Advanced Search

Kosher Alcoholic Drinks

Jeff Sokolow, R. Galert, Aharon Goldman and Richard Eden asked:
Here’s a bunch of questions about kosher alcohol. L’Chaim!

Jeff Sokolow wrote:

In your view, would a hechsher (kashrut certification) be required for sake (Japanese rice wine)? It is my understanding that sake is distilled from fermented rice in much the same way vodka is distilled from potatoes. I would assume the answer is therefore no, unless some non-kosher ingredient were to be added in the distilling process. Thank you and best wishes.

R. Galert wrote:

Is Tequila Kosher? How can I get a list of kosher alcoholic beverages?

Aharon Goldman from Jerusalem wrote:

Is there any way to get information on kashruth of various alcoholic drinks? In particular I’m interested in Southern Comfort, Khalua, Drambuie, Cointreau.

Richard Eden wrote:

What is it that makes wine kosher? Do similar rules apply to other alcoholic beverages? Are beer and spirits either kosher or non-kosher? answered:

The London Beth Din publishes a list of kosher foods, including liqueurs and alcoholic drinks. I checked the list and found the following:

The only sake they list as kosher is Hatsukuru sake. They certify the following types of Tequila Souza as kosher: Conmenerativa, Gold, Hornitos, Silver and Tres Generacione. According to their list, Cointreau is kosher only if produced in France. Southern Comfort is kosher only if produced in Ireland. All Drambuie and Khalua are kosher.

Wine has a uniquely strict status due to its use in religious ceremonies. All wines without kashrut certification are non-kosher.

Regarding kosher beer, the following is adapted from an article written by Rabbi Tzvi Rosen for Kashrus Kurrents:

Most U.S., Norwegian, English and German beers are acceptable. Stouts, flavored beers and "Barley wine" require certification, as do European, Asian, and other beers about which there is insufficient information regarding their contents.

Beer is normally made from all kosher ingredients: Water, barley, yeast, and hops. Isinglass finning (made from ground tropical fish), gelatin, and other ingredients are sometimes added to remove dark particles from the beer. Caramel color is sometimes added for coloring. In all, United States law allows over fifty-nine chemicals or additives to be used in beer.

Gelatin and isinglass clarifiers are not used in domestic beer in the United States. Isinglass finnings have been used as a beer clarifier in the UK for centuries. Over two hundred years ago the great Halachic authority Rabbi Yechezkel Landau in his work Nodah B’Yehudah permitted isinglass clarifier (Yorah Deah, Siman 26). A clarifier only filters unwanted particles and is not present in the final beverage.

Fruit flavorings and spices are used to make flavored beers. By U.S. law, these beers must be labeled "Flavored Beer." Flavored beer definitely requires kosher certification.

"Barley wine" is a specialty beer which definitely needs kosher certification, because it is sometimes fermented with non-kosher wine or champagne yeast.

Obviously, the kashrut status of a product changes with changes in production methods or kashrut supervision.

Similar Questions
Holidays > Purim
Purim – A Physical Celebration
Purim – A “Hidden” Miracle
The Purim Story
Iran – Then and Now
Megillah by Phone
Why Do We Make Noise Only for Haman?
Why No Hallel on Purim?
Walled Cities and Shushan Purim
Spelling in the Megillah
Sending Gifts of Food
Hamantaschen on Purim
Masquerading on Purim
Esther's Age
Work and Payment on Purim
What Became of Esther?
Decrees and Sufficient Time for the Jews to Save Themselves
Eating Seeds on Purim
Mordechai's Relationship with Esther
Da'at Torah
Wearing Costumes on Purim
Small & Large Letters in Haman's Sons' Names
Celebrating While So Many Died
Bowing down
Esther's Marrying a Non-Jew
Who is Amalek?
Purim and Unity
Purim, Persia and Iran
The Shabbat Before Purim
Parashat Zachor
Preparing for Purim
Purim and Anti-Semitism
Laws and Customs of Purim
A Month when Opposites Detract
Adar Month of Happiness and Laughter
“Remembering” Purim on Shabbat
The Thirteenth Month
The Story of Purim
Purim - Unity of the Jewish People
Kosher > Jewish Dietary Laws
Kosher Chicken
Two Sets of Dishes
Milk After Meat
Bone China
What is Kosher?
Dairy Equipment for Pareve Food
Kosher Dog Food
Delivering Pizza
What is Kosher Meat?
Non-Kosher Wine
Kosher Kindness
Bee Honey
Kosher vs. Glatt Kosher
Milk and Meat — and Chicken and Fish
Kosher Chef
Time Between Milk and Meat
I Want BLT
Microwave Woes
Kosher Meat
Mixed Dishes
Chicken and Cheese?
Have a question?
Gateways - Your Key to Jewish Continuity is a service of the Gateways Organization © 2022
Technical problems? Please contact the AskTheRabbi Support team