Recognizing Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are several countries where Absinthe is legal to acquire, sell and consume. Gone are the times of bootleg or clandestine Absinthe, when it had to be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or branded differently. In many countries it is no longer a criminal offense to distill Absinthe or against the law to sell it.

Absinthe is actually a herbal liquor which has an anise taste. It’s usually served diluted with iced water, that can cause the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage in the 19th century my absinthe. It had been made illegal in several countries at the start of the 20th century because of concerns concerning the chemical thujone found in wormwood. Not merely was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcohol based drinks including wine, beer and cider, but it has also been regarded as an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists believed that Absinthe contained large amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC in the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects. We now know that Absinthe only is made up of small amounts of thujone and is also just as safe as any strong spirit. It may however give you a very different kind of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol as well as the unique combination of herbs combine to act 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 banned in 1912 however in 2007 a couple of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US due to their minimal thujone content. The USA only allows “thujone free” beverages to be distributed but Absinthes with fewer than 10 parts per million of thujone (less than 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 but there is a regulation relating to thujone content in drinks in the EU. As much as 10mg/kg of thujone is authorized in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol tagged “bitters”.

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

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

Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to control thujone. Numerous provinces do not allow any thujone containing alcohol to be distributed but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there’s no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg thujone can be legally sold.

Czech Republic – Absinthe wasn’t restricted in the Czech Republic.

France – France famously restricted Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits 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 also regulations regarding fenchone which is seen in fennel, an integral ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages must also have low fenchone contents (approximately 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe turned legal in 2004.

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

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

Netherlands – Absinthe was made legitimate in 2004 after being banned in 1909. Absinthe must meet EU requirements.

New Zealand – Absinthe is lawful.

Portugal – Absinthe was not ever suspended.

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

Serbia – Serbia does not appear to allow Absinthe containing thujone or higher 50% abv to be sold.

South Africa – Absinthe is legal as of 2005.

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

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

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

Essentially there are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed more hints. You may want to make your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences come up with a true Absinthe and may be shipped worldwide. They just don’t require distillation, which has already been accomplished for you, and so are perfectly legal. Try them out.