars, bistros, cafés, and cabarets that, by the 1860s, the 5 p. m. happy hour was called l'heure verte ("the green hour"). By 1910, the French were drinking 36 million liters of absinthe per year, as compared to their annual consumption of almost 5 billion liters of wine. As a result, the winemakers association, among other groups, began a campaign of misinformation that tied consuming absinthe to claims of insanity, criminal activity and hallucinations – all designed to discourage consumption. These claims were aided by the fact that unlike Cognac, champagne, etc. , there was no law that defined absinthe – nothing to regulate the production and quality. In 1912, the U. S. Department of Agriculture banned absinthe in the United States, and it was banned in France a few years later.