Absinthe was suspended in numerous countries around the world during the early 1900s as a result of worries about its safety. Absinthe is a strong liquor which has an anise taste that’s served diluted with water to result in the drink to absinthethujone louche.
One of the crucial ingredients of Absinthe is the herb wormwood that contains a substance called thujone. Thujone was believed to be similar to THC in the drug cannabis also to be psychoactive. The medical career and prohibitionists in 19th century France were convinced that Absinthe was more than an intoxicant, it was a hazardous drug totally unlike other alcoholic drinks. The government believed these claims and were concerned about growing abusive drinking in France hence they prohibited Absinthe in 1915. It became a crime to buy or sell Absinthe, you could get into trouble with the police if you distilled it illegally.
Research has since shown Absinthe to become perfectly safe, as safe as any strong alcohol. Absinthe only contains small quantities of thujone and certainly not enough to result in any harmful effects. It is possible to get drunk on Absinthe though and, because Absinthe is made up of herbs of both a sedative and stimulant nature, it is a completely different drunkenness!
Absinthe was legalized in many countries from the 1980s onwards based on its thujone content. Bottles of Absinthe can be obtained online or perhaps in liquor shops or you can create your own from top-quality essences such as those from AbsintheKit.com.
In what countries is Absinthe legal right now?
United States – Some brands of Absinthe were authorized for selling in the US in 2007 after being prohibited since 1912. Brands for instance “Lucid” have become legal because of their low thujone content. The USA law permits “thujone free” beverages to be sold but because of US test procedures, Absinthes with less than 10 ppm of thujone (under 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.
The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was prohibited in many European countries in the early 1900s but was legalized within the EU in 1988. There is a regulation regarding thujone content in drinks in the EU. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is authorized in alcohol with over 25% alcohol by volume, and approximately 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.
Australia – Bitters may have a thujone content of as much as 35mg/kg and various beverages can contain as much as 10mg/kg. Absinthe is legal on sale if it complies with the law.
Brazil – Brazilian law reports that Absinthe must have lower than 55% alcohol by volume and comprise 10mg/kg of thujone or less.
Canada – The Canadian provinces each have their particular liquor boards to create laws regarding alcohol. Many provinces do not 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 may be legally sold and then there aren’t any limits with regards to thujone in British Columbia.
Czech Republic – Absinthe is usually a Czech tradition and it has never been prohibited within the Czech Republic.
France – La Fee Verte or The Green Fairy (Absinthe) was famously restricted in 1915. Since 1988 Absinthe has become legal in France so long as it’s not marked Absinthe but is marked “spiritueux Ã base de plantes d’absinthe”. France also regulates the chemical substance fenchone that is found in fennel so beverages must consist of 5mg/liter or less 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 so long as it complies with all the EU legislation.
New Zealand – Absinthe is legal in New Zealand.
Poland – Absinthe seems to be illegal in Poland.
Portugal – Like Spain, Absinthe was never prohibited in Portugal.
Russia – Russia allows Absinthe to be traded in, even high thujone Absinthe of up to 75mg/kg thujone.
Serbia – Serbia does not allow Absinthe more than 50% abv or made up of thujone to be sold.
South Africa – In 2005 Absinthe was made legal.
Spain – Absinthe was not ever prohibited in Spain where it is known as Absenta.
Sweden – Sweden permits Absinthe complying with EU legislation to be distributed given that it is labeled as comprising wormwood.
Switzerland – Absinthe was ultimately legalized in 2005 in Switzerland, more than 90 years after it was banned.
Turkey – Thujone that contains Absinthe is against the law.
UK – The UK never banned 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 in many countries where it had become previously popular.