There are many 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.
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 have evidence that Absinthe contains small amounts of thujone and is equivalent to any other strong spirit. if consumed in excess it might give you entirely different experience. The alcohol and the unique blend of herbs combine to act as both a sedative and a stimulant – very strange. Some people have 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 – Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 with restriction in thujone content. 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 drinking is legal. Bitters can have a thujone content of up to 35mg/kg and other beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg.
Brazil – Brazilian law allows Absinthe of up to 10mg/kg thujone and that it should have less than 55% abv.
Canada – From March 2007 separate Canadian province liquor boards regulate thujone. Many provinces mark thujone containing alcohol to be sold as illigal however Absinthe is legal in British Columbia, where there is no limit, 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.
France – 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. French government also has stringent regulations with respect to fenchone which is found in fennel, and an important constituent of Absinthe, hence beverages should have fenchone less than 5mg/liter.
Hungary – Absinthe is legal.
Israel – Absinthe is legal and on sale in Israel.
Ireland – Absinthe can be imported for personal consumption however buying and selling is illegal.
Netherlands – Absinthe received a legal status in 2004. Absinthe should necessarily meet EU requirements.
New Zealand – It is legal.
Portugal – Absinthe was never banned by the law.
Russia – High thujone Absinthes are available in Russia containing up to 75mg/kg thujone.
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 complying with EU legislation can be sold and is labeled as containing wormwood. The Absinthe kit site is located in Sweden.
Switzerland – legalized Absinthe in 2005 after banning it in 1908.
UK – The United Kingdom never banned Absinthe. Absinthe should always 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.