There are a number of countries where Absinthe can be legally traded. 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 a crime to distill Absinthe or against the law to sell it.
Absinthe is a herbal liquor which has an anise taste. It is usually served diluted with iced water, which causes the famous louche effect, and was a popular beverage in the 19th century. It was banned in many countries during the 20th century as it contained thujone found in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcoholic beverages but it was also thought to be an hallucinogen.
Absinthe was perceived to contain large amounts of thujone which it’s denouncers alleged that it is psychoactive, like THC in the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects. It has now been an accepted fact that Absinthe only contains small amounts of thujone and is just as safe as any strong spirit. It may however give you a distinct kind of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol and the unique blend of herbs combine to act as both a sedative and a stimulant – very strange. Some people have described the experience of it as a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.
Countries where Absinthe has legal status include:-
United States – 2007 saw a few brands of Absinthe being sold in the US because of their low thujone content after a bann of 95 years. The USA only allows “thujone free” beverages to be sold but Absinthes with less than 10 parts per million of thujone (less than 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.
European Union – Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 with restriction on thujone content. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled “bitters”.
Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters can have a thujone content of up to 35mg/kg and other beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg.
Brazil – Absinthe of up to 10mg/kg thujone and that it should have less than 55% abv can be traded and consumed.
Canada – Post March 2007 it’s sale and distribution is looked after by the separate Canadian province liquor boards that regulates thujone. Many States do not allow any thujone containing alcoholic drinks to be sold but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate 10mg/kg thujone in Absinthe is legally acceptable.
Czech Republic – sale and distribution of Absinthe was always legal.
France – France famously banned Absinthe in 1915. French government passed a law in 1988 that allows thujone beverages to be sold if they comply with EU laws and if they are labeled “spiritueux à base de plantes d’absinthe” and not Absinthe. France also has regulations regarding fenchone which is found in fennel, an important ingredient of Absinthe, hence beverages also have to have low fenchone contents (up to 5mg/liter).
Hungary – Absinthe became legal in 2004.
Israel – Absinthe is legal in Israel.
Ireland – thujone containing Absinthe is illegal to buy and sell but can be imported for personal consumption.
Netherlands – Absinthe received a legal status in 2004 after being banned in 1909. Absinthe must be compliant with EU requirements.
New Zealand – Absinthe enjoys legal status.
Portugal – Absinthe was always allowed.
Russia – In Russian market High thujone Absinthes (up to 75mg/kg thujone) are available.
Serbia – Serbia does not seem to allow Absinthe containing thujone or above 50% abv to be sold.
South Africa – Absinthe enjoys legal status as of 2005.
Sweden – Absinthe if complying with EU guidelines, then can be distributed freely as long as the label denotes wormwood. The Absinthe kit site is located in Sweden.
Switzerland – legalized Absinthe in 2005 after banning it in 1908.
UK – It was never banned Absinthe. Absinthe must follow directions given in EU legislation.
As you can see there are a number of countries where Absinthe is legal. You may want to make your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from AbsintheKit.com. These essences are used in the preparation of hight quality Absinthe that is supplied across the globe. They do not require distillation, that has already been done for you, and so are perfectly legal. Check these out.