Realizing In What Countries is Absinthe Legal?

Absinthe was banned in many countries around the world in early 1900s because of worries about its safety. Absinthe is a strong liquor which has an anise taste which is served diluted with water to cause the drink to louche.

Among the key ingredients of Absinthe is the herb wormwood which contains a chemical substance called thujone. Thujone was considered to be a lot like THC in the drug cannabis and also to be psychoactive. The medical career and prohibitionists in nineteenth century France were persuaded that Absinthe was more than an intoxicant, it was a dangerous drug entirely unlike other alcoholic drinks. Government entities paid attention to these claims and were worried about growing irresponsible drinking in France hence they banned 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.

Reports have since shown Absinthe to become perfectly safe, as safe as any strong alcohol. Absinthe only contains small quantities of thujone and definitely not enough to result in any harmful effects. It is easy to get drunk on Absinthe though and, because Absinthe is made up of herbs of both a sedative and stimulant nature, it is a very different drunkenness!

Absinthe was legalized in many countries within the 1980s onwards depending on 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

In what countries is Absinthe legal these days?

United States – A number of brands of Absinthe were accepted for selling in the US in 2007 after being restricted since 1912. Brands such as “Lucid” are now legal because of their low thujone content. The USA law allows “thujone free” beverages to be sold but because of US test procedures, Absinthes with less than 10 parts per million of thujone (below 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

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

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

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

Canada – The Canadian provinces have their very own liquor boards to create laws concerning alcohol. Many provinces never allow any thujone made up of 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 then there aren’t any limits concerning thujone in British Columbia.

Czech Republic – Absinthe is usually 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 become legal in France so long as it is not labeled Absinthe but is marked “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe”. France also regulates the substance fenchone that is seen in fennel so beverages must contain 5mg/liter or a smaller amount of fenchone. A lot of distillers make low fenchone Absinthes especially for the French market.

Hungary – In 2004 Hungarian law made Absinthe legal.

Israel – Absinthe could be sold in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe may be shipped in the country for private consumption but Absinthe containing thujone is usually illegal.

Netherlands – In 2004 Absinthe was made legal provided it complies with all the EU legislation.

New Zealand – Absinthe is legal in New Zealand.

Poland – Absinthe definitely seems to be illegal in Poland.

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

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

Serbia – Serbia does not allow Absinthe above 50% abv or made up of thujone to be sold.

South Africa – In 2005 Absinthe was made lawful.

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

Sweden – Sweden allows Absinthe complying with EU legislation to be distributed given that it is labeled as formulated with wormwood.

Switzerland – Absinthe was ultimately legalized in 2005 in Switzerland, more than 90 years after it was restricted.

Turkey – Thujone made up of Absinthe is illegal.

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

So, the reply to the question “In what countries is Absinthe legal?” is that it is currently legal generally in most countries where it had become formerly popular.