In this time of Absinthe revival, most countrys permit Absinthe to be bought and sold. Even in countries like Ireland, where Absinthe is banned, you can still purchase it online from abroad and get it shipped for your own personal consumption, it is perfectly legal to order it this way.
Companies like AbsintheKit.com sell their Absinthe essences worldwide so that people can make their own Absinthe at home. These essences are great because they are already distilled and all you have to do is mix them with vodka or Everclear. Brilliant for people in countries where Absinthe is illegal or hard to find.
Absinthe is an anise flavored liquor which is made from natural herbs including aniseed, fennel and wormwood. Wormwood contains a chemical called thujone which, in the late 19th century, was thought to be like THC in cannabis. Absinthe was banned in many countries in the early 1900s because of concerns about its thujone levels and claims that thujone caused hallucinations, convulsions, insanity and death.
We now know, through research, that Absinthe is just as safe as any strong alcoholic drink. It does not contain large amounts of thujone, only small amounts, and will not cause any weird psychedelic effects. Many countries have now relaxed their Absinthe laws and people can now enjoy buying Absinthe once again.
So, what countrys permit Absinthe?
United States – It was thought that US law banned Absinthe in 1912 but this is not entirely true. US legislation states that only “thujone free” beverages can be bought and sold in the United States BUT testing equipment allows Absinthe with less than 10 parts per million of thujone (less than 10mg per liter) to count as thujone free. A few brands of Absinthe are now available in the US.
The EU (European Union) – Since 1988 Absinthe with a thujone content of up to 10mg/kg is allowed in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled “bitters”.
Australia – In Australia “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 with less than 55% abv can be sold.
Canada – Canadian provinces have their own liquor boards which govern alcohol. Many provinces do not allow any thujone containing alcohol to be sold but Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is no limit, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Quebec and Ontario legislate that Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg thujone can be legally sold.
Czech Republic – Czech Absinthe is famous and Absinthe has never been illegal in the Czech Republic.
France – 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. Fenchone, the chemical found in fennel is also regulated in France and beverages are only allowed up to 5mg/liter of fenchone.
Hungary – Absinthe is legal and has been since 2004.
Israel – Absinthe is on sale in Israel.
Ireland – Thujone containing beverages are illegal to buy and sell but can be imported for personal consumption.
Netherlands – Absinthe must meet EU requirements.
New Zealand – Absinthe is legal.
Portugal – Just like the Czech Republic and Spain, Absinthe was never banned in Portugal.
Russia – Absinthe is perfectly legal in Russia and even 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 – From 2005, Absinthe has been legal.
Sweden – Absinthe has to meet EU guidelines and be labeled as containing wormwood.
Switzerland – In 2005, Absinthe was finally legalized in its home country after over 90 years of being illegal.
UK – The UK never banned Absinthe. Absinthe must comply with EU legislation.
So, what countrys permit Absinthe? Lots of countries permit Absinthe which is great news because it is a wonderful mysterious drink and should be enjoyed by people all over the world.