Can You Get Drunk Off Foods Made With Liquor?

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Can You Get Drunk Off Liquors You Cook With?

During large dinners or family get-togethers, a couple of sips of wine or swigs of beer may be necessary. However, when it comes to cooking with wine, beer or liquor, can you get drunk off foods made with liquor?

It may be a question that runs through your mind as you serve vodka sauce to Uncle Frank, whose drunken rants are not on the menu, or pasta made with Marsala wine to kids who act like angry drunks without a drop of whiskey in their little cranky veins.

There answer is no because, well, science.

What Happens to the Alcohol When I Cook? (And I Don’t Mean the Wine in the Glass)

Alcohol will ‘burn off’ to a point, but not entirely. If you add alcohol to a pan and let it reach the boiling point, then immediately remove it from the heat, approximately 85% of the alcohol will remain.

If you boil it then simmer the alcohol for 15 minutes, you will be left with 40% of the alcohol you started with. If you simmer it for a half hour, you will have 35% of the alcohol. Overall, almost all of the alcohol would ‘burn off’ after 3 hours of simmering.

If you use a 5 ounce serving size of alcohol (which is a standard size) and reduce it in a pan to make a syrup, the amount of alcohol left behind will be negligible.

The longer you cook the sauce or alcohol, the less ‘alcoholic’ it will be. Plus, even if you use a standard serving size of alcohol to cook, that sauce will be divided amongst several people, which will prevent any drunkenness in guests even if you heat it very little.

Cooking Techniques and Alcohol Content

Even though you can’t blame the sauce on why you told your mom what you really think or why Uncle Frank spouted off about his political views, different cooking techniques and sauces will result in different alcohol contents.

  • Marsala Sauce—this classic Italian sauce is a mainstay in restaurants and kitchens. Marsala wine has an alcohol content of about 20%. If you add it when sautéing, you will dilute it some. The highest amount you will left with is 85% of the alcohol, which may only be 1.3 ounces in the entire sauce. When divided between a few people, you might consume .3 ounces of alcohol when eating Marsala chicken.
  • Vodka Sauce—also an Italian mainstay (I sense a trend). When vodka is added to this sauce, you might use ¼ to ½ cup of vodka. When cooked minimally and divided in 3 cups of sauce, you might have .2 ounces of vodka in a cup of vodka sauce.
  • Beer Can Chicken—Sure, the entire can is placed inside the cavity of the poor bird, but no, the alcohol does not seep into the meat.

With an Answer to ‘Can You Get Drunk Off Foods With Liquor in Them?’, Now What?

Now that you know you can’t get buzzed from dinner, you can choose wines, beers, or liquors to pair with home cooked meals. There are certain wines that can be paired with artisan pizzas and pastas. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our post on How to Pair Wine with Pizza.

If you want to experiment with cooking with beers and wines or how to best enjoy wine and beer with your favorite meals, a subscription to a monthly club can be the ticket.

International Wine of the Month club delivers limited batch wines to your kitchen for $34.95/month.

Craft Beer Club can give you access to hard to find and a high variety of beers for $39.00/month for 12 beers.

We review tons of trusted beer of the month clubs and wine monthly clubs so we can help consumers make the right choice for them. It can be overwhelming when you want to subscribe and enjoy beers and wines you’ve never tried. A monthly club gives you a chance to dabble in something new, cook with new ingredients, and still get through those family dinners with your sanity and without worrying if you can get drunk off foods with liquor in them.



Karri is a freelance writer with experience in newspaper and radio news reporting. She also dabbles in fiction when she isn’t writing blogs, articles, websites, or ghostwriting for others. Publishing her fiction novel is at the top of her bucket list. She loves traveling, gardening, and painting. She is also an avid coffee connoisseur and runner training for her first half-marathon. Karri has recently settled in coastal Maine after her husband retired from 23 years in the Army.

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