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 had to be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or labeled differently. In most countries it is no longer an offense to distill Absinthe or against the law to promote it.

Absinthe is a herbal liquor that has an anise taste. It is usually served diluted with iced water, which causes the famous louche effect, and was a well-liked beverage in the 19th century. It had been made illegal in many countries at the start of the twentieth century due to concerns in regards to the chemical thujone seen in wormwood. Not merely was Absinthe an intoxicant, like every alcohol based drinks including wine, beer and cider, but it was also regarded as an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists stated that Absinthe contained huge amounts of thujone which 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 quantities of thujone and is equally as safe just like any strong spirit. It may however give you a completely different form of drunkenness, if consumed excessively. The alcohol as well as the unique combination of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative plus a stimulant – very strange. Many people have described it as being a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.

Countries where Absinthe is legal include:-

United States – Absinthe was banned in 1912 nevertheless 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 lower 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 in the EU in 1988 but there is a regulation relating to thujone content in drinks in the EU. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol with over 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.

Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters could have a thujone content as high as 35mg/kg along with other beverages can contain approximately 10mg/kg.

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

Canada – From March 2007 it’s been up to the independent Canadian province liquor boards to regulate thujone. Many provinces do not allow any thujone containing alcohol to be marketed 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 never was prohibited in the Czech Republic.

France – France famously suspended Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 allows thujone beverages to be marketed if they abide by EU laws and if they are really labeled “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” and not Absinthe. France also has regulations concerning fenchone that is seen in fennel, an integral ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also have to have low fenchone contents (as much as 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe turned legal in 2004.

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

Ireland – Absinthe which contains thujone is prohibited to buy and sell but could be shipped in for private consumption.

Netherlands – Absinthe was made legitimate in 2004 after being restricted in 1909. Absinthe must fulfill EU requirements.

New Zealand – Absinthe is legal.

Portugal – Absinthe was not ever prohibited.

Russia – High thujone Absinthes (approximately 75mg/kg thujone) can be found in Russia.

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

South Africa – Absinthe is legitimate as of 2005.

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

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

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

As you have seen 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 globally. They don’t require distillation, which has already been prepared for you, and so are perfectly legal. Try them out.