Being aware of Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal to obtain, 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 branded diversely. In many countries it’s no longer a crime to distill Absinthe or illegal to market it.

Absinthe is actually a herbal liquor which has an anise taste. It’s usually served diluted with iced water, which causes the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage from the nineteenth century. It had been made illegal in many countries at the beginning of the 20th century because of concerns concerning the chemical thujone found in wormwood. Not merely was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcohol based drinks 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 from the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects. We now know that Absinthe only is made up of small quantities of absinthelegal thujone and is just as safe as any strong spirit. It could however offer you a totally different form of drunkenness, if consumed excessively. The alcohol and also the unique mixture of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative as well as a stimulant – very strange. Some people have described it as a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal consist of:-

United States – Absinthe was prohibited in 1912 nevertheless in 2007 a number of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US for their very low thujone content. The USA only allows “thujone free” beverages to be sold but Absinthes with less than 10 ppm of thujone (below 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 however, there is a regulation regarding thujone content in drinks in the EU. Approximately 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled “bitters”.

Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters may have a thujone content of up to 35mg/kg along with other beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg.

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

Canada – From March 2007 it’s been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to control thujone. A lot of provinces do not allow any thujone containing alcohol to be sold but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there’s no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with as much as 10mg/kg thujone will be legally sold.

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

France – France notoriously banned Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits thujone beverages to be distributed if they adhere to EU laws and if they are really labeled “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” and not Absinthe. France also has regulations concerning fenchone which is seen in fennel, an integral ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also need to have low fenchone contents (up to 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe turned legal in 2004.

Israel – Absinthe is apparently legal and also on sale in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe which contains thujone is unlawful to buy and sell but could be shipped in for private consumption.

Netherlands – Absinthe was made legal in 2004 after being suspended in 1909. Absinthe must meet EU requirements.

New Zealand – Absinthe is authorized.

Portugal – Absinthe never was suspended.

Russia – High thujone Absinthes (approximately 75mg/kg thujone) can be found in Russia.

Serbia – Serbia does not appear to allow Absinthe containing thujone or above 50% abv to be distributed.

South Africa – Absinthe is authorized at the time of 2005.

Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation can be sold and is tagged as formulated with wormwood.

Switzerland – The home of Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 right after banning it in 1908.

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

As you can see there are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed. You might like to build your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences make a true Absinthe and may be shipped globally. They just don’t require distillation, that has been prepared for you, and tend to be perfectly legal. Have a look.