There are a number of countries where Absinthe is legal to buy, 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 labeled differently. In most countries it is not a crime now to distill Absinthe.
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 illigal in many countries at the beginning of the 20th century due to suspected neuronal effects of chemical thujone found in wormwood. Not only was Absinthe an intoxicant, like all alcoholic beverages but it was also thought to be an hallucinogen.
Many ddenouncers claimed that Absinthe contained large amounts of thujone which they alleged was psychoactive, like THC in the drug cannabis, and could cause psychedelic effects. It is 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. A number of people described it as a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness.
Countries where Absinthe can be legally traded include:-
United States – Few brands of Absinthe were approved in the US because of their low thujone content in 2007 after a ban 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.
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. A number of provinces prevent any thujone containing alcohol to be sold but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with maximum of 10mg/kg thujone can be legally sold.
Czech Republic – Absinthe was never banned in the Czech Republic.
France – Banned Absinthe in 1915 after a lot of publicity. 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. France also has guidelines preventing excessive use of fenchone which is found in fennel, a key ingredient of Absinthe, so beverages also have to have low fenchone contents (up to 5mg/liter).
Hungary – Absinthe got legal status in 2004.
Israel – Absinthe enjoys a legal status in Israel.
Ireland – Absinthe which contains thujone is illegal to trade however it can be imported for personal consumption.
Netherlands – Absinthe bann was lifted in 2004 after being banned in 1909. Absinthe must be in accordance with EU requirements.
New Zealand – The drink is legal.
Portugal – Absinthe was never banned by the law.
Russia – High thujone Absinthes are readily available in Russia.
Serbia – Serbia seems to disallow Absinthe containing thujone or above 50% abv to be sold.
South Africa – Absinthe is legal as of 2005.
Sweden – Absinthe is legal and should be labeled as wormwood. The Absinthe kit site is located in Sweden.
Switzerland – The home of Absinthe once again saw Absinthe distributed legally in 2005.
UK – The United Kingdom never banned Absinthe. Absinthe must comply with EU legislation.
Now evidently there are many countries where Absinthe is legal and can be enjoyed. 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.