Figuring out 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 marked in another way. Generally in most countries it’s no longer an offense to distill Absinthe or against the law to market it.

Absinthe is a herbal liquor that has an anise taste. It’s usually served diluted with iced water, that can cause the famous louche effect, and was a well-liked beverage from the 19th century. It had been made illegal in lots of countries at the start of the twentieth century as a result of concerns concerning the chemical thujone seen in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcohol based drinks including wine, beer and cider, but it was also considered to be an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists stated that Absinthe contained large amounts of thujone which they alleged was psychoactive, like THC in the drug cannabis, and may cause psychedelic effects We now know that Absinthe only consists of small quantities of thujone and is also equally as safe just like any strong spirit. It might however provide you with a very different type of drunkenness, if consumed excessively. The alcohol as well as the unique combination of herbs combine to behave 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 consist of:-

United States – Absinthe was forbidden in 1912 nevertheless in 2007 a number of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US due to their minimal thujone content. The USA only permits “thujone free” beverages to be sold but Absinthes with lower than 10 ppm 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 concerning thujone content in drinks in the EU. As much as 10mg/kg of thujone is allowed 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 along with other beverages can contain approximately 10mg/kg.

Brazil – Brazilian law allows Absinthe as high as 10mg/kg thujone and that it should have lower than 55% abv.

Canada – From March 2007 it’s been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to modify thujone. Many 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 as much as 10mg/kg thujone could be legally sold.

Czech Republic – Absinthe was not ever prohibited in the Czech Republic.

France – France notoriously prohibited Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits thujone beverages to be sold if they abide by EU laws and if they are tagged “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” and not Absinthe wikipedia reference. France has also regulations relating to fenchone which is present in fennel, a key ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages must also have low fenchone contents (approximately 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe became legal in 2004.

Israel – Absinthe is apparently legal and also on sale in Israel.

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

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

New Zealand – Absinthe is legitimate.

Portugal – Absinthe was never suspended.

Russia – Excessive thujone Absinthes (as much as 75mg/kg thujone) are available in Russia.

Serbia – Serbia doesn’t appear to allow Absinthe containing thujone or above 50% abv to be distributed.

South Africa – Absinthe is legitimate by 2005.

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

Switzerland – The house of Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 right after banning it in 1908.

UK – The UK never banished Absinthe. Absinthe must adhere to EU legislation.

As you have seen there are many countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed. You might like to build your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences make a true Absinthe and might be shipped globally. They do not require distillation, that has already been prepared for you, and tend to be perfectly legal. Check them out.