Absinthe was banned in numerous countries all over the world during the early 1900s due to worries about its safety. Absinthe is actually a strong liquor with an anise taste which is served diluted with water to cause the drink to absinthe thujone louche.
Among the key ingredients of Absinthe is the herb wormwood which contains a chemical substance called thujone. Thujone was thought to be much like THC in the drug cannabis also to be psychoactive. The medical occupation and prohibitionists in 19th century France were persuaded that Absinthe was greater than an intoxicant, it was a hazardous drug completely unlike other alcoholic drinks. Government entities listened to these claims and were concerned with growing excessive drinking in France therefore they restricted Absinthe in 1915. It started to be a crime to buy or sell Absinthe, you could get into issues with the police in case you distilled it illegally.
Research has since shown Absinthe for being perfectly safe, as safe just like any strong alcohol. Absinthe only contains small amounts of thujone and certainly inadequate to result in any harmful effects. It’s easy to get drunk on Absinthe though and, because Absinthe consists of herbs of both a sedative and stimulant nature, it’s actually a very different drunkenness!
Absinthe was legalized in many countries from the 1980s onwards according to its thujone content. Bottles of Absinthe are available online or in liquor shops or you can you could make your own from top-quality essences such as those from AbsintheKit.com.
In what countries is Absinthe legal right now?
United States – A number of brands of Absinthe were approved for selling in the US in 2007 after being restricted since 1912. Brands like “Lucid” are now legal due to their low thujone content. The USA law permits “thujone free” beverages to be sold but due to US test procedures, Absinthes with fewer than 10 parts per million of thujone (below 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.
The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was prohibited in several European countries in early 1900s but was legalized in the EU in 1988. There’s a regulation regarding thujone content in drinks while in the EU. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol with over 25% alcohol by volume, and approximately 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.
Australia – Bitters may have a thujone content of approximately 35mg/kg and other beverages can contain approximately 10mg/kg. Absinthe is legal for sale when it complies with the law.
Brazil – Brazilian law declares that Absinthe must have less than 55% alcohol by volume and comprise 10mg/kg of thujone or less.
Canada – The Canadian provinces each have their own liquor boards to produce laws regarding alcohol. Many provinces do not 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 up to 10mg/kg thujone could be legally sold and then there are no limits with regards to thujone in British Columbia.
Czech Republic – Absinthe is a Czech tradition and has never been restricted in the Czech Republic.
France – La Fee Verte or The Green Fairy (Absinthe) was famously prohibited in 1915. Since 1988 Absinthe has been legal in France provided that it isn’t tagged Absinthe but is tagged “spiritueux Ã base de plantes d’absinthe”. France additionally regulates the chemical substance fenchone that’s found in fennel so beverages must consist of 5mg/liter or a reduced amount of fenchone. A lot of distillers make low fenchone Absinthes particularly for the French market.
Hungary – In 2004 Hungarian law made Absinthe legal.
Israel – Absinthe could be sold in Israel.
Ireland – Absinthe may be shipped to the country for private usage but Absinthe made up of thujone is otherwise illegal.
Netherlands – In 2004 Absinthe was made legal as long as it complies with all the EU legislation.
New Zealand – Absinthe is lawful in New Zealand.
Poland – Absinthe definitely seems to be illegal in Poland.
Portugal – Like Spain, Absinthe was never banned in Portugal.
Russia – Russia enables Absinthe to be bought and sold, even high thujone Absinthe as high as 75mg/kg thujone.
Serbia – Serbia doesn’t allow Absinthe more than 50% abv or that contains thujone to be sold.
South Africa – In 2005 Absinthe was made authorized.
Spain – Absinthe was not ever prohibited in Spain where it is known as Absenta.
Sweden – Sweden allows Absinthe complying with EU legislation to be marketed so long as it is marked as comprising wormwood.
Switzerland – Absinthe was eventually legalized in 2005 in Switzerland, over 90 years after it was prohibited.
Turkey – Thujone that contains Absinthe is prohibited.
UK – The UK never suspended Absinthe. Absinthe must comply with EU legislation.
So, the response to the question “In what countries is Absinthe legal?” is that it is now legal in many countries where it was formerly popular.