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Mar 27, 2002 08:06 PM

180 proof pure grain alchohol (???)

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This is more of a "not about food" question, but since I wanted to keep it tri-state, I put it here. Does anyone know where I could get some pure grain alchohol? Not to drink- I don't want to make myself blind, but my sister in law made me some nice essential oils from her garden, and I want to dilute them to make perfume, and I was told that this was what you use to do so. Also, I suppose in some wierd way this question may be about food, as perhaps someone else has had a massive craving for the stuff, or wants to pickle peaches, or something. I was told that liquor stores in New Jersey sometimes sell this stuff (?) and that it is not sold in New York State. Does anyone have any knowledge?

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  1. Pure grain alcohol 180-190 proof is illegal in NY State. It can be purchased in any liquor store in Conneticut. It is absolutley flavorless and most gins and vodkas are made with it mixed with the local water and herbs before redistilling. Pure grain (Ethyl) will not make you blind, it is wood alcohol (Methyl) that will do that and is very toxic. The unsafe thing about pure grain is that it is easy to overdose and kill yourself with alcohol poisoning because it is so strong. Just figure this, if you mix it 50/50 with juice is is as strong as straight vodka. You can add flavorings and water it down to make liquers. It is good for making tinctures but must be kept away from open flames because it is very combustiable and the vapors can even explode. It is not good for pickling fruit, again due to it's high alcohol content and lack of flavor.

    You can use any alcohol for mixing with oils to make perfumes because you are not drinking it. Why not dilute the oils with mineral oil or preferably pure cold pressed natural sesame oil (not roasted sesame oil.) Sesame oil is very good for the skin, has vitamins, and is a natural anti-fungal as well.

    8 Replies
    1. re: The Rogue

      Well I tried using isopropyl, but the alchohol smell altered the oil smell. I may try the sesame oil idea, though I have a quirk that I hate anything oily on my skin.

      Thanks a lot, though. I will get some the next time I wend my way through CT.

      1. re: annab
        Caitlin McGrath

        Body Time, a group of shops in The SF Bay Area, specializes in custom-scenting products with essential oils (they were really the first place doing this, in the early 70s). They sell a perfume/cologne base to use for diluting oils to make perfumes. It costs a lot more than plain alcohol, but it is very stable and works very well. If you scroll down the page at the attached link, you'll see it.


        1. re: Caitlin McGrath


          Thank you so, so much! This is perfect! And the price really isn't bad at all. You are, as ever, a godsend.

          1. re: annab
            Caitlin McGrath

            Aw, shucks.

            Incidentally, Body Time products are excellent in general.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Which other ones do you recommend? I need to round out my order to meet the minimum. If people are feeling strongly that we need to get this over to "not about food" you can email me directly.

      2. re: The Rogue

        what about Everclear? I've done maybe . . . three shots of it in my life . . . it's horrible, but I think it must be legal in NY, 'cuz I've had it . . . 190 proof, should be available at most liquor stores . . or at least, ordered online from any liquor site . .

        1. re: bigjeff

          Everclear is one of the more common brands of pure grain alcohol and illegal in NY State.

          1. re: the rogue

            I'm fairly sure Everclear is available in New Jersey liquor stores. Whatever you do, don't drink it without diluting it first. I agree with Bigjeff that it's horrible and will do horrible things to you. (I'm speaking from experience unfortunately.) BTW, I'm heading for Jersey tomorrow so I'll check and report back next week when I'm back at the keyboard.