Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Southern Comfort and Kashrus

I was recently at a L'Chaim recently and the bottle of Southern Comfort at the refreshments table caught my eye. I didn't know much about the drink before (and still don't know too much now), but after looking into it a little bit, here's what I can report regarding its Kashrus status.

Southern Comfort is a liqueur. Liqueurs, by defintion are flavored with things such as fruits, herbs, spices, seeds, etc. Liqueurs in general are problematic kashrus-speaking, as the companys are often secretive about their recipies. This is in stark contast to scotch whisky, in which the same ingredients used are the same across brands; it's just the natural elements that differ. Many people think of Southern Comfort (aka SoCo) as a bourbon based liqueur, and while it is true that there is bourbon in it, it is more of a "fruit, spice and whiskey flavored liqueur" with a neutral base." Therefore, while it is meant to taste like whiskey to a certain extent, the base certainly isn't whiskey.

Anyway, to make a long story short, the Star-K lists SoCo as "not recommended", but the London Beis Din (who came through in the clutch for us on Bailey's Irish Cream), says it is fine, as long as the bottle clearly states "Bottled in Ireland." I'm guessing that they did their research on the Ireland plant, verified their ingredients, and felt that it was OK Kashrus-wise. This information, however, cannot be generalized to all SoCo, as it is possible that ingredients are different in other bottling locations, and we must assume as such.

End of story: SoCo's a no-go (hey, that rhymes) unless it explicitly states on the bottle "Bottled in Ireland."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No big loss. SoCo is yucky... overly sweet bourbon is just not for me. I want my Kahlua back!
This is just another disheartening example, though, of the common misconception that if it's booze, it's Kosher.

11:57 AM, December 12, 2006

Anonymous aishel said...

Was the bottle at the L'chaim bottled in Ireland? I personally have no recollection.

12:53 PM, December 12, 2006

Blogger AlanLaz said...

It's very possible that the bottle was from Ireland, which would've been fine. But, it didn't get touched, and the next time I went looking for it it was gone, leading me to believe that someone told them it was no good.

8:03 AM, December 13, 2006


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