There are lots of countries where Absinthe is legal to obtain, sell and consume. Gone are the times of bootleg or clandestine Absinthe, when it needed to be distilled in secrecy, shipped from other countries or labeled in another way. Generally in most countries it is no longer an offense to distill Absinthe or against the law to sell it.
Absinthe is actually a herbal liquor which has an anise taste. It usually is served diluted with iced water, which then causes the famous louche effect, and was a well-known beverage from the nineteenth century. It was made illegal in many countries at the start of the 20th century as a result of concerns concerning the chemical thujone seen in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcoholic beverages including wine, beer and cider, but it has also been thought to be an hallucinogen.
The medical profession and prohibitionists claimed that Absinthe contained considerable amounts of thujone that they alleged was psychoactive, like THC from the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects seltzer beverage. We now know that Absinthe only contains small amounts of thujone and is equally as safe just like any strong spirit. It might however offer you a very different kind of drunkenness, if consumed in excess. The alcohol and the unique blend 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 consist of:-
United States – Absinthe was prohibited in 1912 nevertheless in 2007 a number of brands of Absinthe were approved in the US because of their low thujone content. The USA only allows “thujone free” beverages to be marketed but Absinthes with lower than 10 parts per million of thujone (less than 10mg per liter) count as thujone free.
The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized within the EU in 1988 however, there is a regulation concerning thujone content in drinks in the EU. Approximately 10mg/kg of thujone is authorized in alcohol exceeding 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol marked “bitters”.
Australia – Absinthe is legal. Bitters may have a thujone content as high as 35mg/kg along with other beverages can contain approximately 10mg/kg.
Brazil – Brazilian law permits Absinthe up to 10mg/kg thujone and that it should have lower than 55% abv.
Canada – From March 2007 it has been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards to manage thujone. A lot of provinces don’t allow any thujone containing alcohol to be distributed but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with as much as 10mg/kg thujone may be legally sold.
Czech Republic – Absinthe never was suspended in the Czech Republic.
France – France famously restricted Absinthe in 1915. French law of 1988 permits thujone beverages to be sold if they comply with EU laws and if they are really tagged “spiritueux Ã base de plantes d’absinthe” and not Absinthe home page. France also has regulations concerning fenchone which is present in fennel, an integral ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also need to have low fenchone contents (up to 5mg/liter).
Hungary – Absinthe turned legal in 2004.
Israel – Absinthe appears to be legal and on sale in Israel.
Ireland – Absinthe which contains thujone is prohibited to buy and sell but can be brought in for private consumption.
Netherlands – Absinthe was made legal in 2004 after being suspended in 1909. Absinthe must satisfy EU requirements.
New Zealand – Absinthe is lawful.
Portugal – Absinthe was not ever banned.
Russia – High thujone Absinthes (approximately 75mg/kg thujone) are available in Russia.
Serbia – Serbia does not seem to allow Absinthe made up of thujone or above 50% abv to be sold.
South Africa – Absinthe is authorized as of 2005.
Sweden – Absinthe complying with EU legislation may 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 restricted Absinthe. Absinthe must comply with EU legislation.
As you can see there are numerous countries where Absinthe is legal and may be enjoyed. You might want to make your own Absinthe using Absinthe essences from AbsintheKit.com. These essences come up with a true Absinthe and may be shipped world wide. They don’t require distillation, that has already been done for you, and are generally perfectly legal. Have a look.