Yes. Infact, Absinthe was never banned in Canada but assumed to be banned due to it's illegal status in America. Okanagan Spirits has been making Canada's first genuine Absinthe since 2007.
In 1789 a French Doctor living in Switzerland, by the name of Dr Pierre Ordinaire, first produced Absinthe as a herbal remedy to treat patients for various ills. The mountainous region in which he was living had an abundance of different botanicals that he combined to make the drink we know today as Absinthe.
Absinthe grew quickly in popularity and it wasn't long before the French became one of the biggest producers and consumers of Absinthe. The popularity of Absinthe within France is accredited to Phylloxera, a wine-crop eating insect and French Military interests in Africa.
As malaria prevention, antiseptic for wounds, easing of digestive problems and the ability to take the all round-harshness off the realities of war, French troops were prescribed Absinthe during their tours of Africa. Upon return, their newly acquired taste helped build the popularity of Absinthe in France.
Phylloxera had a much more prominent impact on the demand of Absinthe. In the late 19th century a vine eating insect (Phylloxera) eradicated a high volume of European vineyards, bringing wine production to a standstill. As the French sought an alternative to wine, Absinthe was catapulted into the limelight as the drink of choice for many Europeans.
There are many documented cases of why Absinthe was banned in many countries throughout the world. The quality of Absinthe became a contributing factor to the products decline. As demand increased, quality fell and the market was full of substandard Absinthe filled with toxins and sulphites. The effect on people's health, both mental and personal was clear for all to see.
Another claim for the banning of Absinthe was the Temperance Movement. A powerful, biblical lobbying group, that worked hard to discredit Absinthe, claiming it to be the cause of society's downfall. They cited that the herb Grande Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthian) contains Thujone, a mind altering compound that was the cause of madness. Modern day testing indicates that although Thujone can be toxic, the quantities of Absinthe needed for any ill effects would have a far greater impact on your liver than your mind.
Finally, the European wine industry got their production back on track and set about reclaiming market share after overcoming their issues with Phylloxera. They lobbied hard to local law and government decision makers that such a spirit was unfit for general consumption.
The popularity of Absinthe was not confined solely to Europe. It also found its way to the United States, particularly New Orleans. With the high levels of Absinthe being consumed within the city, the Europeans nicknamed it 'the little Paris of North America'.
In 1910, Switzerland, the home of Absinthe, gave way to pressure and banned the product, quickly followed by the US (1912) and France (1915). Canada was one a few select countries that never actually banned Absinthe.
Since its launch in 2007, Taboo Genuine Absinthe gives you the opportunity to enjoy Absinthe in its traditional form using the same recipes and distilling methods that they employed over a century ago.