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Knowing In What Countries is Absinthe Legal?


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Absinthe was prohibited in many countries around the globe during the early 1900s due to worries about its safety. Absinthe is a strong liquor having an anise taste that’s served diluted with water to cause the drink to absinthe thujone louche.

Among the important ingredients of Absinthe will be the herb wormwood that contains a substance called thujone. Thujone was believed to be much like THC in the drug cannabis and to be psychoactive. The medical career and prohibitionists in 19th century France were certain that Absinthe was greater than an intoxicant, it was a hazardous drug completely unlike other alcohol-based drinks. The government listened to these claims and were worried about growing excessive drinking in France so they restricted Absinthe in 1915. It started to be a crime to buy or sell Absinthe, you could get into issues with the police if you distilled it illegally.

Studies have since shown Absinthe for being perfectly safe, as safe as any strong alcohol. Absinthe only contains small amounts of thujone and definitely not enough to result in any harmful effects. It is possible to get drunk on Absinthe though and, because Absinthe is made up of herbs of both a sedative and stimulant nature, it’s actually a totally different drunkenness!

Absinthe was legalized in many countries within the 1980s onwards according to its thujone content. Bottles of Absinthe are available online or even in liquor shops or make your own from top-quality essences similar to those from AbsintheKit.com.

In what countries is Absinthe legal right now?

United States – Some brands of Absinthe were approved for selling in the US in 2007 after being banned since 1912. Brands like “Lucid” have become legal because of their low thujone content. The USA law allows “thujone free” beverages to be sold but due to US test procedures, Absinthes with fewer than 10 parts per million of thujone (less than 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was banned in several European countries in the early 1900s but was legalized within the EU in 1988. There is a regulation regarding thujone content in drinks while in the EU. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is allowed in alcohol with over 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.

Australia – Bitters could have a thujone content of approximately 35mg/kg and various beverages can contain as much as 10mg/kg. Absinthe is legal on sale in the event it complies with the law.

Brazil – Brazilian law declares that Absinthe needs to have below 55% alcohol by volume and contain 10mg/kg of thujone or less.

Canada – The Canadian provinces have their particular liquor boards to create laws concerning alcohol. Many provinces never allow any thujone containing alcohol to be sold but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with approximately 10mg/kg thujone can be legally sold and there are no limits concerning thujone in British Columbia.

Czech Republic – Absinthe is usually a Czech tradition and it has never been prohibited in the Czech Republic.

France – La Fee Verte or The Green Fairy (Absinthe) was famously restricted in 1915. Since 1988 Absinthe has become legal in France provided that it’s not labeled Absinthe but is branded “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe”. France additionally regulates the chemical fenchone that is seen in fennel so beverages must comprise 5mg/liter or a smaller amount of fenchone. Many distillers make low fenchone Absinthes particularly for the French market.

Hungary – In 2004 Hungarian law made Absinthe legal.

Israel – Absinthe can be sold in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe could be shipped into the country for private utilization but Absinthe made up of thujone is often illegal.

Netherlands – In 2004 Absinthe was made legal so long as it complies with the EU legislation.

New Zealand – Absinthe is legal in New Zealand.

Poland – Absinthe appears to be illegal in Poland.

Portugal – Like Spain, Absinthe was never restricted in Portugal.

Russia – Russia allows Absinthe to be traded, even high thujone Absinthe as much as 75mg/kg thujone.

Serbia – Serbia would not allow Absinthe above 50% abv or that contains thujone to be sold.

South Africa – In 2005 Absinthe was made authorized.

Spain – Absinthe was never banned in Spain where it is known as Absenta.

Sweden – Sweden allows Absinthe complying with EU legislation to be marketed provided that it is labeled as containing wormwood.

Switzerland – Absinthe was finally legalized in 2005 in Switzerland, above 90 years after it was restricted.

Turkey – Thujone containing Absinthe is against the law.

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

So, the answer to the question “In what countries is Absinthe legal?” is that it has become legal in most countries where it was formerly popular.