The European Commission has proposed introducing a legal definition for the absinthe spirit category in the region.

The minimum abv of a product marketed in the European Union (EU) as absinthe should be 40% and the sugar content a maximum of 50 grams per litre, the EC has suggested. The move would result in the introduction of an amendment to an existing EU law - regulation (EC) No 110/2008 - on the definition, description, labelling and protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks.

“Absinthe is a spirit drink produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin or distillate of agricultural origin with absinthe wormwood in combination with other plants, such as Roman wormwood, anise, fennel, hyssop, mint or in combination with other plants, provided that their taste is not predominant,” the proposed definition states.

The EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament have now to approve the move.