Absinthe now legal in the USA?



The bizarre story of Lucid Absinthe and their hapless marketing campaign takes another twist! According to absinthe retailer David Nathan Maister: “Absinthes with less than 10mg/l thujone are now potentially legal in the US” Importantly there has been no change in the law, but rather a change in the “margin of error” as regards thujone testing. Apparently this means that Lucid (or any other absinthe) with up to 10mg of thujone is deemed thujone free! How strange is that! The FDA are being led a merry dance it seems!

Why Lucid are still reticent about stating the thujone content in their absinthe remains unclear. It seems that strong absinthe within the thujone 10mg – 35 mg European designation -and known as hořká lihovina (amer) – will still not be allowed.

A very strange tale, and as foggy as a louched glass of Absinthium 1792 (which unfortunately is nearly 3 times the allowed thujone limit for the USA). Still it’s better than an outright ban – but what a strange way to do it 😕

5 responses to “Absinthe now legal in the USA?

  1. Mind you, someone could come with the idea to concentrate whatever thujone there is inside in an illegal distillery and sell it under the table!

  2. Folks already add wormwood oil to brands like absente. This is rather dangerous as the oil, if drunk neat, can cause renal failure. Some people also re-distill and add raw wormwood in their kitchen (that is illegal of course and also dangerous)

    On another matter altogether : new star chefs in France ( Stephae Carrade, David Zuddas, Lionel Levy, Guillaume Salvan) Do they mean anything to you?

  3. Frankly speaking, although I subscribe to two monthly French gastronomic magazines, SAVEURS and Cuisine et Vins de France, it is a bit difficult to keep in touch with all the new names, especially in the light of the evergrowing competition between traditional French food and international “Designer” food. I can appreciate both of course as I live in Japan, a constant reference for the latter kind of chefs.
    Did I tell you that my own brother (the older one), Jean-Jacques has his own Restaurant in Bourgogne?
    He cooks traditional, but it is easier away from Paris and the snobs!
    I have heard of the names, as I have to make regular reservations in Paris restaurants for my Japanese friends, but I can’t say how good they are. I ten to be contented in Japan where we have access to almost everything and more!
    Call that another form of snobism!

  4. This and many other articles coming out now give the impression that the laws have changed. NO Laws have changed and traditional absinthe is still illegal. These companies have just filtered out the chemical Thujone , found in wormwood so that they can pass the FDA regulations.

    The companies offering absinthe in the US are now on a public relations / marketing campaign to give the impression that “Absinthe is now legal” In reality no laws have changed. No matter what impression they give you the finished product is “Thujone Free” according to the FDA. Of course they are downplaying the role of Thujone with some slick “organizations” promoting absinthe in the US.

  5. Robert,my connection for Absinthe in Europe no longer lives here and I have been looking all over Osaka for 2 years.Is the original available here or only what the refer to as Refined?

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