HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Taste aversion to alcohol?

m
MSPD Aug 31, 2005 10:43 AM

Despite lack of a scientific background, I do believe in the biological taste aversions some people have. For me, cilantro and ginger just taste wrong.

That said, I'm also particularly sensitive to the taste of alcohol. Beer, hard alcohol and red wines are just flat out unpalatable. White wines are less intensely disgusting, but I would never describe them as tasting good. Believe me, I've tried to "develop a taste" and appreciation. I do wine tastings. I have sommeliers help out. I can talk day and night about the different tastes and complexities, varietals, pairing with food and so on about beer, wine and spirits. But in the end, there is a common thread among these beverages which I have never gotten "used to" or enjoyed. Some things are better than others, but in the end, alcohol never tastes great.

I strongly believe this is beyond personal taste, but unlike cilantro and ginger, I've not heard many other people talk about TASTE aversions to alcohol specifically (yes, I know it makes many sick to their stomach or gives migraines).

I'm curious if others share this taste aversion. (I realize it may almost seem embarrassing to admit in our culture). If so, do you still drink?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. j
    JudiAU RE: MSPD Aug 31, 2005 10:50 AM

    I know several people who don't like the "taste" of certain types of alcohol or all types of alcohol. If they don't lik it they don't drink it. I don't think they are embarrassed by it or causes them any social issues.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudiAU
      s
      semmel RE: JudiAU Aug 31, 2005 01:00 PM

      I was surprised when one grad student in my lab was teasing another about his never ever even trying alcohol.

      I asked him if he had ever drunk too much and woken up with a hangover. Yes, he said. Well Frank never has; 'nuff said.

      I got the impression the non-imbiber had grown up seeing alcohol abuse in his family. He certainly did not begrudge others imbibimg, including his wife.

    2. t
      The Ranger RE: MSPD Aug 31, 2005 11:29 AM

      Yes, I know several that can stand the taste of alcohol (and believe me, I've tried to disguise it when it's an intigral part of a dish.)

      When I'm having someone over that's told me that they don't drink or use alcohol, I attempt to make a dish that doesn't use it. They're appreciative and so am I because I understand how finding a particular food in a dish can ruin an otherwise wonderful evening.

      1. m
        Michelle RE: MSPD Aug 31, 2005 12:52 PM

        I don't like the taste of alcohol, period. Given that, I don't drink. Of course there's always the exception to the rule, I do like the occasional fruity/tropical drink, but it has to be fruity enough so I don't taste the alcohol and I might have one of those like every couple of years or so. I also like to cook with wine sometimes, but I don't taste any alcohol in the finished dish, just the taste of the wine. Just my two cents...

        1. t
          TCUJoe RE: MSPD Aug 31, 2005 12:53 PM

          Speaking as one who has been a biochemist for 40 years, if it feels bad, don't do it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: TCUJoe
            j
            julesrules RE: TCUJoe Aug 31, 2005 01:16 PM

            I was remembering an observation I made in high school - the people who really didn't like the taste of alcohol at first were the same people who ended up with drinking problems. Obviously this particular sample developed a taste for it pretty quickly, but it did seem like maybe there was a reason their bodies rejected it at first - lower genetic tolerance? Who knows.

          2. m
            Midlife RE: MSPD Aug 31, 2005 05:56 PM

            It seems you're going to get responses from many angles on this. But I don't think you're talking about the pros and cons or drinking or the why's either.

            I'm very much into wine, but there is a definite 'taste' in many wines (mostly reds) that I just don't like. Over the years I've come to believe that it is the taste of what I think can be described as "unbalanced alcohol". That is where the alcohol either dominates the other flavors and characteristics of the wine or where it is not 'complimented' by the other tastes.

            I'm not sure this 'theory' is technically correct from an oenology standpoint, but I've come to be able to distinguish most of the more usually described tastes (and aromas) in wine, and there's a commonality to many of the ones I don't like that I really believe is the alcohol.

            One of the reasons I think this is possibly related to the 'balance' of wine flavors with the alcohol, is that what I taste is not the same pure alcohol taste as hard liquor. Or it could be that alcohol from grain-based liquor has a different taste than that from grapes.

            I'd really be interested in any educated opinions on this subject. I already know that I shouldn't drink something if I don't like it. I would just like to be able to understand what it is that I don't like in a wine in more specific terms.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Midlife
              m
              MSPD RE: Midlife Aug 31, 2005 06:15 PM

              Thank you for that post.

              Like cilantro and ginger, I recognize the significance of the specific tastes of alcohol in its various forms. I think this idea is similar to what you describe.

              For example, I love al pastor tacos. When cilantro is available or offered, I don't request they leave it out. While cilantro alone tastes repulsive, I'm familiar enough with it as an element in the dish that the dissonance is welcome. It still tastes bad, but it's part of the character of the dish. This similarly applies to ginger in Chinese foods.

              The only way I can explain it is: foods where these flavors belong, whether I like them or not, would be like a puzzle with a missing piece if they were omitted.

              This applies to wine and alcoholic drinks. I appreciate and enjoy the complexities of flavor in wine but there is always a single element present that I will detest. I think it's physiological, but unlike cilantro and ginger, I haven't heard anyone discuss it in those terms.

            2. j
              ju RE: MSPD Aug 31, 2005 06:01 PM

              I share your belief, MSPD. I, too, find the taste of wine, beer and hard liquor unpleasant. Tried for many yrs to acquire a taste for wine, both to fit in (I got tired of being teased about ordering a soft drink while everyone else was drinking alcohol) and because wine was supposed to enhance the taste of certain foods. Well, it didn't - not for me anyway. I can tolerate, at most, 2 sips of wine before it starts tasting foul (even the better vintages); so foul that I have to hold my breath to down it. Any more than that and I start turning red, have tachycardia, feel the blood pounding in my cheeks and temples, and feel like I'm running a fever. This reaction, I believe, is because I lack alcohol dehydrogenase(ADH), the enzyme in the liver that metabolises alcohol. I've often wondered if lack of ADH is related to a taste aversion for alcohol...... hmmm, gotta start looking up the medical/scientific literature.

              I do enjoy sweeter alcohols like sherry and port,when they're in desserts or fruit salads. Savory dishes containing wine are also OK (like coq au vin) because the alcohol has evaporated. I also like a G&T made to my specs - 1 teaspoon of gin to 8oz. of tonic!

              1 Reply
              1. re: ju
                t
                The Giant Tomato RE: ju Sep 2, 2005 03:16 AM

                I don't fully believe that your reaction to alcohol is directly related to ADH deficiency. Alcohol dehydrogenase is only part of the sugar to ATP process your body uses to extract the energy from sugars like alcohol. Your reaction is immediate. ADH deficiency is only resultant in prolonged normal effects of alcohol and being a "cheep drunk."

                Alcohol dehydrogenase is related to acetaldehyde dehydrogenase the enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde, which is related to formaldeyhyde, the product of alcohol dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde is far more toxic than alcohol, this being the source of hangovers. Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency is far more common than lacking the alcohol dehydrogenase.
                It may be posible that you do have an low ADH production, but then your reaction would only be compensatory.

                It is more likely that you have a reaction to the chemical just by taste, similar to how I react to fresh cilantro and just the feel in my mouth is leveling.

              2. b
                Bud RE: MSPD Sep 1, 2005 03:40 PM

                You obviously have a sweet tooth and do not like anything that does not have that special sweet taste.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bud
                  c
                  curiousbaker RE: Bud Sep 1, 2005 03:45 PM

                  Hmmm, I've noticed that people who really like their booze also tend to like sweets. I happen to love sweets AND booze. Though not sweet booze. (Also love ginger, but not cilantro. Also butter, white bread, bacon, and a whole lot of other things I probably shouldn't.)

                  Link: http://seasonalcook.blogspot.com

                2. m
                  MikeG RE: MSPD Sep 1, 2005 06:37 PM

                  I have a similar reaction, but it's not that strong. Wine, beer, mixed drinks, most fortified wines, etc. I have no problem with at all - the flavor outweighs the alcohol "taste." But anything above about 40 proof - especially, heaven forbid, at US room temperature! - and I just can't get past the alcohol to enjoy the flavor. Like you, I can "analyze" it as an intellectual exercise, I just don't enjoy it.

                  I never had any sort of other problem with alcohol even when I was young(er), dumb and occasionally drank primarily to get drunk - I just wanted it out of my mouth and down my throat ASAP!

                  1. k
                    katya RE: MSPD Sep 2, 2005 02:26 PM

                    I've never like the taste of alcohol either. And I'm a sweets lover by the way.

                    Alcohol is OK in food, but I don't like a glass of wine or any booze. I've tried. The only thing I don't mind nearly as much is a fruity mixed drink or an ice cream mixed drink (like a Brandy Alexander), but while I have it I still keep thinking it would taste better without alcohol.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: katya
                      n
                      N Tocus RE: katya Sep 5, 2005 10:57 PM

                      Count me with those who don't like the taste of alcohol. If you feel like you want to drink something for social reasons, try vodka and orange juice. Also, a nice frozen snow-consistency pina colada is pleasant on a hot day. Sangria is good, and if you make it at home you can manipulate the ratio of fruit juice to wine and put a lot of ice in your own glass. Portugese vinho verde is a very light wine that you won't mind. There's also the option of walking around the party with a glass of tap water to give the impression you are drinking neat gin. Actually nowadays people are more tolerant of non-drinkers; forty or fifty years ago we were more singularized, I think.

                    2. s
                      Shep RE: MSPD Sep 2, 2005 05:22 PM

                      I was kind of waiting for somebody to say, but alchohol tastes bad because it's toxic. It's a poison. It dehydrates our tissues. That nasty taste is a warning. Nobody likes alchohol to start out with; nobody loved their first taste of scotch. That's why kids learn to drink on wine coolers. Over time, we desensitize ourselves to the alchohol taste, and learn to pick up and appreciate the other flavors in the beverage. I drink a glass of wine now, same wine tasted nasty to me as a kid, now I can detect all that berries and cocoa and cigar stuff, as well as the occasional dishrag.

                      But you won't see any mature drinkers toking down Everklear, for good reason. If you don't like the flavor of alchohol, either train yourself to put up with it, or don't drink. No big deal.

                      1. b
                        Becca Porter RE: MSPD Sep 2, 2005 07:19 PM

                        I do not like the taste of alcohol, either by the glass or in food.

                        Oddly enough my exception is beer. I love a cold beer. I do prefer the lighter varieties and I like them cold.

                        The very best beer I ever had was at the Budweiser Brewery in Sea World. I guess that proves I'm definitely not a connoisseur. I guess it was SO good because it was so fresh. Stop laughing at me now please :).

                        I do cook with alcohol. I read that having the alcohol in the dish enhances the other flavors. I just try to simmer it uncovered a while to evaporate out the majority of the alcohol.

                        I do frequently try other drinks. Good wine and non-sweet cocktails. I do not like artificial sweet drinks at all. However, I keep having that hard to swallow feeling. Its really disapointing but oh well.
                        -Becca

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Becca Porter
                          Muhlyssa RE: Becca Porter May 7, 2009 10:31 AM

                          Was doing some research on the topic and found this old thread. I have tried to aquire a taste for alcohol and it's just not happening. I've accepted it and moved on. I can tolerate it when its mixed with a lot of fruit juice or pina colada mix but I'd rather use my calories for food. The only drink I sort of like is Gin and Tonic but I don't crave it. My husband isn't into it either, so it works well for us to spend our $ on food.

                          1. re: Becca Porter
                            Becca Porter RE: Becca Porter Aug 19, 2012 04:57 PM

                            I am proof that you can develop the taste for alcohol. I certainly have these last few years...lol.

                            1. re: Becca Porter
                              coll RE: Becca Porter Aug 20, 2012 04:13 AM

                              Budweiser served right at the brewery IS the best. And I don't usually go for Bud.

                            2. a
                              AngelSanctuary RE: MSPD May 24, 2009 04:52 PM

                              Oh I can NOT stand the taste of alcohol as well! Although, oddly enough, I like to use it in cooking o.O.

                              But yea...I think beer reminds me of wet socks

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AngelSanctuary
                                b
                                Budser1228 RE: AngelSanctuary May 26, 2009 12:52 PM

                                I also do not like the taste of alcohol. I do use it in my cooking. I have a recipe for drunken meatballs - when I taste it and I like it that means it's done.

                                I also get more invitations to places because I will be a designated driver that will never just have "one" drink that ends up being five so I am pretty popular.

                              2. s
                                spellweaver16 RE: MSPD May 24, 2009 08:33 PM

                                I'm with you! I just canNOT stand the taste of alcohol. The only way I can drink is if the taste of the alcohol is almost completely disguised by something else. The only thing I can drink straight is Bailey's, and that's because I've gotten used to the bite. I can't stand beer and wine, hard liquor makes me gag. I end up drinking Mike's if I want to have some alcohol, or a fruity drink. Luckily I'm only a social drinker, and I bring my own!

                                1. mrbigshotno.1 RE: MSPD May 26, 2009 04:41 PM

                                  I have this terrible aversion also, but after forcing down the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.....etc. It goes away!

                                  1. b
                                    bugmenot RE: MSPD Jul 31, 2009 12:48 AM

                                    the specific taste of the alcohol just makes me gross out. Although i would prefer it not too :P Definitely hard liquors, Anything where if u smell it, you can smell the alcohol. But fruity drinks and stuff i love :D.

                                    1. janethepain RE: MSPD Jul 31, 2009 07:12 AM

                                      I just assumed no one actually ENJOYED the taste of alcohol, but enjoyed the effects.

                                      I think it tastes terrible, but that doesn't keep me from going overboard. I don't understand rum-soaked desserts at all. I used to hate wine, but I'm trying to become a wine snob. I still don't like beer, and given the stronger choices available, would never choose it over a cocktail.

                                      1. t
                                        Takat RE: MSPD Jul 31, 2009 08:14 AM

                                        I add my voice to the chorus--I can't stand the taste of alcohol either. Beer is just gross. WIne is slightly better (especially red wine), and Champagne is cringe-worthy.

                                        Strangely, I do enjoy "non-alcoholic" wines and such.

                                        Anyone else notice this?

                                        Takat
                                        Writing away about my latest 3 week adventure through China at http://katacomb.blogspot.com

                                        1. m
                                          mojoeater RE: MSPD Jul 31, 2009 08:34 AM

                                          I'm a woman in her upper 30's and I actually do love the TASTE of many different alcohols. I'm a big beer fan and relish an IPA, stout, ale, porter, kolsch, etc. The complexities of a good beer wake up my different taste buds and there is little I enjoy more. I also like wine and am perfectly happy with both cheap and pricey. I would say I like beer a bit more, but wine goes well with some foods and doesn't make you feel as full. Have never been a fan of sweet drinks and would rather have my tequila straight than mixed with grenadine and OJ in a sunrise.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: mojoeater
                                            invinotheresverde RE: mojoeater Oct 2, 2010 08:05 AM

                                            Old thread, but:

                                            THANK GOD, mojo. I was beginning to think I was the only one who actually really liked the taste of booze, and, as you said, not booze covered up with nasty, sugary junk. I want my booze to taste like booze!

                                            1. re: invinotheresverde
                                              m
                                              mojoeater RE: invinotheresverde Oct 2, 2010 01:29 PM

                                              darn tootin'! I might have to get a drink right now!

                                          2. haggisdragon RE: MSPD Jul 31, 2009 12:32 PM

                                            I believe that an aversion to any flavour, alcohol or otherwise must be purely psychological rather than physiological. Not making any judgements here, it just makes sense to me. What a person experiences early in their life, the depth and breadth exposure to different flavours, will form a pattern that is nearly impossible to alter for the rest their life. When you factor in the varying role that social morality plays in how different cultures value and use alcohol the issue becomes much more loaded than a simple matter of taste. My personal example would be this: I'm born to Scottish parents who very much enjoy drinking beer wine and scotch. They have a certain disdain for sweet fruity drinks most of the time. They're also both heavy drinkers. I grew up in that environment, observed their behaviour, internalized it, and now I'm pretty much like them.

                                            If you look at it that way, we each have a different story to tell about our likes and dislikes, particularly with alcohol.

                                            I'd actually be interested in hearing similar stories (or completely different ones) in the same vein.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: haggisdragon
                                              t
                                              Takat RE: haggisdragon Jul 31, 2009 01:06 PM

                                              Well, my parents are pretty neutral about alcohol. Not big drinkers, but not against it. I was allowed tastes of the stuff from the age of like ten, so there was no big negative message against it or anything.

                                              I've just hated the taste of most stuff...

                                              Perhaps its something you must develop? Maybe I just haven't drunk enough, LOL.

                                              Takat
                                              Writing away about my latest 3 week adventure through China at http://katacomb.blogspot.com

                                              1. re: haggisdragon
                                                s
                                                small h RE: haggisdragon Jul 31, 2009 01:08 PM

                                                <I believe that an aversion to any flavour, alcohol or otherwise must be purely psychological rather than physiological...What a person experiences early in their life, the depth and breadth exposure to different flavours, will form a pattern that is nearly impossible to alter for the rest their life.>

                                                So you're saying that the only reason things taste "bad" to some people is that they never learned to like them? You don't think, perhaps, that human beings might have evolved to reject certain flavors because those flavors indicate a substance might be harmful? There's a reason you don't know anyone who enjoys drinking Drano, and it isn't that no one is taught to appreciate the deliciousness of Drano.

                                                1. re: small h
                                                  haggisdragon RE: small h Jul 31, 2009 02:15 PM

                                                  I see your point small h. My argument against that would be that many things that are commenly ingested have toxic components to them. A couple of examples from the top of my head would be potatoes, and anything with caffeine in it. Not everybody enjoys potatoes or coffee but I wouldn't neccesarily suggest that this is because their body is reacting to the toxicity. It is possible I suppose that some people dislike alcohol because they have an allergy to gluten, or alcohol itself. That would be a physiological reaction, but slightly different from reacting to poison.

                                                  I think the concentration of poison is important. Obviously nobody is going to learn to appreciate Drano, because they would drop dead trying. On the other hand you might not like Tuna very much, but I wouldn't suggest that thats because its loaded with unsafe levels of mercury.

                                                  You have pointed out a logical loop hole in my original statement though:

                                                  <I believe that an aversion to any flavour, alcohol or otherwise must be purely psychological rather than physiological>

                                                  I wasn't thinking about Drano when I said that, just what we would accept as fit for human consumption. Also I'll accept that there's a physiological component that may come into play as well as a pyschological one.

                                                  For some people an aversion to the taste of alcohol might phsiological. For some it might be psycological. For some it might be both.

                                                  1. re: haggisdragon
                                                    s
                                                    small h RE: haggisdragon Jul 31, 2009 02:39 PM

                                                    I absolutely agree that psychology plays a factor - some people are grossed out by sea urchin, which clearly isn't poisonous, or I'd be dead.

                                                    But how about those people who think cilantro tastes like soap? I don't think that's conditioning - I think to them it really *does* taste like soap, because of the way their taste buds react to it.

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/301847

                                                2. re: haggisdragon
                                                  b
                                                  bobandannaweaven RE: haggisdragon Aug 10, 2009 08:50 PM

                                                  For years I really enjoyed all kinds of alcohol - now most of it just tastes bad to me - especially beer and wine. I have noticed though, that the ones I don't mind are usually produced locally. Maybe it has to do with the freshness. I have a friend who has pretty much gotten the same way.

                                                  1. re: haggisdragon
                                                    h
                                                    HannahEats RE: haggisdragon Dec 11, 2011 10:42 PM

                                                    I don't post much on chowhound, although I visit quite frequently, but I had to comment on this because of the sheer ridiculousness of it.

                                                    So if someone dislikes the flavor of something that you happen to like, then it "MUST BE PURELY PSYCHOLOGICAL"?? What kind of absurd statement is that? I mean, you have two absolutes in just that one silly statement. The first being the "must" which I'm assuming in your mind means there can be not a single other explanation possible. And secondly, the "purely" which seems to indicate that ALL blame has to be placed squarely on the shoulders of a person's psyche.

                                                    I very much dislike alcohol despite years of trying to like it. Mostly for social reasons. But I hate it. My brother and most of my family, enjoy alcohol. I never had any sort of traumatic experience linked with alcohol.

                                                    To just throw out such a absolute statement in regards to something as varied and personal as TASTE is possible the most bizarre statement I've ever read on Chowhound.

                                                    1. re: HannahEats
                                                      haggisdragon RE: HannahEats Dec 12, 2011 01:36 AM

                                                      Thats great

                                                    2. re: haggisdragon
                                                      f
                                                      FrankJBN RE: haggisdragon Aug 20, 2012 10:07 AM

                                                      "an aversion to any flavour, alcohol or otherwise must be purely psychological rather than physiological"

                                                      It is well known that a small percentage of people (<2%) finds cilantro to taste 'soapy" at all times.

                                                      This is 'hard-wired' into the body, a physiological reaction. you can look it up, well documented.

                                                    3. c
                                                      ChuckLee RE: MSPD Jan 10, 2010 10:08 AM

                                                      Hello, first of all forgive my english please

                                                      I'm 18 years old and some time ago I could normally taste a lot of strong alcohol drinks like vodka, ron, etc...However, like 1 year ago, in a party, I think I went to far, I got very drunk and got unconscious most part of the night. It wasn' so bad except for the hangover which lasted 2 days, but the worst part is that I developed a strange taste aversion to alcohol. Now, I cannot have 3 singles sips of an alcoholic drink without wanting to vomit. All the people think it's like my imagination because it's a very strange problem, it's not like alcohol did something wrong to my organism but like his taste sent a neurological message to my brain which said I cannot tolerate it. It's very very unpleasant especially in social activities (I could even suddenly vomit in a public place and that wouldn't be so funny). If someone could help me to resolve this problem I would be extremely grateful. Thanks

                                                      1. d
                                                        dump123456789 RE: MSPD Jan 10, 2010 12:19 PM

                                                        I also have a taste aversion to alcohol in every form: wine, beer, champagne, fruity drinks, rum cake, improperly flambeed desserts, cough syrup. It all makes me retch when I taste it on my tongue. I don't even need to swallow it. Even if I hold my nose, I can still taste it. I've had friends who tried to trick/test me, but I can always tell. (If the ethanol is properly burned off, then I'm fine with it. So I have no problems with foods that are made with wine, unless they aren't cooked long enough to burn off the ethanol.)

                                                        I had a friend who said it was anti-social of me not to learn to drink, because it made people who did drink uncomfortable to be around me when I didn't. And, in fact, I used to get a lot of questions when I said I didn't drink ("nothing, not even ... ?'", "why not ?", "did you have a bad experience ?"). After a while, I realized that it might make them more comfortable if I just said I was a recovering alcoholic. That actually worked, but I stopped saying it because it was ridiculous. Nowadays, nobody really says anything.

                                                        Oh yeah, I also hate cilantro because it tastes like soap.

                                                        1. s
                                                          sisterfunkhaus RE: MSPD Jan 10, 2010 12:30 PM

                                                          I can't eat cilantro or ginger either. Alcohol depends on the type. I cannot drink any beer. I have tried and tried. I am the type that if I eat or drink something enough times, I can learn to enjoy it. Not beer. Whiskey also tastes vile to me, yet I love gin and vodka martinis (the real things, not the fruity crap.) I love white wines, but the dryness and tannic taste of the red makes them unpalatable no matter how many times I try them. I honestly get a little peeved about it b/c I want to like red wine. I have an adventurous palate, and not being able to enjoy something that is widely loved by many is frustrating.

                                                          I think that many taste aversions can be biological as opposed to learned. I think if you keep trying it and cannot come to enjoy it, then there is something about your palate that just doesn't work with whatever it is.

                                                          Honestly, if you don't enjoy it after trying it over and over, I say try again every now and then, but don't force yourself to drink it.

                                                          1. a
                                                            Avalondaughter RE: MSPD Jan 10, 2010 01:18 PM

                                                            I was thinking of a friend of mine who doesn't drink alcohol for the same reason. She could never stand the taste of anything, and would even shun foods that her hypersensitive tastebuds could detect alcohol in. She was a huge dessert freak, but would shun a dessert that had any hint of alcohol in it. I remember eating cake for a friend's birthday. It was a pretty ordinary chocolate cake. After a couple of bites she said, "There is liquer in here." I don't know what type of liquer she was tasting as the alcohol would have been cooked out. I know she was conflicted about finishing it because of the choice of whether or not the chocolate outweighed the alcohol taste.

                                                            As someone who doesn't always "get" certain wines, who still hates beer, and doesn't really like hard liquor straight, I can relate to how she, and other alcohol-haters, feel. It's an acquired taste and there comes a point where you have to wonder what the point is in trying to acquire it ifyou really don't like it.

                                                            She made some good points about liquor in food though. When I pointed out that liquers in desserts generally had no actual alcohol left in them after baking and the point was to leave behind the flavor, she pointed out that we could just use the flavor in anther form and not use the alcohol. Ditto for sweet cocktails. If you can't taste the alcohol anyway, why not have a non-alcoholic drink?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Avalondaughter
                                                              a
                                                              Ali RE: Avalondaughter Jan 10, 2010 07:14 PM

                                                              I've never met a cocktail so sweet I can't taste the alcohol, and I've had many a cavity-inducing cocktail. Granted, I don't drink sweet cocktails nearly as often as the "average" female, so maybe my viewpoint is skewed. In any case, if you're sensitive to alcohol, you're going to taste it, no matter how much someone claims that the alcohol will "sneak up" on you. As for why they exist? Why does "jungle juice" exist? Why do so many like vodka, a liquor that is, by definition, an odourless, flavourless liquid? To get drunk is probably the answer (though I still maintain that vodka, for a supposedly tasteless liquor, has a lot more flavour than it has any rights to).

                                                              Now, over the years, I've acquired a taste for alcohol (or rather, for certain spirits, I've learned to ignore that alcoholic burn that I associate with bitterness). I still cringe just a little for something like a vodka martini since the first thing that hits my palate is the alcohol, but I've somehow learned to taste beyond that. On the other hand, I've all but given up on something like a cognac because that alcoholic hit combined with an additional bitterness is so strong I can't taste things properly for hours after - my guess is that your friend is suffering from the similar issues since brandy and dark rum are big players when it comes to desserts with liquor.

                                                              By the way, that point about liquor in food? I guess it depends on perspective. Vodka in tomato sauce? Perhaps we will find that that whole alcohol-soluble flavours a myth in the future, but for now, I've never met anything that can extra flavours out of a tomato in the same way as a splash of vodka. Moreover, alcohol can also be added for the additional flavour it brings - "brandy flavouring" (or flavourings of any sort) ain't nothing like the real stuff. And as someone who doesn't even like brandy but keeps a decent bottle on hand for cooking, I am speaking from experience.

                                                            2. c
                                                              CookieWeasel RE: MSPD Jan 10, 2010 04:43 PM

                                                              I've never liked the taste of alcohol! During my college years and twenties I was peer-pressured into drinking, and never enjoyed it. I did develop a taste for Kahlua, but that was despite the alcohol undertaste. I seem to have zero tolerance for alcohol, and it only takes a tiny bit to get me drunk, which makes it a bad beverage choice for me! Nowadays the only alcohol i consume is rum (in baked goods) and wine (in sauces).

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: CookieWeasel
                                                                PegS RE: CookieWeasel Jan 11, 2010 09:30 AM

                                                                I've never liked the taste of alcohol and yes, the rest of my family drinks and yes, I've tried everything even the sweet stuff. Like Dump, I've found it easier sometimes to just pretend I'm in AA or have some religious reason I don't drink. It's amazing how many people have interrogated me over this as if I were casting some moral judgement upon them by not drinking.

                                                                Like Avalon's friend, I can taste even a smidgen. It works if the alcohol taste is buried enough so other flavors overwhelm it--sort of the way I'm fine with cilantro in salsa but can't stand it when I can actually "taste" it--but if a dessert is too boozy I find it unpleasant. It really is a *taste* thing for me, and not a psychological aversion. I don't like liver, I don't like raw tomatoes, I don't like cilantro, I don't like licorice and I don't like alcohol.

                                                                1. re: PegS
                                                                  d
                                                                  dump123456789 RE: PegS Jan 11, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                                  I've found that giving a religious reason not to drink always elicits the same response - "are you Mormon ?".

                                                                  1. re: dump123456789
                                                                    w
                                                                    Wolfsbane RE: dump123456789 Apr 30, 2013 05:26 AM

                                                                    There's an old joke about how you never take one Mormon fishing with you because if you do they'll drink up all your beer.

                                                                    I went to school in Utah for a year and found out that it was absolutely true. Mormon's are some of the biggest drinkers you'll find as long as they're not around other Mormons from their temple.

                                                                    There was this one kid in my dorm who would go out and party all weekend, then mess up our communal bathroom with the results. His Mormon parents wouldn't get him help because 'our little angel wouldn't do anything like that.'

                                                                    We solved that problem one weekend when he was drunk by all chipping in and buying him a one way plane ticket to Anchorage Alaska and driving him to the airport in Salt Lake City so they had to deal with his problem.

                                                              2. Passadumkeg RE: MSPD Oct 3, 2010 09:53 PM

                                                                Yes, I admit, I have a real taste aversion to lite beer. I'd rather drink buttermilk. Now real beer on the other hand...

                                                                1. sockii RE: MSPD Oct 4, 2010 07:36 AM

                                                                  I enjoy the taste of many alcoholic spirits, either straight or in a well-mixed (not overly sweet) cocktail. Bourbon, Rum, Scotch...just keep the Gin away from me as I hate that stuff.

                                                                  Love wines of all kinds, except for the sweet/overly-fruity ones. Preference is definitely toward the dry end of the spectrum.

                                                                  Never, EVER have been able to develop a taste for beer. I can occasionally force a very light-flavored beer down on a really hot summer day if nothing else is available but I honestly can't understand how anyone can choose to drink it regularly. I know I must be missing some kind of taste appreciation there.

                                                                  1. Pzz RE: MSPD Dec 19, 2011 08:05 PM

                                                                    Research has revealed the existence of what they call "super tasters" who are exquisitely sensitive to strong flavors. These people typically can detect bitter flavors like quinine in minute quantities and often greatly dislike the taste of alcohol.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Pzz
                                                                      c
                                                                      cresyd RE: Pzz Aug 20, 2012 02:52 AM

                                                                      As a fan of wine and spirits - I've never really thought heavily about this, but I strongly dislike beer. I've had a glass or two over the years and during my college years if it was 'all that was there', I'd drink it - but I've never liked beer. The closest I get to drinking beer are ciders such as Magners or Bulmers, but these days if the choice is beer or nothing, I'll go nothing.

                                                                      Not sure if there's anything that explains that or not (super taster or otherwise), but I guess I've just always seen it as a 'personal taste inconsistency'. I really like capers - hate olives - though I'll admit they're similar.

                                                                    2. d
                                                                      deleomeyer RE: MSPD Aug 19, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                      This is an interesting thread and I am happy to have found it.

                                                                      I USED to like alcohol--very much! But I had major surgery two months ago and for a month the only thing I could consume by mouth was water and ice chips. My senses of smell and taste hit a major reset button. Hot sauces I could easily consume by the spoonful were now punishingly hot. I am back to eating and drinking most things except coffee and alcohol. Both taste downright weird and wrong--as tasty as sucking on an aspirin. I don't think it is (just) getting used to it again. It may have something to do with meds I am now on, although the side effects given for them don't list taste issues as a possible effect. Maybe it is the mix of the meds having a combined effect...

                                                                      Have others had an experience like this? And does it go away? I'd love to have a glass a wine!

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: deleomeyer
                                                                        b
                                                                        bobandannaweaven RE: deleomeyer Aug 19, 2012 05:33 PM

                                                                        yes, I am surprised I didn't mention it above - for me (and my friend) it was after major surgery. definitely can't drink dry reds anymore, but used to love them. was never much for sweeter/whites, but like them know quite a bit. keep experimenting would be my advice - especially with things that are locally produced - good luck!

                                                                        1. re: deleomeyer
                                                                          coll RE: deleomeyer Aug 20, 2012 04:17 AM

                                                                          My friend had terrible problems eating food while he was in the hospital for a long term stay, everything tasted so terrible to him. I tried some myself and it wasn't bad at all. When he went home and his wife's cooking also tasted bad, he finally realized it was the meds, not the food.He lost 40 lbs by the time he realized it. He never lost his love of drink though, not surprisingly.

                                                                        2. Moimoi RE: MSPD Aug 20, 2012 05:31 AM

                                                                          Took me a long time to appreciate wine, but my turning point came when someone passed me a beautiful chunk of brie on a fresh baguette... it's been down... I mean, uphill (I think...) ever since... hicc...

                                                                          Oh... I also feel the EXACT same way as you do about wine with oysters. Sorry to the oyster lovers out there, but I've REALLY tried... about a hundred times, and tried some of the best out there. I just don't get how "swallowing" (vs. chewing and savouring) something that could be compared to something your body produces when you have a bad cold as appetizing. Shivers!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Moimoi
                                                                            linguafood RE: Moimoi Aug 20, 2012 08:59 AM

                                                                            That's why you chew and savor (with wine or without), though a cold Chablis can be a nice company.

                                                                          2. f
                                                                            ferret RE: MSPD Aug 20, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                            I can't say I have an aversion to the taste but I've lost interest in it. I still drink occasionally and socially (in fairly limited amounts) but I don't seek out wine or cocktails as a first (or second) choice. I certainly used to but although I refer to it as "having lost my taste" there's nothing objectionable about the taste, just lack of desire.

                                                                            1. f
                                                                              FrankJBN RE: MSPD Aug 20, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                              To OP:

                                                                              It doesn't seem to be alcohol since you find white wine 'less disgusting' than beer while it contains normally around 3 times the amount of alcohol.

                                                                              1. scubadoo97 RE: MSPD Aug 21, 2012 09:51 AM

                                                                                Alcohol on it's own doesn't really have much taste at all. Does vodka come to mind?

                                                                                But I love the flavors that a distillate produces from barrel aging. Very complex

                                                                                1. g
                                                                                  GreenDragon RE: MSPD Aug 21, 2012 12:10 PM

                                                                                  I've never liked alcohol. I think it's because I dislike bitter. I don't like mint because it has a bitter aftertaste to me. Beer, wine, spirits - all taste bitter to me. I like a sweet alcohol (cider, mead, fruity floofy mixed drinks), and can deal with sweet liquours like Nocello or Amaretto, or Irish Creme. I have no problem with alcohol in cooking. Just don't give me a beer or a glass of wine. Unless it's Icewine :)

                                                                                  1. fldhkybnva RE: MSPD Mar 12, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                                    Count me in, there are few alcoholic beverages which I really like to drink. I had my first drink in college which was a screwdriver and my friends like to laugh that my immediate response was "my lips are tingling" and I didn't much enjoy it. For years, I succumbed to the social pressure and would settle for hard cider or some mixed fruity drink or the ever-regrettable Hypnotiq or perhaps a glass of Proseco but I never really actually enjoyed it and now just don't drink at all. Don't miss it one bit. I often do have that inkling that perhaps I'll like it as there have been times when I've really enjoyed it - 1) enjoyed a great red wine at a steakhouse or 2) enjoyed a lovely refreshing Proseco on the pier on a summer day but I think that this might be more the experience rather than the drink itself. For Thanksgiving, I bought a bottle of wine hoping to have a lovely day of cooking and sipping like on the movies :). I opened it, took one sip and was over it. So, in short now I just don't drink.

                                                                                    Show Hidden Posts