Being familiar with Countries Where Absinthe is Legal

There are several countries where Absinthe is legal to obtain, 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’s no longer a criminal offense to distill Absinthe or illegal to promote it.

Absinthe is a herbal liquor which contains an anise taste. It’s usually served diluted with iced water, that can cause the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage during the 19th century It had been made illegal in many countries at the start of the twentieth century because of concerns in regards to the chemical thujone present in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like every alcoholic beverages including wine, beer and cider, but it was also thought to be an hallucinogen.

The medical profession and prohibitionists claimed that Absinthe contained huge amounts of thujone which they alleged was psychoactive, like THC from the drug cannabis, and might cause psychedelic effects. Now that we know that Absinthe only consists of small quantities of thujone and is also equally as safe just like any strong spirit. It might however offer you a very different form of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol as well as the unique combination of herbs combine to behave as both a sedative and a stimulant – very strange. Many people have described it as being 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 low thujone content. The USA only permits “thujone free” beverages to be marketed 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 however, there is a regulation concerning thujone content in drinks in the EU. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is allowed in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.

Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters can have a thujone content up to 35mg/kg along with other beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg.

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

Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the independent Canadian province liquor boards to control thujone. Many provinces don’t let any thujone containing alcohol to be distributed but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is certainly no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg thujone may be legally sold.

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

France – France famously prohibited Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits thujone beverages to be sold if they abide by EU laws and if they are really tagged “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” instead of Absinthe. France has regulations concerning fenchone which is seen in fennel, a vital ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also need to have low fenchone contents (as much as 5mg/liter).

Hungary – Absinthe turned out to be legal in 2004.

Israel – Absinthe appears to be legal and also on sale in Israel.

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

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

New Zealand – Absinthe is authorized.

Portugal – Absinthe was never prohibited.

Russia – Excessive thujone Absinthes (up to 75mg/kg thujone) are available in Russia.

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

South Africa – Absinthe is authorized as of 2005.

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

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

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

As you have seen there are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed extra resources. You may want to create your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from These essences produce a true Absinthe and may be shipped world wide. They do not require distillation, that has already been accomplished for you, and are generally perfectly legal. Try them out.