There are lots of 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 diversely. Generally in most countries it’s no longer a criminal offense to distill Absinthe or unlawful to promote it.
Absinthe is actually a herbal liquor that has an anise taste. It usually is served diluted with iced water, which then causes the famous louche effect, and was a well-known beverage during the 19th century my absinthe. It had been made illegal in several countries at the outset of the 20th century due to 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 has also been thought to be an hallucinogen.
The medical profession and prohibitionists claimed that Absinthe contained large amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC in the drug cannabis, and may cause psychedelic effects. Now that we know that Absinthe only consists of small quantities of thujone and is just as safe as any strong spirit. It may however give you a completely different type of drunkenness, if consumed excessively. The alcohol and also the unique mixture of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative plus a stimulant – very strange. Some individuals have described it as being a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.
Countries where Absinthe is legal consist of:-
United States – Absinthe was prohibited in 1912 however in 2007 a couple of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US for their minimal thujone content. The USA only allows “thujone free” beverages to be sold but Absinthes with less than 10 parts per million of thujone (less than 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.
The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 but there is a regulation concerning thujone content in drinks in the EU. Approximately 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol exceeding 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled “bitters”.
Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters could have a thujone content up to 35mg/kg along with other beverages can contain approximately 10mg/kg.
Brazil – Brazilian law enables Absinthe as high as 10mg/kg thujone and that it must have under 55% abv.
Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the individual 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 up to 10mg/kg thujone may be legally sold.
Czech Republic – Absinthe wasn’t banned within the Czech Republic.
France – France famously prohibited Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits thujone beverages to be distributed if they comply with EU laws and if they are really tagged “spiritueux Ã base de plantes d’absinthe” instead of Absinthe. France has also regulations regarding fenchone that’s seen in fennel, a vital ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also need to have low fenchone contents (as much as 5mg/liter).
Hungary – Absinthe turned legal in 2004.
Israel – Absinthe is apparently legal and on sale in Israel.
Ireland – Absinthe that contains thujone is illegal to buy and sell but could be imported for private consumption.
Netherlands – Absinthe was made legitimate in 2004 after being prohibited in 1909. Absinthe must meet EU requirements.
New Zealand – Absinthe is lawful.
Portugal – Absinthe never was suspended.
Russia – Excessive thujone Absinthes (up to 75mg/kg thujone) are available in Russia.
Serbia – Serbia does not appear to allow Absinthe made up of thujone or higher 50% abv to be distributed.
South Africa – Absinthe is legal at the time of 2005.
Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation can be sold and is marked as comprising wormwood.
Switzerland – Home to Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 right after banning it in 1908.
UK – The UK never banned Absinthe. Absinthe must conform to EU legislation.
As you have seen there are many countries where Absinthe is legal and will be enjoyed this site. You may want to build your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from AbsintheKit.com. These essences produce a true Absinthe and may be shipped worldwide. They don’t require distillation, which has already been prepared for you, and tend to be perfectly legal. Check them out.