There are several countries where Absinthe is legal to buy, sell and consume. Gone are the times of bootleg or clandestine Absinthe, when it must be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or labeled in another way. Generally in most countries it is no longer an offense to distill Absinthe or unlawful to sell it.
Absinthe is a herbal liquor which contains an anise taste. It usually is served diluted with iced water, that can cause the famous louche effect, and was a well-known beverage from the nineteenth century https://myabsinthe.com. It had been made illegal in many countries at the start of the 20th century as a result of concerns about the chemical thujone found in wormwood. Not just was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcohol based drinks including wine, beer and cider, but it has also been regarded as an hallucinogen.
The medical profession and prohibitionists stated that Absinthe contained large 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 consists of small amounts of thujone and is just as safe just like any strong spirit. It could however offer you a totally different kind of drunkenness, if consumed excessively. The alcohol and the unique combination of herbs combine to act as both a sedative and a stimulant – very strange. Some 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 couple of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US because of their minimal thujone content. The USA only permits “thujone free” beverages to be sold but Absinthes with fewer than 10 parts per million of thujone (below 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.
The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized within the EU in 1988 but there’s a regulation concerning thujone content in drinks in the EU. As much as 10mg/kg of thujone is authorized in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled “bitters”.
Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters can have a thujone content of up to 35mg/kg as well as other beverages can contain as much as 10mg/kg.
Brazil – Brazilian law permits Absinthe of up to 10mg/kg thujone and that it should have under 55% abv.
Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to control thujone. Numerous provinces do not allow any thujone containing alcohol to be sold but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there’s no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg thujone could be legally sold.
Czech Republic – Absinthe was never prohibited in the Czech Republic.
France – France famously prohibited Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 allows thujone beverages to be distributed if they comply with EU laws and if they are really labeled “spiritueux Ã base de plantes d’absinthe” instead of Absinthe. France also has regulations regarding fenchone which is found in fennel, a vital ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages must also have low fenchone contents (approximately 5mg/liter).
Hungary – Absinthe became legal in 2004.
Israel – Absinthe seems to be legal and also on sale in Israel.
Ireland – Absinthe that contains thujone is illegal to buy and sell but could be imported for personal consumption.
Netherlands – Absinthe was made legal in 2004 after being restricted in 1909. Absinthe must satisfy EU requirements.
New Zealand – Absinthe is legitimate.
Portugal – Absinthe was never banned.
Russia – Excessive thujone Absinthes (up to 75mg/kg thujone) can be bought in Russia.
Serbia – Serbia doesn’t seem to allow Absinthe that contains thujone or over 50% abv to be distributed.
South Africa – Absinthe is legitimate as of 2005.
Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation may be sold and is marked as formulated with wormwood.
Switzerland – The house of Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 right after banning it in 1908.
UK – The UK never prohibited Absinthe. Absinthe must adhere to EU legislation.
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