Being aware of Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are many countries where Absinthe is legal to purchase, 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 is no longer a crime to distill Absinthe or illegal to market it.

Absinthe is a herbal liquor which has an anise taste. It is usually served diluted with iced water, which then causes the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage in the 19th century. It had been made illegal in several countries at the outset of the twentieth century due to concerns concerning the chemical thujone found in wormwood. Not just was Absinthe an intoxicant, like several alcoholic beverages including wine, beer and cider, but it was also thought to be an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists believed that Absinthe contained huge amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC in the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects Now that we know that Absinthe only is made up of small amounts of thujone and is equally as safe as any strong spirit. It could however give you a totally different kind of drunkenness, if consumed excessively. The alcohol and the unique mixture of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative and a stimulant – very strange. Some people have described it as being a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal consist of:-

United States – Absinthe was forbidden in 1912 but in 2007 a number of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US for their very low thujone content. The USA only allows “thujone free” beverages to be distributed but Absinthes with lower than 10 parts per million of thujone (less than 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. As much as 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 may 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 lower than 55% abv.

Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the independent Canadian province liquor boards to modify thujone. Many 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 prohibited within the Czech Republic.

France – France famously suspended Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 enables thujone beverages to be marketed if they comply with EU laws and if they are labeled “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” instead of Absinthe additional info. France has also regulations regarding fenchone that’s present 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 appears to be legal as well as on sale in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe containing thujone is illegal to buy and sell but can be shipped in for private consumption.

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

New Zealand – Absinthe is lawful.

Portugal – Absinthe never was suspended.

Russia – Substantial thujone Absinthes (approximately 75mg/kg thujone) can be bought in Russia.

Serbia – Serbia doesn’t seem to allow Absinthe containing thujone or over 50% abv to be sold.

South Africa – Absinthe is authorized by 2005.

Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation could be sold and is labeled as containing wormwood.

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

UK – The UK never banned Absinthe. Absinthe must comply with EU legislation.

As you can see there are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal and will 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 around the world. They do not require distillation, that has been done for you, and tend to be perfectly legal. Check them out.