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 had to be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or branded diversely. Generally in most countries it's no longer an offense to distill Absinthe or illegal to promote it.

Absinthe is actually a herbal liquor that has an anise taste. It's usually served diluted with iced water, which then causes the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage during the nineteenth century. It was made illegal in several countries at the outset of the twentieth century as a result of concerns concerning the chemical thujone present in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like every alcohol based drinks including wine, beer and cider, but it has also been considered to be an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists stated that Absinthe contained huge amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC from the drug cannabis, and may cause psychedelic effects seltzer beverage. Now that we know that Absinthe only is made up of small amounts of thujone and is also equally as safe as any strong spirit. It may however provide you with a completely different kind of drunkenness, if consumed in too much. The alcohol and also the unique blend of herbs combine to act as both a sedative plus a stimulant - very strange. Many people have described it as a "lucid" or "clear headed" drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal include:-

United States - Absinthe was prohibited in 1912 however in 2007 a number of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US because of their very low thujone content. The USA only allows "thujone free" beverages to be marketed but Absinthes with lower than 10 ppm of thujone (below 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

The EU (European Union) - Absinthe was legalized within the EU in 1988 however, there is a regulation concerning thujone content in drinks in the EU. As much as 10mg/kg of thujone is allowed in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol tagged "bitters".

Australia - Absinthe is legal. Bitters could have a thujone content up to 35mg/kg as well as other beverages can contain approximately 10mg/kg.

Brazil - Brazilian law allows Absinthe as high as 10mg/kg thujone and that it must have below 55% abv.

Canada - From March 2007 it's been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to modify thujone. A lot of provinces do not allow any thujone containing alcohol to be sold 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 can be legally sold.

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

France - France famously banned Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 enables thujone beverages to be distributed if they comply with EU laws and if they are tagged "spiritueux à base de plantes d'absinthe" and not Absinthe click this link. France has regulations regarding fenchone that's present in fennel, a key ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages must also have low fenchone contents (approximately 5mg/liter).

Hungary - Absinthe turned legal in 2004.

Israel - Absinthe seems to be legal and also 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 legitimate in 2004 after being suspended in 1909. Absinthe must fulfill EU requirements.

New Zealand - Absinthe is authorized.

Portugal - Absinthe was not ever prohibited.

Russia - Excessive thujone Absinthes (up to 75mg/kg thujone) can be found in Russia.

Serbia - Serbia does not seem to allow Absinthe containing thujone or higher 50% abv to be distributed.

South Africa - Absinthe is legitimate since 2005.

Sweden - Absinthe complying with EU legislation might be sold and is marked as comprising wormwood.

Switzerland - The house of Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 right after banning it in 1908.

UK - The UK never banned Absinthe. Absinthe must conform to EU legislation.

Essentially there are numerous countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed. You might want to create your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences come up with a true Absinthe and may be shipped worldwide. They don't require distillation, which has been accomplished for you, and are generally perfectly legal. Try them out.