Figuring out In What Countries is Absinthe Legal?

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

One of the essential ingredients of Absinthe would be the herb wormwood which contains a substance called thujone. Thujone was considered to be a lot like THC in the drug cannabis and to be psychoactive. The medical career and prohibitionists in 19th century France were convinced that Absinthe was greater than an intoxicant, it was an unsafe drug completely unlike other alcohol-based drinks. Government entities believed these claims and were concerned with growing hazardous drinking in France therefore they prohibited Absinthe in 1915. It grew to become a crime to buy or sell Absinthe, you can get into issues with the police in case you distilled it illegally.

Studies have since shown Absinthe to be perfectly safe, as safe as any strong alcohol. Absinthe only contains small amounts of thujone and certainly insufficient to result in any side effects. It is easy to get drunk on Absinthe though and, because Absinthe contains herbs of both a sedative and stimulant nature, it is a completely different drunkenness!

Absinthe was legalized in several countries from the 1980s onwards based on its thujone content. Bottles of Absinthe is found online or even in liquor shops or you can create your own from top-quality essences such as those from

In what countries is Absinthe legal today?

United States – Several brands of Absinthe were accepted for sale in the US in 2007 after being restricted since 1912. Brands just like “Lucid” are now legal for their low thujone content. The USA law permits “thujone free” beverages to be sold but due to US test procedures, Absinthes with lower than 10 ppm of thujone (less than 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.

The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was restricted in lots of European countries in early 1900s but was legalized in the EU in 1988. There’s a regulation regarding thujone content in drinks in the EU. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol with over 25% alcohol by volume, and as much as 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.

Australia – Bitters may have a thujone content of approximately 35mg/kg and various beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg. Absinthe is legal for sale if it complies with the law.

Brazil – Brazilian law states that Absinthe must have less than 55% alcohol by volume and comprise 10mg/kg of thujone or less.

Canada – The Canadian provinces 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 up to 10mg/kg thujone can be legally sold and then there are no limits concerning thujone in British Columbia.

Czech Republic – Absinthe is a Czech tradition and has never been prohibited within 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 isn’t marked Absinthe but is marked “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe”. France furthermore regulates the substance fenchone which is seen in fennel so beverages must contain 5mg/liter or a smaller amount of fenchone. A lot of distillers make low fenchone Absinthes specifically for the French market.

Hungary – In 2004 Hungarian law made Absinthe legal.

Israel – Absinthe may be sold in Israel.

Ireland – Absinthe can be shipped to the country for private usage but Absinthe that contains thujone is often illegal.

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

New Zealand – Absinthe is authorized in New Zealand.

Poland – Absinthe appears to be illegal in Poland.

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

Russia – Russia allows Absinthe to be traded in, even high thujone Absinthe as much as 75mg/kg thujone.

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

South Africa – In 2005 Absinthe was made legal.

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

Sweden – Sweden permits Absinthe complying with EU legislation to be sold as long as it is labeled as containing wormwood.

Switzerland – Absinthe was eventually legalized in 2005 in Switzerland, over 90 years after it was restricted.

Turkey – Thujone that contains Absinthe is against the law.

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

So, the answer to the question “In what countries is Absinthe legal?” is that it has become legal in the majority of countries where it had been beforehand popular.