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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. What is alcohol?
  2. Can a healthy diet include alcohol consumption?
  3. Does cooking burn off the alcohol in a dish?

The alcohol found in alcoholic beverages is ethanol. Ethanol is produced when sugar is broken down by yeast during a process called fermentation. The sugar can come from grapes to make wine or from grains to make beer and hard liquor.1

cinnamon Schnappsgrappacachacapernodwhiskey

The liver is responsible for processing alcohol, which is why excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease. 2 Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause weight gain, as alcohol has 7 calories per gram.3 

Moderate alcohol consumption, on the other hand, has been shown to have health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Moderate alcohol consumption is considered by the USDA to be one standard drink per day for women and two standard drinks per day for men. 4

Some people say that most of the alcohol "burns off" when you cook with it. In reality, the amount of alcohol evaporating could be less than you think. Researchers have found that anywhere between 4 and 49 percent of the alcohol added to a dish might be left in the final product depending on the cooking method, length of cooking, etc.5 If you're concerned about the amount of alcohol you're consuming, keep an eye on how much wine, beer, etc. is going into your dish!

Alcohol-rich Foods

Ingredient g of Alcohol per 100g g of Alcohol per 100 calories
angostura bitters 45.0 9.5
cinnamon Schnapps 43.5 11.9
grappa 40.4 13.3
cachaca 39.0 13.8
pernod 37.9 14.4
whiskey 36.0 14.4
vanilla extract 34.4 11.9
vodka 33.4 14.5
brandy 33.4 14.5
galliano 31.7 9.5
cr?me de menthe liqueur 29.8 8.0
grand marnier 26.0 8.4
southern comfort 26.0 11.8
banana liqueur 25.4 6.9
campari 22.7 8.5
coffee liqueur 21.7 6.3
white creme de cacao 19.0 5.5
lillet blanc 17.0 10.7
midori melon liqueur 16.7 6.3
sake 16.1 12.0
port 15.3 9.6
baileys irish cream 13.5 4.1
Chardonnay 10.7 12.7
Pinot Grigio 10.7 12.9
merlot 10.6 12.5
Syrah wine 10.5 12.7
Sauvignon Blanc 10.5 13.0
wine 10.4 12.5
dry white wine 10.3 12.6
mirin 10.0 6.8
dry vermouth 9.5 11.9
champagne 6.4 13.1
dry cider 5.0 12.2
lager 3.9 9.1
cooking sherry 3.3 6.6
beer 3.1 10.7
framboise lambic 2.5 4.6
show entire table


  1. BBC GCSE Bitesize - Making Beer and Wine
  2. CDC - Frequently Asked Questions - Alcohol
  3. McKinley Health Center - Alcohol and Nutrition: 101
  4. Linus Pauling Institute - Alcoholic Beverages
  5. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Does cooking burn off alcohol?


  1. The alcohol we drink is ethanol, which is produced when sugar is broken down by yeast during fermentation.
  2. Moderate alcohol consumption may have health benefits.
  3. Alcohol does not fully evaporate during cooking. Between 4-49% of the alcohol added to the dish might remain in the final product.​​
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