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 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 give hallucination to its users.
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 has now been an accepted fact 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 that allow Absinthe trade are :-
United States - Absinthe was made illegal in 1912 however in 2007 a few brands of Absinthe were approved in the US because of their low thujone content. 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.
European Union - Absinthe was legalized in the EU in 1988 with restriction on thujone content. Up to 10mg/kg of thujone is permitted in alcohol with more than 25% alcohol by volume, and up to 35mg/kg in alcohol labeled "bitters".
Australia - Absinthe sale and distribution is legal. Bitters can have a thujone content of up to 35mg/kg and other beverages can contain up to 10mg/kg.
Brazil - Absinthe enjoys legal status but should not have more than 10mg/kg thujone and that it should have less than 55% abv.
Canada - From March 2007 it has been up to the separate Canadian province liquor boards. 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. As per Quebec and Ontario legislature Absinthe with up to 10mg/kg thujone can be legally sold.
Czech Republic - Absinthe was always allowed for sale and distribution.
France - 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 ? base de plantes d’absinthe" and not Absinthe. France delivers 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 became legal in 2004.
Israel - Absinthe is legal and on sale in Israel.
Ireland - thujone containing 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 compliant 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 does not seem to allow 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 - legalized Absinthe in 2005 after banning it in 1908.
UK - It was never banned Absinthe. Absinthe must follow directions given in EU legislation.
As you can see 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 for making authentic 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 them out.
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