Being aware of Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal to acquire, 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 most countries it is no longer a criminal offense to distill Absinthe or illegal to promote it.

Absinthe is a herbal liquor which contains an anise taste. It usually is served diluted with iced water, which causes the famous louche effect, and was a well-known beverage from the nineteenth century It was made illegal in lots of countries at the outset of the twentieth century because of concerns about the chemical thujone present in wormwood. Not only 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 believed that Absinthe contained considerable amounts of thujone which they alleged was psychoactive, like THC from the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects. Now that we know that Absinthe only contains small amounts of thujone and is equally as safe just like any strong spirit. It could however give you a completely different form of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol as well as the unique combination of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative as well as 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 banned in 1912 however in 2007 a few brands of Absinthe were approved in the US due to their minimal thujone content. The USA only permits “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 but there is a regulation relating to thujone content in drinks in the EU. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is allowed 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 and other beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg.

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

Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the independent Canadian province liquor boards to regulate thujone. Numerous provinces don’t let 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 up to 10mg/kg thujone can be legally sold.

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

France – France famously prohibited Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 allows thujone beverages to be sold if they comply with EU laws and if they’re labeled “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” and not Absinthe. France has also regulations regarding fenchone which is 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 seems to be legal and on sale in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe that contains thujone is illegal to buy and sell but can be brought in for private consumption.

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

New Zealand – Absinthe is legitimate.

Portugal – Absinthe was not ever prohibited.

Russia – Substantial thujone Absinthes (approximately 75mg/kg thujone) are available in Russia.

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

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

Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation may be sold and is labeled as comprising wormwood.

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

UK – The UK never prohibited Absinthe. Absinthe must abide by EU legislation.

As you can see there are numerous countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed next page. You may want to make your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences produce a true Absinthe and may be shipped around the world. They do not require distillation, that’s already been done for you, and are generally perfectly legal. Try them out.