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Most people use vanilla extract for baking, but there are other things it is used for, too. Many people don’t realize that vanilla extract has alcohol in it. In fact, the law, as mandated by the FDA, actually requires vanilla extract to contain alcohol. This is due to the fact that the FDA deems vanilla extract as the only flavoring that requires the federal government to set standards for. So, how much alcohol is in vanilla extract, and how much does it take to get you drunk?

It’s an interesting question, and one that we at Hangover Hospital investigated. 

How Much Alcohol is in Vanilla Extract?

After stories emerged earlier this year about a woman in Connecticut that was caught drunk driving after drinking vanilla extract, people across the country started to wonder how much alcohol was in the baking ingredient. Truthfully, vanilla extract contains quite a bit of alcohol. 

Most vanilla extracts contain between 35 and 40 percent alcohol. That is the same amount found in vodka, rum, and tequila. Homemade vanilla extract, which is made by soaking a few vanilla beans in vodka, can contain even more. The alcohol in vanilla extract is so important in fact, that during the time of Prohibition, the Flavors and Extracts Manufacturers Association (FEMA) successfully lobbied to exclude the extract from the ban. 

Many people don’t know vanilla extract contains that much alcohol. After learning that it does, many also wonder just how much vanilla extract it takes to get drunk.

The Amount of Vanilla Extract to get Drunk

The FDA doesn’t only require that vanilla extract contains alcohol. The federal organization also requires that all extracts, including artificial extracts, contain a minimum of 35 percent alcohol. This means that for most vanilla extracts, four to five ounces should be enough to get a person drunk. Of course, like all alcohol, this depends on a person’s weight, tolerance to alcohol, gender, and whether they have eaten recently. 

Although this may not sound like a lot of vanilla extract to get drunk, it’s important to understand that vanilla extract is quite costly. This is particularly true if you buy real vanilla extract and not imitation. Vanilla extract typically costs between two and eight dollars per ounce. This means that even six ounces would cost approximately $12 to $48. Liquors that are high-quality typically cost approximately $20 and up, so while vanilla extract can get you drunk, you’re likely better off simply buying your favorite liquor. 

Drank Too Much Vanilla Extract? Contact Hangover Hospital Today

Whether you’ve been drinking vanilla extract or another type of liquor, and now have a hangover, at Hangover Hospital we know just how unpleasant they are. The good news is, there is help. With our unique treatment that provides vitamins and electrolytes intravenously, you can shake that hangover and start feeling better much sooner. If you need help, call us today at (305) 912-4911 to book an appointment. Help could be at your door in just under an hour, so you don’t have to suffer with a hangover any more.