Figuring out Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are many countries where Absinthe is legal to buy, sell and consume. Gone are the times of bootleg or clandestine Absinthe, when it needed to be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or marked in another way. In most countries it’s no longer a criminal offense to distill Absinthe or illegal to promote it.

Absinthe is actually a herbal liquor which contains an anise taste. It usually is served diluted with iced water, that can cause the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage in the nineteenth century. It had been made illegal in many countries at the beginning of the twentieth century due to concerns concerning the chemical thujone seen in wormwood. Not just was Absinthe an intoxicant, like every alcoholic beverages including wine, beer and cider, but it was also regarded as an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists claimed that Absinthe contained huge amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC in the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects Now that we know that Absinthe only contains small amounts of thujone and is just as safe as any strong spirit. It may however give you a totally different type of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol and the unique mixture of herbs combine to act as both a sedative and a stimulant – very strange. Some people have described it as a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal comprise:-

United States – Absinthe was restricted in 1912 however in 2007 a few brands of Absinthe were approved in the US due to their very low thujone content. The USA only permits “thujone free” beverages to be marketed but Absinthes with less than 10 ppm of thujone (a lot less than 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized within the EU in 1988 but there is a regulation regarding thujone content in drinks in the EU. As much as 10mg/kg of thujone is authorized in alcohol with over 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol tagged “bitters”.

Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters may have a thujone content up to 35mg/kg as well as other beverages can contain as much as 10mg/kg.

Brazil – Brazilian law allows Absinthe up to 10mg/kg thujone and that it must have under 55% abv.

Canada – From March 2007 it’s been up to the independent Canadian province liquor boards to regulate thujone. Numerous provinces don’t let any thujone containing alcohol to be distributed but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is certainly no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with as much as 10mg/kg thujone may be legally sold.

Czech Republic – Absinthe was never banned within the Czech Republic.

France – France famously suspended Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits thujone beverages to be marketed if they abide by EU laws and if they’re tagged “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” and not Absinthe check here. France has also regulations relating to fenchone that’s present in fennel, an integral ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also have to have low fenchone contents (approximately 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe turned out to be legal in 2004.

Israel – Absinthe seems to be legal and on sale in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe which contains thujone is illegal to buy and sell but can be shipped in for personal consumption.

Netherlands – Absinthe was made legal in 2004 after being restricted in 1909. Absinthe must satisfy EU requirements.

New Zealand – Absinthe is legal.

Portugal – Absinthe was never restricted.

Russia – High thujone Absinthes (up to 75mg/kg thujone) can be bought in Russia.

Serbia – Serbia does not appear to allow Absinthe that contains thujone or above 50% abv to be sold.

South Africa – Absinthe is legal as of 2005.

Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation might be sold and is labeled as formulated with wormwood.

Switzerland – Home to Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 soon after banning it in 1908.

UK – The UK never restricted Absinthe. Absinthe must adhere to EU legislation.

Essentially there are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal and will be enjoyed. You may want to make your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences make a true Absinthe and can be shipped worldwide. They don’t require distillation, which has been done for you, and are generally perfectly legal. Try them out.