Knowing Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are many countries where Absinthe is legal to obtain, 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 labeled in another way. In many countries it's no longer an offense to distill Absinthe or illegal to sell it.

Absinthe is actually a herbal liquor which contains an anise taste. It is usually served diluted with iced water, which then causes the famous louche effect, and was a well-liked beverage from the 19th century. It had been made illegal in lots of countries at the beginning of the twentieth century as a result of concerns about the chemical thujone seen in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like every 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 considerable amounts of thujone which they alleged was psychoactive, like THC from the drug cannabis, and might cause psychedelic effects. We now know that Absinthe only is made up of small amounts of thujone and is equally as safe just like any strong spirit. It could however offer you a very different type of drunkenness, if consumed excessively. The alcohol as well as the unique combination of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative plus a stimulant - very strange. Many people have described it as being a "lucid" or "clear headed" drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal comprise:-

United States - Absinthe was banned in 1912 however in 2007 a number of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US for their minimal thujone content. The USA only allows "thujone free" beverages to be marketed but Absinthes with fewer than 10 ppm of thujone (a lot less than 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 authorized in alcohol with over 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol marked "bitters".

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

Brazil - Brazilian law allows Absinthe of up to 10mg/kg thujone and that it ought to have less than 55% abv.

Canada - From March 2007 it has been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to regulate thujone. Many provinces do not allow any thujone containing alcohol to be marketed 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 was not ever suspended in the Czech Republic.

France - France famously banned Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits thujone beverages to be marketed if they adhere to EU laws and if they are labeled "spiritueux à base de plantes d'absinthe" instead of Absinthe. France has regulations concerning fenchone that's seen in fennel, a vital ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages must also have low fenchone contents (up to 5mg/liter).

Hungary - Absinthe became legal in 2004.

Israel - Absinthe appears to be legal as well as on sale in Israel.

Ireland - Absinthe which contains thujone is prohibited to buy and sell but could be shipped in for personal consumption.

Netherlands - Absinthe was made legitimate in 2004 after being banned in 1909. Absinthe must fulfill EU requirements.

New Zealand - Absinthe is legal.

Portugal - Absinthe was not ever prohibited.

Russia - Excessive thujone Absinthes (approximately 75mg/kg thujone) are available in Russia.

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

South Africa - Absinthe is legitimate since 2005.

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

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

UK - The UK never banished Absinthe. Absinthe must adhere to EU legislation.

As you have seen there are many countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed. You may want to create your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences produce a true Absinthe and might be shipped worldwide. They just don't require distillation, that's been prepared for you, and tend to be perfectly legal. Have a look.