Countries Where Consuming Absinthe Is Legal

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 declared as illegal in many countries at the advent of 20th century due to the presence of chemical thujone found in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant,but it was also perceived to be an hallucinogen.

The medical professionals claimed that Absinthe contained substantially large 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 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 when combined with these unique blend of herbs 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.

Absinthe is legal in the following countries :-

United States – few brands of Absinthe were approved in the US with low thujone content in 2007 after being banned in 1912. 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.

The EU (European Union) – Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 however content of thujone is restricted. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is allowed in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled “bitters”.

Australia – Absinthe is legal drink. 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 – From March 2007 separate Canadian province liquor boards regulate 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 law of 1988 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. French government also has strict regulations to regulate fenchone which is found in fennel, and an important constituent of Absinthe, hence beverages should have fenchone less than 5mg/liter.

Hungary – Absinthe was made legal after 2004.

Israel – Absinthe is legal and on sale in Israel.

Ireland – 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 in accordance with EU requirements.

New Zealand – Absinthe is legal as per law.

Portugal – Absinthe was always allowed.

Russia – In Russian market High thujone Absinthes (up to 75mg/kg thujone) are available.

Serbia – Serbia seems to disallow 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 – The home of Absinthe legalized Absinthe in 2005 after banning it in 1908.

UK – It was never banned Absinthe. Absinthe has to be in compliance with 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 These essences make a true Absinthe and can be shipped world wide. They do not require distillation, that has already been done for you, and so are perfectly legal. Check them out.