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Framboises: Kosher? Other Suggestions for Kosher Liquor for Gifting?

  • p

Hi. My husband loves raspberries, and I usually try to buy fresh ones for Valentines Day.

However, I need a special present for him.
Is the raspberry liquor Framboises kosher? (I doubt it: husband had to give up Campari years ago)

Does anyone have any suggestions or knowledge about kosher liquors?
Please note: We have a 23-year old bottle of Sabra.

Thanks very much, p.j. (who is still trying to find kosher sherry: tino pepe no longer kosher )

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    1. re: ferret

      Thanks, Ferret. I always forget about checking the CRC. Apparently only flavored vodkas are available. Not quite the same, but....

      Not a single sherry on the list. Bwah!
      Shabbat shalom, plj.

    2. http://www.theus.org.uk/jewish_living...

      The London Beit Din seems to approve of a number of them.

      1. If you are discussing eau de vie, then Framboise is questionable. As a soft fruit, it is made by macerating raspberries in a neutral spirit, then distilling and bottling the result to make a brandy flavored by the distilled essence of rapberries. this is as opposed to hard fruit brandies, which are produced by distilling the fermented mash of those fruits. Chances are the original alcohol source is brandy, and as such would typically not be kosher.

        If you are discussing sweetened liqueurs, then the primary alcohol source can be brandy, grain spirits eau de vie framboise, to which raspberry and other flavors, together with sweetener, could be added. Definitely potentially problematic. There are probably kosher brands and nonkosher brands.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ganeden

          Thanks for the explanation, ganeden.
          Shavuah tov, p.j.

        2. Amaretto (almond) and Frangelico (hazelnut) are both kosher as are some Godiva and Starbucks liquors, I believe. There are also some very fancy and expensive whiskeys and tequilas that will make a good impression. Cherry Heering is also kosher and actually tastes like cherry.

          If you have your heart set on raspberries,you could make a batch of frozen daiquiris or margaritas. Basically it's a smoothie with some added sugar or simple syrup and lemon and then either tequila or rum. We have a beach where we live, but you could set some lawn chairs or a beach towel up in your den...

          5 Replies
          1. re: SoCal Mother

            let's not forget Sabra and Moshe Shikkar (I wonder if this liquor is still around)

            1. re: berel

              The Sabra coffee is not very good. I actually like the Stock brand coffee from Israel, but they don't export it so you have to find someone to bring it to you.

            2. re: SoCal Mother

              At KosherFest, Ed Hardy Tequilah was certified kosher by the OU... I tasted it, and it was pretty darn good tequilah, and would make an excellent gift!

              1. re: DaveyCrocPot

                Thanks, Davey. I will check into that. I do like Margaritas.

              2. re: SoCal Mother

                When I saw this thread I remembered at my friend's Bar Mitzvah MANY, MANY years ago trying Cherry Heering. Loved it then, still do. Actually waiting for a promised belated birthday gift of it as I type.

              3. Several raspberry varieties of the DeKuyper brand, and many other varieties, are listed on the OU website.

                1. Has he ever has Raspberry Lambic beer? I love raspberry as well and I cant get enough of this beer.

                  Lindemans Framboise
                  Check it out

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: KosherChef

                    Kosher Chef -
                    The Raspberry Lambic beer sounds delicious, but does it have a certification? My understanding is that flavored beers need a hecksher: which I learned after I brought home a 6-pack of chocolate-cherry beer last year. My neighbor got to enjoy it!
                    Thanks, p.j.

                    1. re: p.j.

                      I don't think traditional Lambics would need a hechsher, any more than normal beer does. It's just barley, water, hops, and fruit. (They don't add yeast to Lambics; the wild yeasts in that region happen to be good ones.)

                      1. re: zsero

                        Hey, zsero. Thanks for posting this. I'd forgotten all about this thread. Maybe I will look for the Lambic beer for my husband's birthday, which is on Dec. 25. Regards, p.j.

                        1. re: p.j.

                          Well, it appears that Samuel Adams flavored beers are certified by the Star-K. There is a Cranberry Lambic and a Blackberry Witbier on the current CRC list, new as of yesterday:
                          "All unflavored beers with no additives are acceptable, even without Kosher certification. This applies to both American and imported beers, light, dark and nonalcoholic beers. Many breweries produce specialty brews that have additives; please check the label and do not assume that all varieties are acceptable. Furthermore, beers known to be produced at microbreweries require certification."

                          No Raspberry Lambics on the CRC list.

                          1. re: p.j.

                            Again, traditional Lambics should be no problem, any more than other traditional beers. The recipe is strictly adhered to, they don't mess with it at all, so there's no reason to need a hechsher.

                            BTW, the Sam Adams Cranberry "Lambic" is not a Lambic at all. For one thing Lambics are made in the Pajottenland area of Belgium, not in Massachussets. For another thing, unlike other beers to which yeast is added in the brewing, and which the brewers carefully protect from wild yeast, Lambics are fermented by the natural yeasts that live in the brewery. It's the characteristics of those yeasts that give Lambic beers their special taste. Sam Adams is fermented with a weissbier yeast.

                        2. re: zsero

                          i know lindemann's has triangle k/rabbinut, depends how your holding on that one.

                          1. re: zsero

                            The reason that normal beer does not need a hechsher is that there is a chazakah that the ingredients -water, yeast, barley and hops are used in their unadulerated form. When you add fruit you go beyond the basic four ingredients and according to the major kashrus agencies (OK, Star-K, CRC, OU) a hashgacha will be required. Indeed, when you introduce fruit concerns arise about grape extract (which is fruit, but requires hashgacha) and other fruit concentrates which have grape juice added.

                            1. re: KosherLawNY

                              What's so special about those four that doesn't apply to fruit? Fruit is also a traditional ingredient in lambics, and surely the chazaka applies to it too. Once you mess with juices and extracts, then grape could be a problem, but whole grapes are not a problem, and in any case extracts would not be traditional.

                              1. re: zsero

                                It's not so much those four ingredients are special, but rather that beer is normally made with only those four ingredients, and that norm is pretty much universal, hence the chazakah. (See, e.g. Reinheitsgebot; also I'm pretty sure that U.S. law for domestically produced beers does not require ingredients to be listed on the label unless there is something in addition to those four - which is why you will often see something like "beer with spices" or "beer with honey")
                                You are likely correct that Frambois should not be a problem, if it is traditionally made with only beer and fruits that are not grapes - but do you know that with a strong enough certainty to call it a chazakah?
                                In addition, some lambic beers are fermented and/or aged in used wine barrels, which me or may not be a problem - see that can of worms labelled sherry cask aged whisky.
                                Finally, with respect to whole grapes not being a problem, it is doubtful that whole, unmasticated or uncrushed fruit would be used, otherwise how it impart any significant flavor? Also, I believe that syrup is sometimes used, which is a form of extract.

                      2. I saw Leroux Raspberry at Wally's in LA
                        Looks pretty - no idea how it tastes.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: mamaleh

                          Careful with "pretty." I bought a bottle of something by DeKuyper once because it looked "interesting" (day-glo green) and had a cute name ("Kamekazie") and it turned out to taste like Sprite with alcohol.

                          1. re: SoCal Mother

                            Has anyone found a really good coffee liqueur substitute for Kahlua that is no longer kosher ?

                            1. re: sima

                              According to the CRC, Starbucks liqueur is kosher even without the OU on the bottle. White chocolate flavor is dairy.
                              See http://www.crcweb.org/liquor_list.php

                              1. re: sima

                                I like the Stock coffee liqueur from Israel. I've never seen it for sale in the US but I beg people to bring it to me from Israel. It's very sweet so it's not for everyone. It's extremely inexpensive.

                                I've tried the DeKuyper's coffee brandy and didn't like it.

                                1. re: sima

                                  Kahlua is now kosher again per Rabbi Eidlitz but ONLY when manufactured AND bottled in Mexico. You will not find it in the US. Get it in Mexico when you visit San Diego, or in a duty free shop.

                            2. Hello, Have you heard of Veev? It is a new liqueur distilled from açaí, the Amazonian berry. It has an OU hechsher and tasted really great straight or with pineapple juice. Highly recommend. It is available in most wine and spirits shops.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: unaova

                                No, I hadn't. But per the Veev website, it is available at a store near my office. I will check it out! Thanks, p.j.

                              2. I don't think this is available in the US, but I very much liked the bottle of cherry liqueur I bought at the Gush Etzion Winery/Cafe (located just outside of Alon Shvut).

                                1. Try the Zachlawi Arak. It is remarkably smooth and tastes great. We have the traditional flavor and I love it. I'd like to try the guava soon, but the fig comes in a very nice bottle, suitable for gifting. I forget offhand whose hechsher it is, but the local Chabad rabbi had no problems drinking it this week. Both the Star K and the CRC have it listed on their websites.


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rockycat

                                    Their Zambucca is even better! Similar taste to arak but sweeter.

                                  2. So there are some interesting recipes for making homemade spirits on the chowhound website. For example, you can make a homemade infused vodka starting with a kosher vodka and adding your own flavors. I think there are recipes for ammaretto and limoncello.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: PotatoPuff

                                      I recently had a vodka (actually a garilka, since it was Ukranian) in which some sticks of cucumber had been steeped for several weeks. Smooooth. (Keep it in the freezer, of course)