The European authorities have failed to offer a legal definition of absinthe

The European authorities have failed to offer a legal definition of absinthe

Trade group spiritsEUROPE has voiced its disppointment after a bid by the European Commission to define and standardise absinthe was rejected.  

The bid was blocked in a vote by the European Parliament in Strasbourg last Wednesday (13 March). The EC had proposed that any product labelled absinthe must contain set minimum levels of anethole and thujone. 

The Commission is concerned that some manufacturers are not including these ingredients, or enough of them, and yet still selling their products as ‘absinthe'.

“Depending on the regional availability of herbs and plants, and different consumer tastes, the traditional practices of absinthe production differ in many EU countries,” said a parliamentary communiqué.

But SpiritsEUROPE said in a statement on its website it is “very disappointed” with the decision. “In essence, European consumers cannot be sure about what they are buying, when they purchase a bottle of ‘absinthe’ in future.”

It added: “This was a great opportunity to protect a renewed, growing category with European added-value - an opportunity that has been spurned.”