HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Drinking vanilla extract for the alcohol

On Cape Cod, no less, and only in one supermarket. http://tinyurl.com/4kxxfq

Kids? As much as I love vanilla, I cannot even imagine drinking a whole bottle of it!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I saw a guy on the bus the other day (here in Chicago) drinking mouthwash. So sad :(

    1. I remember, in the 70's, there was a home for troubled adolescents here. I was supposed to help the part of their program that was to cook the meals. They did not allow vanilla in the pantry for just that reason and no one had heard of powdered vanilla at that time.
      Whether they did that because somewhere it had been a problem or whether it was a knee jerk reaction, I have no idea. But I did think that almost every kid, somewhere between 7 and ten, had tried Mom's vanilla because it smelled so good. Tried it once, only!!!

      1. I remember trying vanilla solo at about age 7. Just once! It was nasty. Anyone who would drink THAT must be an alcoholic with no access to anything better.

        1. This is old wisom for soup kitchens and homeless shelters...however, I found the most shocking thing in the article the reference to 'inexpensive' bottles. I am really surprised that there is a problem with the genuine vanilla extract, it is usually WAY too expensive for these poor folks.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LJS

            Ummm...I don't think they actually pay for it.

            1. re: janniecooks

              Correct, the local news story said that kids are shoplifting the extract from the supermarket, chugging it, and littering the empty bottles.

              The grocers are relegated to hiding the vanilla extract almost the same way pharmacies hide oxycontin.

          2. Oh my goodnesss....I'm in shock to read this. That sounds gross and pathetic!

            1. There was an episode of Family Ties back in the 80's where Tom Hanks played an alcoholic uncle (I believe) and at one point he raided the pantry to drink the vanilla. I was very young and staying at a friend's house (we really weren't allowed to watch sitcoms at our home - just PBS and very little of that) but the image stuck with me...obviously!
              I limited my own taste test of vanilla to just sticking my finger in it when I was little - and that was only once. Almost as bad as when I thought my grandma's scotch-and-soda was apple juice! <shudder>

              1. well at least the drunk will smell good from the vanilla as they lie in the gutter. better than that thunderbird odor, ya know.

                2 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  alkapal - I need a WARNING before reading some of your posts so I don't snort my morning coffee! LOL

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    linda, my lovely, i'm happy to oblige! you've got your moments, too. don't be shy! ;-)

                    i have to tell you, once my older sister and i (both adults) were in a resto adjacent to a food court, but sit-down), with her high school age daughter, and the iced-tea-through-the-nose thing happened. we had to check the lady's bag behind us to make sure there wasn't any evidence! we still recall that with laughs to this day probably 25-30 years later!

                2. What do you mean "on Cape Cod, no less", and why assume it is kids rather than some homeless drunk?

                  1. How much of the vanilla would you have to drink to get the equivalent alcohol of say a standard sized cosmo or a 12 oz beer, etc

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: iluvtennis

                      Vanilla extract is usually 35% alcohol (70 proof -- like most whiskies), so one shot (1.5 oz) is equivalent to a 12 oz beer or 5 oz. glass of wine.