Being familiar with Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are many countries where Absinthe is legal to acquire, sell and consume. Gone are the times of bootleg or clandestine Absinthe, when it must be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or branded in another way. In most countries it is no longer a criminal offense to distill Absinthe or unlawful to sell it.

Absinthe is a herbal liquor which has an anise taste. It usually is served diluted with iced water, which then causes the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage during the 19th century. It was made illegal in many countries at the start of the twentieth century because of concerns about the chemical thujone seen in wormwood. Not just was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcoholic beverages including wine, beer and cider, but it was also considered to be an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists stated that Absinthe contained huge amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC from the drug cannabis, and may cause psychedelic effects. We now know that Absinthe only consists of small quantities of thujone and is also just as safe just like any strong spirit. It could however offer you a very different form of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol as well as the unique blend of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative as well as a stimulant – very strange. Some people have described it as a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal consist of:-

United States – Absinthe was prohibited in 1912 but in 2007 a few brands of Absinthe were approved in the US for their minimal thujone content. The USA only allows “thujone free” beverages to be marketed but Absinthes with less than 10 parts per million of thujone (a lot 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 regarding thujone content in drinks in the EU. As much as 10mg/kg of thujone is authorized in alcohol exceeding 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.

Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters may have a thujone content of up to 35mg/kg and other beverages can contain as much as 10mg/kg.

Brazil – Brazilian law allows Absinthe up to 10mg/kg thujone and that it should have less than 55% abv.

Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the independent Canadian province liquor boards to modify thujone. A lot of provinces don’t allow any thujone containing alcohol to be marketed but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg thujone will be legally sold.

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

France – France famously banned Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 enables thujone beverages to be distributed if they comply with EU laws and if they are really tagged “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” instead of Absinthe. France has regulations relating to fenchone that’s present in fennel, a vital ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also have to have low fenchone contents (approximately 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe turned legal in 2004.

Israel – Absinthe appears to be legal as well as on sale in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe which contains thujone is unlawful to buy and sell but can be imported for private consumption.

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

New Zealand – Absinthe is legitimate.

Portugal – Absinthe never was restricted.

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

Serbia – Serbia doesn’t seem to allow Absinthe made up of thujone or over 50% abv to be distributed.

South Africa – Absinthe is legal as of 2005.

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

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

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

As you can see there are many countries where Absinthe is legal and may be enjoyed. You might want to make your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences produce a true Absinthe and may be shipped world wide. They don’t require distillation, that’s been accomplished for you, and are generally perfectly legal. Check them out.