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Old 03-30-2008, 02:06 PM   #1
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Wouldn't this reduce the alcohol?

Hi All,
Dumb question coming ...

I found a wonderful recipe in March's "Gourmet - French Bistro Cooking" for spiced orange wine. The recipe calls for bringing 2 bottles of dry white wine to a boil with sugar, 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, 1/4 cup Pernod (what is this by the way?), and 2 cloves - boiling until the sugar dissoloves. The description says the wine will be stronger than a regular glass of wine but won't the boiling reduce the alcohol content? I know it will reduce the liquid by at bit but ... ?

To finish, you pour back into their original bottles with orange peel and bay leaves and chill for an hour, recork and chill for 4 more.

What are your thoughts?

Thank you!

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Old 03-30-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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Pernod is an anise flavored "beverage"

You aren't cooking this mixture for any length of time - just dissolving the sugar. IMHO only, the sugar will dissolve waaay before these things come to a boil.

It will be stronger than a regular glass of wine because the Pernod and Grand Marnier have an alcohol content of around 40% - I think - thus increasing the alcohol content of the wine. Wine is somewhere between 12% and 15% (can be lower, can be higher) but not above 17% normally.
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:24 PM   #3
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Aha - would Sambuca work?

I was thinking the sugar would go fairly quickly too but was thrown off when they said "boil".

Thank you!
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:35 AM   #4
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elfie's right.

hey, where's yt been. we need to get him back here. if he's been banned, i'm not gonna be happy.

but my uneducated guess is that all of the alcohol doesn't suddenly boil off. it takes a little while (i think i've heard that i takes a while to completely go, if not still leaving a trace) to change states, so that you could view it as a descending slope. the longer you boil it, the less alcohol is left. the trick here seems to be to get the quotient right for the flavor.

jmeds, much experimantation is required, i think.
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:05 AM   #5
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Sambuca is thicker than pernod, and from memory, pernod is thicker (and smoother) than ouzo. Sambuca heats well so you could try it. As you haven't had the original, you won't know if it is better or worse, only whether you like it or not!

Personally, I think it would be a waste of good Sambuca!!! LOL
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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This alcohol burn off chart might help.
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:10 PM   #7
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Hmmm ... so boiling it will reduce the alcohol like I suspected. If boiling for 15 has a retention percentage of 40 (60% of the alcohol is burned off) then even 5 minutes would decrease it by about 20%. So really, by the time you were done (assuming it would take 5 minutes for the sugar to dissolve), it will still be stronger than just the wine. I'm not trying to make a really potent drink - I just want to be sure it's still going to be good.

I'm with you Buckytom - it may take me a few tries to get it right but I'm willing to make the sacrifice.

This raises a whole new question for me then ... when you calculate the alcoholic content of a drink like this, how do you calculate it? If the Grand Marnier and Pernod sit at 40% and the wine is at 15%, do I have a drink with 95% alcohol? I know that's not right but how would I calculate it?


Thank you all!
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:18 PM   #8
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Don't forget to use the alcohol percentage not the proof number to figure alcohol content but first you have to figure the volume percentages.

If you are adding 1 cup to a gallon of other ingredients the amount added is 6.25% of the volume. If you were adding wine, lets say 15% alcohol(fairly strong wine). Percentage of alcohol in the mixture.. .9375%. Now use your cook down table. Say 50% remaining according to alcohol cook down chart.

You have a product with .469% alcohol or .9proof. Less than most cough syrups...
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
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Of course, with any heating, some alcohol is going to burn off. You are not going to be cooking this for a huge length of time though. Your drink will be good but it's going to be stronger than the wine - not quite as strong as the other ingredients. That's my scientific answer.
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:38 PM   #10
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lets see if i can make this make sense... wish me luck...

Yes, it will reduce the amount of alcohol. BUT remember this...

If you reduce 6 ounces down to three ounces, and only reduce the alcohol by say...20%, you have gone from 30 proof to 24 proof as an example. The catch is this...yes it reduces the alcohol, but only if you drink only what you reduced. If you make a big batch like this, then drink 6 ounce glasses, you will effectively be getting more alcohol. Make sense? I can see it working out in my head... If not, let me know and I'll take another run at it...
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