Is Alcohol Kosher?

Is Alcohol Kosher
The global demand for kosher food and beverages has increased steadily over the last five years, with kosher production projected to account for nearly $60 million by 2025. Brands looking to switch to certified kosher beverage production will need to assess their ingredient lists, production processes, facilities, and equipment.

Join us as we explore how to produce kosher-certified beverages using natural and synthetic Advanced Biotech flavorings. The Basics of Kosher Beverage Production Before you can market your beverage line as a certified kosher range, you will need a rabbi from a kosher certification agency to inspect and approve your product.

The three main categories rabbis focus on are the ingredients in the product, the equipment used, and the production process. Separating meat from dairy products plays a crucial role in kosher production. If your beverage contains neither meat derivatives nor dairy and isn’t heat processed using meat or dairy equipment, it is classified as pareve,

  • Additionally, all plain, unflavored teas and coffees are pareve and do not require kosher certification.
  • Selecting Flavorings for Kosher Beverages Natural and synthetic flavorings can be considered kosher if they originate from a kosher-certified source.
  • Your beverage flavorings must be on the approved ingredients list, labeled with the correct name and supplier, and categorized as either dairy or pareve,

Here is how to choose kosher flavorings for dairy, alcohol, juice, soda, and sports drinks. Kosher Dairy Drinks – Beverages containing dairy derivatives, including lactose, whey, and casein, can be kosher if they are not flavored with any animal products.

According to Kashruth, any alcohol produced with fermented lactose falls under the dairy category. Common kosher flavorings for dairy drinks include vanilla, coffee, cocoa, and other extracts, Alcoholic Beverages – Spirits made from grain or sugar are generally considered kosher. Wine holds religious significance, and you must produce it under rabbinic supervision for kosher certification.

You can use kosher distillates to create unique flavor combinations typical of flavored rum, vodka, and liqueur. Fruit and Vegetable Juices – All unprocessed fruits and vegetables are kosher. Grape juice or natural grape flavoring is subject to a strict kosher certification process as it holds the same significance as grape wine.

  • Using synthetic fruit extracts helps prevent cross-contamination between kosher and non-kosher fruit as a flavor source.
  • Soda and Sports Drinks – Due to strict kosher requirements, producing kosher soda or sports drinks with grape and apple flavors can be challenging.
  • Apples often grow in the same climate as grapes, and many apple flavorings are produced in grape processing plants that may not be kosher certified.

Popular kosher soda flavors include caramel, lemon, and orange, Producing kosher beverages helps you reach a broader consumer base and create a more inclusive brand. At Advanced Biotech, we supply an extensive range of high-quality natural and artificial kosher-certified flavor and fragrance ingredients,

Can Jews drink any alcohol?

Abstract – Objective: Jews and Muslim Arabs comprise the bulk of modern Israeli society. Jewish tradition permits controlled alcohol drinking, whereas Muslim tradition prohibits the use of any alcohol. Increasing exposure of the traditionally conservative Arab sector to the Western culture of modern Israel might impact on and be reflected in the drinking patterns of these two populations.

The influence of religiosity and other factors on drinking patterns of Jewish and Arab adults are examined using data from a 1995 national household survey. Method: Past month drinking is assessed in this nationally representative sample of nearly 5,000 Jews and 1,000 Arabs (N = 5,954, 60% women). Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) are presented to describe associations between any and heavy drinking and nationality group, religiosity, education and marital status among men and women.

Modification of the nationality-drinking relationship by religiosity is also examined. Results: Any past-month drinking was reported more often by Jewish respondents than Arab respondents (OR = 2.9, 95% Cl: 2.5-3.4), and this difference remained statistically significant after accounting for the effects of the other covariables.

  1. This cross-nationality difference was more pronounced among women (OR = 6.4, 95% Cl: 4.6-8.8) than men (OR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.8-2.9).
  2. The proportion of drinkers who reported heavy drinking in the past month, however, was lower among Jews (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.2-0.4).
  3. Significantly higher rates of drinking were noted for secular men and women than for religious respondents in both nationality groups.

Rates of drinking were more similar among secular Arabs and Jews than among religious respondents of these nationality groups. Conclusions: These results add support to the theory that adherence to religious traditions continues to serve as a barrier against drinking among both Arabs and Jews.

Why is vodka not kosher?

How Is This Vodka Different From All Other Vodkas? Kosher Booze for Thirsty Jews Growing up, it was my duty as the youngest person at the table to ask the traditional four questions during my family’s Passover Seder. Now as an adult, I have a fifth question that I often struggle with: What liquor is kosher to drink during the eight-day holiday? While the last few years have a seen a proliferation of kosher high-end spirits (or ones getting certified kosher), like Glenmorangie Original 10 Year Old, Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve Single Malt Scotch, and Milagro Tequila, Passover adds a new wrinkle for observant imbibers.

  • The holiday, which starts at sundown tonight, commemorates the Jews’ struggle for freedom from slavery in pharaoh-era Egypt.
  • They had to hurriedly flee the country and outrun the pharaoh’s army.
  • As a result they had no time to wait for their bread to rise.
  • So, during Passover, Jews abstain from eating or drinking anything that contain grains and water, which ferment and rise (called chametz ).

That means no,, or, You’re also not allowed to drink a or a that has a base made from wheat and beer is, of course, forbidden, too. Many Jews abstain from corn-based alcohol as well. So what does that leave a thirsty Israelite? Well, most wine that is kosher is also usually kosher for Passover.

(And there are actually many for sale now from around the world.) While rum (made from molasses or sugar cane), tequila (made from agave) and potato vodka could certainly become certified kosher for Passover, most of the brands have not taken that step. The Orthodox Union, which is the major organization in the U.S.

to certify foods, warns that the only way to know for sure that a product is kosher for Passover is if it’s certified and the packaging is marked. Fortunately, there are now several spirits that have gone through the process and are officially kosher for Passover.

Craft distillery No.209 in San Francisco produces a version of its gin that uses a cane sugar base. The distillery also had to swap out some of its standard botanicals in order to comply with the rules of the holiday. In addition, No.209 now also produces a vodka that also has a cane sugar base and is permissible to use during Passover.

(The gin and the vodka both sell for $43.) Brandy is another obvious fit for the celebration, since it’s made from a range of fruits. One classic Passover favorite is the potent Eastern European staple slivovitz, which is made from plums. For a long time, “the only alcohol beverage you had for Passover was slivovitz,” remembers Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the COO of the OU’s Kashruth Department.

  • Look out for Jelinek’s 5 Year Old and Silver slivovitz, which are produced in the Czech Republic and have the OU’s approval.
  • While the spirit can be tough to mix with other ingredients, a shot of it after dinner is supposed to help aid digestion.
  • Handy, after a Seder of heavy classic Jewish dishes, like matzo ball soup, kugel, and brisket.) If you prefer smooth French cognac, Louis Royer, which was founded back in 1853, offers a number of fine kosher-for-Passover bottlings, including their VS, VSOP, XO and Napoleon.

This means you can pour yourself an after-Seder snifter of brandy while you enjoy a traditional macaroon and a piece of chocolate-covered matzo. : How Is This Vodka Different From All Other Vodkas? Kosher Booze for Thirsty Jews

Can Jews have tattoos?

Tattoos Allowed or Taboo? – Is it true that if I have a tattoo I cannot be buried in an orthodox cemetery? I’m not referring to Holocaust markings. Answer : The Torah forbids us from tattooing our bodies. Nonetheless, one who has had tattoos can still be buried in a Jewish cemetery. The source of this prohibition is Leviticus 19:28 : “You shall not etch a tattoo on yourselves.

I am the Lord.” That said, every Jewish burial society has the right to enact its own criteria for who may and may not be buried in their plot. This stems from people’s desire (or right?) to be buried in proximity to others of their choosing. So while technically there is nothing in Jewish law which prohibits a tattooed person from being interred in a Jewish cemetery, certain burial societies — not the majority of them or even close — will not bury among their own a person who willingly tattooed him/herself, as it is a permanent exhibition of violation of Jewish Law.

This practice by certain burial societies led to the common misconception that this ban was an inherent part of Jewish law. Chani Benjaminson,

Can coffee be kosher?

Is Coffee Naturally Kosher? – In its natural form and during the roasting process, coffee is considered kosher because it only comes into contact with water. When coffee is decaffeinated or flavored, it can transform into a non-kosher food. For flavored coffees, artificial tastes could be added to achieve that vanilla or pumpkin spice taste, which would then alter the coffee to not be kosher.

Water-Based: Decaffeinating coffee with water is the natural method and considered kosher, using activated carbon to remove caffeine. Ethyl Acetate: Ethyl acetate is derived from grain and uses a chemical process to dissolve caffeine, which is not kosher.

Joe’s Garage Coffee utilizes the water-based method in all kosher certified products.

Can Muslims drink kosher wine?

Is Kosher Halal? Often times Muslim consumers tend to assume ‘Kosher’ is similar to ‘Halal’. Although the slaughtering rituals of Jewish people resemble those of Muslims; kosher and halal are two different entities carrying a different meaning and spirit.

Muslims, therefore, are provided with the following basic information about Kosher so they can exercise care in distinguishing halal from kosher. Kashrut (in Hebrew) is the system of Jewish dietary laws. Kosher (kashur in Hebrew) means ‘fit, or proper for use’ according to Jewish law. Examples of kosher are: the meat of the ‘fore quarter*’ of the cattle slaughtered ritually, fruits, vegetables, all fish that have fins*, Kosher wines*, Kosher cheeses*, Kosher gelatin*.

The opposite of Kosher, as applied to food in Treif (in Yiddish), or trefah (in Hebrew) meaning ‘not suitable for use’, or ‘forbidden’. Trefah literally means ‘torn by a wild beast’ (Exodus 22:30). Examples of Trefah are: blood, swine, rabbit*, all shell fish*, wild birds such as wild hen*, wild duck*, and the birds of prey.

(*) These food items exhibit a marked difference between kosher and Halal as well as trefah and haram. The differences are explained elsewhere in this section. According to Islamic Jurisprudence, no one except God can change forbidden (Haram) things into lawful (halal) for vice-versa. It is forbidden for people to change the lawful (Halal) things into unlawful (Haram), or vice-versa.

Halal is a unique Islamic concept and eating zabiha (Islamically slaughtered) meat is a distinguishing part of a Muslim’s identity as expressed by Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Salient differences between kosher and halal are:Islam prohibits all intoxicating alcohols, liquors, wines and drugs.

  1. Kashrut regards their wines kosher.
  2. Hence food items and drinks showing the kosher symbol containing alcohol are not halal.
  3. Gelatin is considered Kosher by many Jews regardless of its source of origin.
  4. If the gelatin is prepared from non-zabiha, Muslims consider it haram (prohibited).
  5. Hence foods items such as marshmallows, yogurt, etc., showing kosher symbols are not always halal.

Enzymes (irrespective of their sources even from non-kosher animals) in cheese making are considered mere secretion (pirsah b’almah) according to some kashrut organizations, hence all cheeses are considered kosher by many Jews. Muslims look for the source of the enzyme in cheese making.

If it is coming from the swine, it is considered haram(forbidden). Hence cheeses showing kosher symbols may not be halal. Jews do not pronounce the name of God on each animal while slaughtering. They feel that uttering the name of God, out of context, is wasteful. Muslims on the other hand pronounce the name of Allah on all animals while slaughtering.

Is alcohol forbidden in Judaism?

The salient differences between kosher and halal have been illustrated so that Muslim consumers can distinguish halal from kosher. Muslims in non-Muslim countries should strive to follow the Islamic injunctions in their diet (as well as in every walk of life) and establish their own businesses and institutions to cater to the needs of the Muslim Ummah.

  • By doing so, not only the identity of the Muslims will be preserved, but they will be recognized and respected for their beliefs and practices.
  • Differences within Kosher:There are different sects within Judaism and there are several hundred Jewish Kosher authorities in the US who certify Kosher based on extremely liberal to extremely conservative rules.
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Therefore it is difficult to come up with one uniform opinion regarding Kosher practices. A symbols “k” for kosher is not governed by any authority. Any manufacturer can use it at will. A website guiding Jews about Kosher states “it may take a great deal of detective work to ascertain the standard that a particular rabbi is using.” For this reason many Muslims when buying anything kosher look for “u” in a circle which are more conservative Kosher symbol : Is Kosher Halal?

Is Tequila kosher?

Blanco/white/silver tequilas are considered kosher without certification but reposado, anejo and extra anejo, due to the possible addition of flavors, colors and glycerin, need certification to be acceptable.

Can Muslims drink 0.0% non-alcoholic beer?

Conclusion – It is a common misconception that non-alcoholic beers are not halal. In reality, non-alcoholic beers are considered halal due to the fact that they are brewed with no alcohol content. Non-alcoholic beers are a great alternative to alcoholic beverages for those who follow the Islamic faith and want to enjoy a beer-like beverage without breaking any religious laws.

Non-alcoholic beers also offer health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and aiding in weight management, that are not found in alcoholic beverages.Furthermore, non-alcoholic beers tend to be lower in calories than alcoholic beverages, making them a great alternative for those looking to cut back on their calorie intake.If you want to try enhanced beers like, check it out,

Is Limoncello kosher?

Dolce Cilento’s Kosher Limoncello is 1000% Natural and 100% Kosher Made with Organic Lemon Zest of Amalfi Coast. It has all the qualities of their Medal Winner Limoncello with an addition-which is Kosher. For Passover and all year. Best served chilled or added to many cocktails.

Is there kosher whiskey?

How to identify kosher whisky – Kashrut is a set of dietary laws within Judaism that dictates what Jews can eat and drink, and how those products must be prepared in order to be considered kosher. A distillery works with a kosher-certifying organization to ensure that ingredients, equipment, and practices meet these requirements. Is Alcohol Kosher Certified kosher is always kosher according to a kosher-certifying organization. Look for the hechsher, or small symbol of the kosher-certifying organization, on the label. Each bottle must be inspected individually; sometimes companies become kosher-certified while they still have old, non-certified stock.

Can Jews not have cognac?

Who decides if a Cognac is kosher? – Since you cannot just claim that your product is kosher, you have to get it certified by the Orthodox Union, which has been setting the bar for the highest standards of kosher certification for over 80 years. To spill the beans, err, grapes, on Louis Royer’s kosher Cognacs, Thibault told us that their line of kosher Cognacs is single appellation/single estate, as they only work with one wine producer for their kosher Cognacs at this time. We think, that by now, you’ve already figured out the answer to the question “Is Cognac Kosher?” Not all Cognacs are kosher, but you can certainly find some on the market – just make sure they have the OU/OU-P logo on the bottle, We’re here to help people try new things more often. Not only do we send out personalized samples & complimentary bottles, we give people access to rare and original Spirits, invite them to great events, and keep them educated & entertained with booze-themed content. Join us.

Why is gin not kosher?

Gin Not acceptable when either made from grapes, or whey, lactose, or other dairy ingredients. Gin (when bearing kosher certification) Not acceptable when either made from grapes, or whey, lactose, or other dairy ingredients.

Why is gin not kosher?

Gin Not acceptable when either made from grapes, or whey, lactose, or other dairy ingredients. Gin (when bearing kosher certification) Not acceptable when either made from grapes, or whey, lactose, or other dairy ingredients.

Why is tequila not kosher?

Kosher tequila? Pass some over How about a margarita with that matzo ball? Until recently, syrupy sweet wine was a staple of the Passover Seder, the ritual meal that celebrates the liberation of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt. But now Jews who observe the stringent food restrictions of the holiday have climbed a culinary Mount Sinai to find more kosher alcoholic choices than ever before, including a premium vodka, a $200 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon from the famous To Kalon vineyard in Napa Valley, and even specially prepared pure agave tequila from Mexico.

  1. The offerings are part of what “Kosher by Design” cookbook author and food maven Susie Fishbein calls a “renaissance” in kosher foods and drinks in America.
  2. Upscale drinks have a place at a table where you are serving lamb shanks and osso buco instead of the traditional brisket smothered in onions and cabbage,” Fishbein said.

Sales of kosher products grew 41% from 2003 to 2008 to $12.5 billion, according to market research firm Mintel International in Chicago, driven by a rising number of observant Jews as well as gentiles who perceive the kosher designation as a stamp of quality.

  1. A good chunk of that spending is on foods formulated specifically for Passover, when, with the exception of unleavened bread known as matzo, anything made from grains is off-limits.
  2. Most Jews of European ancestry also refrain from eating food containing rice, peanuts, beans or corn.
  3. That’s bad news for schnapps lovers.

Passover prohibition extends to most forms of hard liquor – including whiskeys and many vodkas – fermented from grains. Because it is made from agave, tequila would seem to be kosher for the holiday. But to make the grade for Passover, the spirit must carry a seal or symbol that certifies rabbis have supervised the preparation to ensure that it does not contain any grain alcohols or flavorings from prohibited foods.

As for wine, only kosher vintners are permitted to make wine that’s drunk during Passover. It too carries a kosher seal of approval. No one tracks sales of wine and spirits produced especially for Passover consumption. But there’s no doubt that many Jews will offer up a mazel tov to the widening selection.

Better Passover alcoholic offerings will improve what’s consumed during the Seder, but will have even more use for the “kiddush clubs,” informal drinking groups that meet during and after Saturday morning and holiday services at Orthodox and traditional synagogues across America, said Gary Landsman, a 35-year-old writer who frequents the West Side International Synagogue in Manhattan.

  • The options have just not been that great previously,” said Landsman, who plans to bring Casa Vieja-brand tequila made from blue agave in Mexico’s Jalisco state to a kiddush club this year.
  • This fills a real void for Jews.” Landsman now can follow Casa Vieja’s recipes for the Moses Margarita, the 10th Plague – with tomato juice and horseradish – and the Egyptian Sunrise, a haimish take on the classic resort drink.

Kosher, also called kashrut, is a set of dietary restrictions observant Jews adhere to year- round. For example, they don’t mix milk and meat products in the same meal. Foods from animals such as pigs and shellfish are forbidden. Cattle and sheep must be slaughtered by a cut with a sharp knife to the neck.

Even then only some portions of the animal are kosher. The rules at Passover are even more complicated. During the eight days of the festival, Jews refrain from eating any leavened breads. Matzo, the flatbread, is eaten to commemorate the hurried fashion in which the Israelites escaped the Pharaoh’s bondage; they fled without waiting for their bread dough to rise.

“Kosher for Passover” tequila is a godsend for Laura Kerr of Orange, who developed an allergy to wine about six years ago that prevents her from drinking the traditional four cups of wine Jews are told to consume at the Seder. That limits Kerr to drinking grape juice instead of wine – which rabbis say allows her to fulfill the commandment – but left her without the celebratory kick to remember the Jews’ freedom from captivity.

This year, Kerr said, she will buy a $43 bottle of Casa Vieja from Glatt Mart in Los Angeles. “It’s a little pricey for tequila, but if it’s very good tequila, then it’s worth it,” Kerr said. Marty Kairey, owner of Atlantic Bottling in Ocean, N.J., hopes to make a few shekels off increasingly sophisticated kosher palates.

Intrigued by a former landlord in Brooklyn who made liquor in his basement, Kairey developed a sugar-cane-based vodka and started marketing it to observant Jews under the Zachlawi label. “It is a very niche market and new. Most people won’t even know to look for it,” Kairey said.

But thanks to word of mouth, the sleek glass-bottled Zachlawi Premium Vodka – which brags “seven times distilled” on the label – has caught on. “It’s only 2 years old and we did over 1,000 cases just in March, in the middle of a recession,” said Nathan Herzog, executive vice president of Royal Wine Corp., which distributes the vodka.

Casa Vieja tequila, whose label depicts a building reminiscent of the Southwest’s Catholic missions, has not sold as well. Herzog suspects that observant Jews don’t know that kosher-for-Passover tequila exists. How much tequila or vodka should be passed around the table at Seder is likely to set off some debate, said Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz of Los Angeles, a national kosher expert.

  • Generally, people should drink the best wine they can for the traditional four cups of the Passover Seder,” Eidlitz said.
  • If they can’t drink wine, grape juices works.
  • Shots of vodka or tequila would not be an appropriate substitute, he said.
  • However, raising a “L’chaim!” to freedom during the meal would fulfill the concept of mitzvah yom tov, or honoring the holiday.

“One margarita is great; 10 might be an issue,” Eidlitz said. “You don’t want to get drunk because you will never make it through the Seder.”

  • Kosher wines and spirits

Some upscale or unusual kosher-for-Passover alcoholic beverages and their suggested retail prices. The beverages, all in the 750-milliliter size, frequently sell at a discount.

  1. * Zachlawi Premium Vodka ($36)
  2. * Zachlawi Mojito Vodka ($36)
  3. * Casa Vieja Anejo ($49) and Blanco ($39) tequilas

* Laurent-Perrier Brut ($90) and Rose ($125) champagnes. Check the bottle for certification, only a portion of the vintages are kosher.

  • * 2006 Generation VIII by Herzog To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($200)
  • * Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)
  • Where to find them

Here are stores that carry some of these products. Check in advance for availability. * Wally’s Wine & Spirits, 2107 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606 * Robert Burns Fine Wines & Spirits, 157 N. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 274-0033 * Tarzana Wine & Spirits, 18839 Ventura Blvd.

  1. * Wine House, 2311 Cotner Ave., West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731
  2. Tequila drinks for Passover
  3. * Moses Margarita
  4. 2 ounces Casa Vieja tequila
  5. 1 ounce triple sec (Binyamina brand is kosher for Passover)
  6. 1/2 ounce lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. You can strain the mixture or simply pour into a salt-rimmed margarita or martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

  • * 10th Plague
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 2 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 squeeze of lemon or lime
  • 1 dash of maror (hot sauce, horseradish, etc.)
  • 1 dash of celery salt
  • 1 dash of salt and pepper

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a celery stick.

  1. * Egyptian Sunrise
  2. 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  3. 4 ounces pineapple juice
  4. 1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice

Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour tequila, then pineapple juice, then cranberry juice into glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Sources: Royal Wine, Casa Vieja Tequila, : Kosher tequila? Pass some over

Can vodka be kosher?

Kashrus in High Spirits Winter 2005 Jewish life-cycle events, be it a bris, a bar mitzvah, or a wedding, are special occasions that we anticipate eagerly and celebrate with joy. At any simcha, we fill our cups with wine, raise our glasses of schnapps, and with great fervor pronounce a resounding ” L’chaim !” in honor of the blessed event.

  1. This custom of melding alcohol with simcha has been a Jewish practice from time immemorial.
  2. The cup that is raised today, however, bears very little resemblance to that of yesteryear.
  3. The single fleshel of schnapps has given way to a sprawling bar, complete with every imaginable alcoholic beverage.
  4. The drink combinations abound.

All too frequently, the names, as well as the kashrus, of these selections are difficult to discern. To the uninitiated, all spirits look alike. Who knows the difference between a liquor and a liqueur, a tequila or a sombrero? This article will attempt to lead the kosher consumer through the maze of alcoholic beverages, their original sources, their unique processes and the various kashrus issues inherent in this fascinating and complicated industry.

  1. Hashem, in His ultimate kindness, has provided man with the keys to unlock some of nature’s most amazing secrets.
  2. Alcoholic beverages are no exception.
  3. Simply put, alcoholic beverages are beverages that contain ethyl alcohol.
  4. Ethyl alcohol is derived from Hashem ‘s natural bounty – grains, fruits, vegetables or plants.
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It is not coincidental that alcoholic beverages have been given the distinctive appellation spirits, alluding to the fact that these beverages seem to magically emerge from these natural ingredients as if they have been assisted by spirits. These natural ingredients are converted into spirits through two processes: fermentation and distillation,

  • Fermentation, one of the Ribbono Shel Olam ‘s unique phenomena, is a chemical process where an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances.
  • In the case of alcoholic beverages, yeast, a fungus found in nature, converts the sugar found in grains, fruits, vegetables or plants, into carbon dioxide (natural carbonation) and ethyl alcohol.

Fermentation is the basic process for producing beer. Distillation is an additional process that separates two or more substances through heating, and which may be used to produce alcoholic beverages. THE PROCESS OF BEER MAKING The four steps of beer making are malting, roasting, brewing, and fermenting.

Malting: The first step of beer making combines barley and water in a process known as malting. Barley is composed of germ, endosperm, and a layer of bran. The living part of the barley, the germ, lies dormant until it is planted or comes in contact with water. Once the germ comes in contact with water, it germinates and begins growing.

The starch in the endosperm provides the nourishment needed for the living germ. However, it is too difficult for the germ to digest the starch without assistance. Therefore, the germ secretes an enzyme that breaks the starch into simpler sugars which can be digested more easily.

Although barley is not sweet at all, it has been discovered that barley which is soaked in water and allowed to sprout, produces a sweet syrup. This is a result of barley’s natural germination process. This enzymatic conversion of barley into fermentable sugars is known as malting. The barley malting process lasts for forty-eight hours, thus enabling the barley to begin germinating and sprouting.

Roasting: The sprouted barley grain is then roasted. Roasting is a vital step in the ultimate creation of beer’s color and flavor. Adjusting the roasting time, temperature, and amount of barley will cause variation. A longer, higher roast produces a darker, more flavorful barley, hence a darker, more flavorful beer.

  • Conversely, a lower, shorter roast produces a less flavorful beer.
  • The roasted barley kernels are then ground into a grain mixture called a grist.
  • Sometimes, with blander beers, the barley is mixed with other cereal grains, such as corn, wheat, or rice to make the grist.
  • The grist is then mixed with hot water to form a mash.

The purpose of the mashing is to continue the malting process where the germinating barley left off. This process allows the enzymes contained in the grain to convert the starches of the mashed grains into sugar. The sweet liquid solution created by the germinated grain water is called a wort.

Brewing: Hops, dried flowers from the spice-like hops plant, are now added to the wort to create a hopped wort. There are many varieties and forms of hops grown throughout the world. The hopped wort is brewed in a copper or stainless steel kettle, imparting a unique aroma and cooked flavor into the wort.

The liquid is now ready to be converted into beer. Fermenting: Yeast is added to the wort, and through fermentation the sweetened wort is converted into natural carbonation and alcohol. Though there are literally thousands of yeasts, the two popular fermenting yeasts are saccharomyces cerevisiae, a top fermenting yeast that produces ales, and saccharomyces uvarum, a bottom fermenting yeast that produces lager.

Both ales and lagers can be light or dark, strong or weak, more flavorful or bland, depending on the temperature, ingredients, and brewing methods. Beer making has been known for centuries, yet, throughout the millennia it has been elevated into an art form. According to Michael Jackson, author, consultant, and world-renowned wines and spirits expert, man has developed over forty styles of beer, each with a full spectrum of flavors and colors.

How do the beer meisters do it? By varying beer’s natural ingredients, grains, hops, and yeast, and by modifying the roasting and brewing methods, new flavorful varieties are created. In the new technological world of major beer production, the key term of successful brewing is consistency and uniformity.

  • In recent decades, scientific discovery has facilitated consistency and uniformity, enabling brew meisters to comprehend the simple centuries-old process of beer making.
  • Technological scientific research has shown that additives and processing aids can provide assistance needed to deliver a consistent and uniform product, though not necessarily a beer with more character.

How do these revelations impact on the kashrus status of this generically kosher beverage? Are there any additives that would compromise the kashrus of beer? Processing Aids: Hydrogen peroxide, bromade, or other alkalis can be used to accelerate malt germination.

Natural enzymes such as papain, bromelin, or aspergillus niger, or industrial enzymes such as amylo-glucosidase, can supplement an enzyme-deficient mash to help break the starches into sugars and facilitate brewing. Hops extracts can be added for flavor. If necessary, papain or tannin can assist in the removal of unwanted protein, delivering a clearer brighter beer.

After brewing, natural clarifiers such as isinglass finings (prepared from ground tropical fish), gelatin, silica gel, or a synthetic clarifier poly-vinyl poly prolamine (PVPP) remove dark particles from the beer, giving the final product a crystal clear appearance.

If the completed product needs bolstering, caramel color may be added for coloring, extra carbon dioxide for carbonation, or alginates for head retention. In all, over fifty-nine chemicals or additives are legally permitted to be used as beer additives and don’t have to be listed on the ingredient panel.

Gelatin and isinglass clarifiers are not used in domestic beers. Isinglass finings is a traditional British beer clarifier that has been used for centuries in the United Kingdom. Isinglass (pronounced i-zin’glas) is a gelatinous substance made from the swim bladders of certain fish – usually sturgeon, a non-kosher fish.

Like gelatin, it causes yeast to settle out of the beer more rapidly. It is fascinating to note that over two hundred years ago the great halachic authority, the Noda Beyehuda, permitted the use of the isinglass clarifier. A clarifier only filters unwanted particles and should not be present in the final beverage.

Flavorings: Traditional beers do not have added flavorings. Cherry flavorings, other fruit flavorings, and spices are used to make flavored products, and by law must be termed “flavored beers”. Such a product would definitely require kosher certification.

  • Yeast: Barley wine is a specialty beer that could possibly be fermented with non-kosher wine or champagne yeast and would definitely require kosher certification.
  • The creation of a distilled alcoholic beverage or “spirit” involves three fundamental processes: fermentation, distillation, and aging.

Fermentation: As with beer, liquor fermentation combines grains, plants, fruits, or vegetables with water to create a liquid blend mash. Yeast is added to the mash to convert the natural sugars present in the mixture into ethyl alcohol and CO2. Barley malt is also added because it is richer in amylase that helps convert starch into sugar.

  1. This fermented product is now ready to be distilled.
  2. Distillation is a process that separates two or more combined substances through heating.
  3. If one of the substances in the solution (e.g., Substance A) boils at a lower temperature than the other component (e.g., Substance B), when the boiling temperature of Substance A is reached, it will evaporate out of the solution.

The vapor is then captured and collected in a separate part of the distillation apparatus called a still. When the vapor cools, Substance A condenses as a separate substance. In the alcohol distillation process, Substance A refers to the alcohol vapors that are separated from the fermented mash (Substance B).

  • These vapors are collected and are condensed by cooling them over cold water pipes, to form a separate liquid called ethyl alcohol, the fundamental ingredient for all alcoholic beverages.
  • Percentages in alcohol commonly range between 40% and 50%.
  • The term proof indicates the percentage of alcohol present; the higher the proof, the more alcohol.

The percentage of alcohol in a beverage can be easily determined by dividing the proof in half. Hence, an 80 proof whiskey contains 40% alcohol, 100 proof, 50%, and so on. Aging the Spirits: After distillation, the whiskey’s unique flavor and color is developed through aging.

Whiskey must be aged a minimum of two to four years in wood barrels. The different tastes of these spirits depend on a number of factors: the raw ingredients, the amount of alcohol present, and the type of wood used for aging. Bourbon by definition must be aged in new charred oak barrels. By law, the barrels can only be used once.

Scotch maturation does not have that restriction and can use a variety of wooden barrels. Most barrels used to age scotch are used bourbon barrels. Some new barrels are used as well. Bourbon casks give the scotch a very distinct overt woody flavor. Over time the scotch distilleries needed to increase their supply of casks and began using Spanish oak casks that were originally used to age wine and sherry.

  • Sherry casks were used to age and store sherry; port and madeira casks were used to age and store port or madeira wine.
  • The use of wine casks for aging alcoholic beverages is not a new halachic revelation.
  • The method of aging spirits, which is clearly described in the Shulchan Aruch, mirrors the description outlined by world-renowned scotch blenders.

Before using the casks, all barrels are cleaned and washed free of any residual sherry. The casks remain empty and dry for a number of weeks before any scotch is matured in them. No sherry is added to the casks; the purpose of aging is not for the scotch to taste like sherry.

  • Rather, aging allows the newly distilled scotch to have its innate fragrance, flavor and color enhanced when it is matured in wood.
  • Can we assume any scotch to be sherry cask free? According to Michael Jackson, “Most distilleries have over the decades acquired a ‘mishmash’ of casks from different sources.

The distillery manager or group blender orchestrates what is available to try and achieve consistent bottling. It is therefore difficult, even in a single malt, to be sure that not a drop came from a sherry cask. In my view no blended scotch could be guaranteed innocent of sherry.

  2. The following is a brief rundown of some of the more popular varieties of alcoholic spirits, along with some information on how they are produced.
  3. Whiskey

Whiskey is a term derived from the Scotch Gaelic, meaning “water of life”. Whiskey, the broadest category of alcoholic beverage, includes the following types: Bourbon, Rye, American, Tennessee, Canadian, Irish, and Scotch. There is a fundamental difference between American, Canadian, and English whiskeys.

  • American whiskey is spelled with an “e”, Canadian whisky and English whisky without.
  • Bourbon is produced from at least 51% corn (maize) and 49% other grains such as rye, barley, oats or wheat.
  • After distillation, the bourbon has to be aged in new oak charred casks for six to eight years.
  • Premium bourbons can be aged over twenty years.

No additives are allowed to be added to bourbon. (It is interesting to note that when the bourbon matures, a small percentage of the maturing spirit is absorbed or lost in the cask. This absorbed portion is called the “angels’ share”.) Small batch bourbon refers to a superior quality production of bourbon that is made in limited quantities.

  • All distilleries know where the bourbon ages best.
  • The premium bourbon that is bottled from the heart of the warehouse is known as special reserve bourbon.
  • Bourbon is the beverage of choice in Dixie.
  • It is also the alcoholic beverage of choice amongst “the heimishe “, due to the fact that nothing additional is added to bourbon and that it is aged in new oak casks.

Rye is made with 51% rye plus a combination of other grains. Rye and Tennessee whiskeys are aged in new wood casks. Blended American whiskey uses a combination of new and used oak casks. Scotch whisky, originating from Scotland, comes in three types: malt, grain and blended.

  • Malt whisky is produced from 100% malted barley.
  • Grain whisky is produced from a combination of grains.
  • Single malt refers to malted Scotch whisky that comes from one distillery.
  • Blended whisky is a combination of the two – malt and grain – blended together to achieve a uniform taste.
  • Blended scotches do not use additional blending agents in the process.
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There is a shortage of wood in Scotland but there is a great demand for whisky casks to be able to age all the scotch that needs years of maturation to achieve the desired quality. There is a written American law that bourbon casks can only be used once.

  1. There is no such law regarding scotch, hence the great amount of reused bourbon casks used to age scotch.
  2. Furthermore, casks are reused for Scotch and Irish whisky.
  3. These casks are called refills.
  4. Another source of casks comes from countries like Spain that used the casks to age sherry, port or madeira wine.

Some scotch producers empty the scotch from their original casks and refill them into sherry or port casks. This is called “finishing”. (The halachic ramification of aging in sherry casks or scotches that state sherry or port finish will be discussed later in the article.) Canadian whiskies, like their American whiskey counterparts, are produced from corn, rye and barley.

They are aged for two to six years in oak casks. Canadian whiskies are light bodied and are blended. Other Alcoholic Beverages Vodka is derived from the Russian term “voda”, meaning waters. It is a distilled beverage usually made from barley, corn, or rye, and sometimes made from potatoes, sugar beets, grapes, or whey.

Vodka is known as a neutral grain spirit, meaning that it has no taste or color. It is not aged, and can sometimes be sweetened with sugar. Vodka is used primarily in mixed drinks. If other flavors or sweeteners are added, it can no longer be called vodka, and is instead known as a distilled spirit specialty beverage, which requires strict kosher certification.

Gin is a distilled neutral grain spirit and is flavored with juniper berries and other seed oils, such as coriander oil. Gin, too, is used in mixed drinks and is combined with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic mixers. Rum is distilled from fermented sugar or molasses. It, too, is distilled and aged. Depending upon the length and process of aging, rum color can be light (light rum) or dark (dark rum).

Dark rum is colored with caramel. Rum is aged in oak casks for five to seven years. It can be enhanced with rum blenders. Typically, the flavors are ether esters, which are higher alcohols retrieved during distillation; basically, natural rum flavors coming from rum itself.

Flavored or special rum is known as flavored rum, or spiced rum. Brandy is a Dutch derivative meaning distilled wine. Brandy is distilled from fermented grape wines or other fermented fruits, such as plums or cherries. It is then aged from two to eight years. Cognac is grape brandy originating in the Cognac section of France.

Although brandy is derived from grapes, the bracha on grape brandy is shehakol because brandy no longer tastes like wine. Tequila is a distilled spirit made from a fermented mash containing at least 51% of the agave plant. There are four categories of tequila: silver (white), gold (dark), anjeo (aged), and repesado (rested).

  1. By law, nothing can be added to silver.
  2. Caramel color and blending agents can be added to the other tequilas.
  3. Anjeo and repesado are aged gold tequila.
  4. Sherry casks can be used to age tequila.
  5. Tequilas containing a worm in the bottle (Mezcal) should be avoided.
  6. If manufacturers followed the strict and simple rules of liquor production, liquor kashrus would not present major concerns.

However, as in all industries, nothing is simple, as we will soon see. Flavored Alcoholic Beverages Liqueurs or cordials are flavored grain spirits. Liqueurs include: flavored whiskeys, brandies, neutral grain spirits and rums that are colored and flavored with a variety of ingredients such as fruit, chocolate, coffee, peppermints, cream, or with combined flavors.

  • Additives, such as wine or glycerin, are often added, as are emulsifiers, sweeteners and colors.
  • TRICKS OF THE LIQUOR TRADE Additional processing practices range from the simple to the sublime.
  • They include: Caramel Color: Although the aging process can darken liquor naturally, often caramel color, a kosher ingredient, can be added as a coloring.

Color is commonly added to whiskeys, rums, and brandies. Enzymes: These are sometimes used to expedite or standardize the fermentation process. Enzymes, which create kashrus problems, can be used in the fermentation of American or Canadian whiskeys, vodka, or in a batch of neutral grain spirits.

  • Off Standard Wine: It has been said there are two constants in our lives that never go away: death and taxes.
  • The only difference between the two is that death can’t be avoided and taxes we try to avoid.
  • Since whiskey is a highly taxed commodity, the liquor industry looks for different legal avenues to lower their tax while not compromising the quality of their product.

How is this accomplished? It is a common practice in both American and Canadian whiskey blends to add a small amount of wine to a distilled blended spirit, so that the spirit can now be considered a wine product, which is taxed at a significantly lower tax rate than whiskey.

  1. The “wine” added for this purpose is called O.T.S.
  2. Wine, a mnemonic that stands for other than standard wine.O.T.S.
  3. Wine is added in minuscule volumes – less than 1%.
  4. There is a fundamental difference, however, between the American and Canadian O.T.S. wines.
  5. American O.T.S.
  6. Wine is a citrus wine made from orange peels, while Canadian O.T.S.

wine can be, and usually is, made from grapes. We will discuss the halachic implications later in the article. Blenders: The U.S. and Canadian governments allow blenders, “harmless coloring or flavoring materials”, to be added to their blended whiskeys.

  1. It has been alleged that glycerin is possibly added to U.S., Canadian, and English whiskeys.
  2. After extensive research from manufacturers, producers, and independent sources, we have conclusively confirmed that no glycerin is used as a blending agent for these whiskeys.
  3. Vodkas, tequilas, and liqueurs may use glycerin blenders.

If glycerin is used as a blender, it is never added beyond 1%. The Canadian government allows O.T.S. wine to be used in their blended whiskeys. By law, no ‘blender wine’ can be added beyond 1% of the total volume. In actuality, the standard quantity of flavor blenders added is typically less than ½ of 1% of the total volume of product.

Blenders are used to cut the harshness of the whiskey in order to improve “mouthfeel”, an industry term that refers to the mellowness of a particular spirit. CHOMETZ SHE’AVAR ALAV HAPESACH As is the law with private Jewish consumers, Jewish merchants or Jewish manufacturers may not own chometz on Pesach,

Included in this prohibition are grain derived beverages (i.e., those derived from barley, rye, oats, wheat or spelt). These products must be consumed or destroyed before the Pesach holiday. In the event that the volume of Jewish owned chometz is too great to be consumed or destroyed, the chometz can be sold to a non-Jew in a bona fide sale so that the chometz will be fully transferred out of Jewish ownership.

  1. Failing to do so will render the unsold chometz forbidden for Jewish consumption after Pesach,
  2. These laws apply equally to any chometz, whether it is simply owned by a Jewish merchant, or produced by a Jewish manufacturer and was in his possession during Pesach,
  3. How does this prohibition impact on the alcoholic beverage industry? Most authorities are of the opinion that alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, which is derived from wheat, barley or rye, are chometz gamur, and a person must not own these products on Pesach,

If a Jew did not sell his liquor, the prohibition of chometz she’avar alav haPesach would apply; the whiskey cannot be used, nor can any benefit be derived from these beverages. What about the whiskey manufacturers? After years of research, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of companies producing spirits are either large corporations that are publicly owned or are non-Jewish.

  1. There is a major American whiskey company that is Jewish owned that has been selling their chometz through the Orthodox Rav in Louisville, Kentucky for well over a decade.
  2. Moreover, the finished goods do not go directly to your neighborhood liquor store; they first go to large distributors that house great inventories of alcoholic beverages.

In many large metropolitan areas, the owners of the liquor distribution companies are Jewish and do not sell their chometz, There is little control over what is distributed on Pesach, However, unless one knows for a fact that the liquor comes from a non-observant Jewish distributor that did not sell his chometz and owned the alcohol over Pesach, or if whiskey comes from the local Jewish liquor proprietor who did not sell his chometz and owned the liquor over Pesach, one need not be machmir,

Since chometz she’avar alav haPesach is a rabbinic prohibition and we have a safek, a reasonable doubt, the halacha allows us to take a lenient position. THE HALACHIC BOTTOM LINE The question is, can we, in accordance with halacha and in good conscience, consume beverages that do not have any hashgocha ? Obviously the best case scenario would be to purchase alcoholic beverages with a reliable hechsher,

There are, in fact, a few selections that have reliable kosher certification, but these are few and far between. When research into ingredients and production practices indicates that there are no apparent kashrus problems with the product, then halacha permits us to follow the concept of holchin achar harov, that we may assume that the majority is the scenario with which we are dealing.

  • All varieties of domestic whiskeys are acceptable. Glycerin is not used as a blending agent for these whiskeys and the O.T.S. wine is a citrus wine.
  • Canadian whiskies present a fundamental kashrus question. Does the possibility of grape O.T.S. wine or blenders added to Canadian whiskies in very small percentages of 1% or less create real kashrus concerns? Can we rely on bitul, halachic nullification, or do we need concrete information about each beverage? As stated before, since the O.T.S. wine is added in less than a sixtieth, it is batul, Furthermore, some Poskim maintain that the wine would be batul even if it would be added in less than a sixth. Additionally, there is a doubt whether the O.T.S. wine is indeed grape, or whether blenders are used altogether. Canadian whiskies would therefore be acceptable. Nevertheless, our recommended liquor list reflects those products that do not contain any wine.
  • Scotch and Irish whisky would be acceptable unless specifically stated that the beverage has been aged in sherry casks finished in sherry or port casks. We do not have to assume that this is the case unless the company asserts that it is so. Our recommended liquor list reflects those products that do not specify aged in sherry casks.
  • All silver tequila would be acceptable. Dark, repesato, and aged tequilas require kosher certification.
  • Domestic, German, English, European, and Canadian beers and ales are acceptable.
  • All flavored beers, malternatives, hard beers, coolers, and extreme beers require reliable kosher certification.
  • Gin is acceptable.
  • Domestic vodka produced from 100% neutral grain spirits is acceptable.
  • Imported vodkas require certification.
  • Wines, liqueurs, cordials, spirits, flavored spirits, and brandies require reliable kosher certification for year-round use, and special Passover certification printed on the bottle for Pesach,

1. Noda Beyehuda Vol. Yoreh Deah No.26 2.Y.D.137 H.4 3. Orach Chaim 202 Beur Halacha 4. Mishna Berurah Orach Chaim 442 Shaarei Teshuva ibid.5. Orach Chaim 448 – Safek d’rabonon lekulah.6. Igros Moshe Y.D. Vol.1 No.62, 63, 64 7. Yoreh Deah 137 Shach 17 8. Yad Efraim ibid. : Kashrus in High Spirits

Can Jews not have cognac?

Who decides if a Cognac is kosher? – Since you cannot just claim that your product is kosher, you have to get it certified by the Orthodox Union, which has been setting the bar for the highest standards of kosher certification for over 80 years. To spill the beans, err, grapes, on Louis Royer’s kosher Cognacs, Thibault told us that their line of kosher Cognacs is single appellation/single estate, as they only work with one wine producer for their kosher Cognacs at this time. We think, that by now, you’ve already figured out the answer to the question “Is Cognac Kosher?” Not all Cognacs are kosher, but you can certainly find some on the market – just make sure they have the OU/OU-P logo on the bottle, We’re here to help people try new things more often. Not only do we send out personalized samples & complimentary bottles, we give people access to rare and original Spirits, invite them to great events, and keep them educated & entertained with booze-themed content. Join us.