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Old 12-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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Whiskey Substitute in Bailey's-Type Irish Creme Recipe?

Hello,

I have a great Bailey's-type Irish creme liqueur recipe that I make to give as gifts during the holidays. Some of my friends do not drink alcohol, so I am looking for a way to provide them with a non-alcoholic version of the liqueur I give to others.

The recipe calls for a cup of whiskey (I use inexpensive Canadian whiskey) per 3-1/2 cups of total liqueur, so it comprises a large portion of the recipe. Unlike some recipes, the alcohol, of course, is not cooked off in this mixture because no cooking is involved--just blending.

Any suggestions on a substitute, non-alcoholic liquid that would provide a taste similar to that of the whiskey?

Thanks for any suggestions,
Bill

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Old 12-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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I would simmer the whiskey to cook off the alcohol. The lost volume could be made up with more cream.

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Old 12-11-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Brandy extract might be another option. Add water till it tastes like brandy. The alcohol should be about nonexistant by that time. McCormick sells it, along with others. There's also rum extract.

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Old 12-11-2011, 06:28 PM   #4
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You can easily find whiskey extract. All I know of is bourbon, which isn't exactly right but should do. Like many extracts, it does contain alcohol, but there's going to be very little in the finished cream, which should not offend a non-drinker any more than any other dish with alcohol-containing extracts. But if it's a religious prohibition, and they're rigidly observant, you're probably out of luck. The only halal-certified "whiskey" I know of is only in the UK at this time.

Also consider playing with different amounts of vanilla. Vanilla is in the same general flavor family as whiskey. The right balance of vanilla and coffee comes close. (Not really, but it might be okay.)

But you can burn off nearly all the alcohol from regular whiskey, more than enough for it to qualify as not an alcoholic beverage. Simmer it for three hours, and it will be down to less than 5% alcohols, and there won't be much at all in the cream. You'll be down to something less than 2%. Really, even less, because the whiskey will be cooked down and concentrated.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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I would simmer the whiskey to cook off the alcohol. The lost volume could be made up with more cream.

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Alcohol never evaporates completely.

Whisky extract doesn't taste like whisky and may contain alcohol, as many extracts do.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:50 PM   #6
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The idea of simmering the whiskey to evaporate off the alcohol sounds interesting. Any idea how long you would need to do that with, say, two cups of whiskey? It would need to be totally alcohol free.

Also, the idea of using vanilla and coffee is interesting, since both of those ingredients are already in the recipe. It would take some trial and error to find the right mixture.

"Offending" a non-drinker isn't the issue. The folks I'm concerned about cannot under any circumstances have any alcohol; 'nough said?

Thanks for the ideas. Anyone else have any?

Bill
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:54 PM   #7
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I wouldn't know how to test it to make sure there was no alcohol at all, as stated before, the alcohol never completely cooks out. It would just reduce it.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BSquared18

"Offending" a non-drinker isn't the issue. The folks I'm concerned about cannot under any circumstances have any alcohol; 'nough said?

Thanks for the ideas. Anyone else have any?

Bill
Then I would leave out any booze or booze flavoring completely. Maybe use a split and scraped vanilla bean.
Or give them a different gift.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #9
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If the issue is no alcohol whatsoever, then you might be barking up the wrong tree.

It is impossible to simmer away all the alcohol from a wine, beer or liquor.

Most/many extracts contain lots of alcohol, as that's the medium that extracts the flavor.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:55 AM   #10
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I'd just do something else for my "no alcohol" friends (and yes, I do have them). My mom and some of my older friends regale me with tales of their alcoholic neighbors who would sneak in to peoples' kitchens to drink their vanilla extract. So, for them, no alcohol. Maybe some of the coffee syrups you can buy that have different flavors.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:06 AM   #11
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I'd just do something else for my "no alcohol" friends (and yes, I do have them). My mom and some of my older friends regale me with tales of their alcoholic neighbors who would sneak in to peoples' kitchens to drink their vanilla extract. So, for them, no alcohol. Maybe some of the coffee syrups you can buy that have different flavors.

I agree.

To me it's like giving candy cigarettes to children.

I would pick another item for those folks.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
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Re: "The right balance of vanilla and coffee comes close. (Not really, but it might be okay)."

I'm going to try this approach. Has anyone done this and happen to have worked out the proportions of coffee to vanilla? If not, I'll do some testing.

Thanks everyone for all the useful suggestions.

Bill
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:08 AM   #13
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You don't want to give them something that tastes nasty...I suggest you choose another gift for your friends who cannot have alcohol. I would love some gourmet hot chocolate mix.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:11 AM   #14
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Here's a site that sells "Essences" of whiskey:

Whisky Essences
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:56 AM   #15
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Well, it's my thought to maybe focus this a little better. Alcohol, per se, simply cannot be avoided with going to extremes in diet. It's present in ice cream, any foods in which extracts are used, fruit itself, etc. There are two obvious classes of folks who can't "use" alcohol. One is alcoholics for whom the practical rule is no intoxicating alcohol. The other is Muslims, most of whom's authorities agree that the minor amounts found in extracts are never found to be from from grapes or dates (the specific prohibitions) nor capable of intoxicating (the prohibited use of all alcohols). But it can get complicated, because of different schools and individual authorities.

The point is that, rather than working to concoct a mock alcoholic drink and having to explain that it's not alcoholic, which could be, I think, the social gaff of remarking on someone's limits, I'd consider the syrups idea. They work for so many things, ice cream, ices, coffee, etc. Davinci makes a bunch of them, including an Irish Creme. DaVinci Gourmet The list of flavors is very long. (It would not do for me to be turned loose in a store that stocked the full array of them. Toasted marshmallow!!?) Or make your own siropi, which isn't hard for fruit syrups, but is probably too involved for other flavors (like Irish creme and toasted marshmallow).
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:08 AM   #16
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Re: "You don't want to give them something that tastes nasty."

I agree, so I'll test it first. Please keep in mind that there are a lot of other ingredients that add to the taste, such as coffee, chocolate syrup, whipping cream, and vanilla and almond extracts. I just need a filler that comes close to the whiskey taste.

If I can't get a pleasant flavor, I'll drop the project.

Still looking for a recipe for the vanilla + coffee substitute; otherwise, I'll experiment.

(So, assume that I have considered all the reasons mentioned in this thread not to provide the alcohol-free liqueur and have decided to give it a try anyhow. Not that those reasons might not be correct for some situations, but for reasons I prefer not to go into, the gift is appropriate in our circumstances.)

Bill
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:21 AM   #17
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..."Offending" a non-drinker isn't the issue. The folks I'm concerned about cannot under any circumstances have any alcohol; 'nough said?...

'nough said. That means you cannot use vanilla and almond extracts as they both contain alcohol.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:26 AM   #18
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Re: "That means you cannot use vanilla and almond extracts as they both contain alcohol."

Thanks, Andy. You saved me a lot of work. Didn't realize they contained alcohol.

Bill
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:09 PM   #19
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... have decided to give it a try anyhow
And don't get totally focused on emulating Bailey's. You might come up with a unique drink. But in trying to impart that whiskey taste, I have a notion that maple might be a useful ingredient that's not in the usual whiskeyed Irish creme recipes. Actually, I think I'm feeling for something like burnt maple flavor, like maple syrup cooked down too quickly. Have to cut back on the other sweet to keep it from getting too sweet.

I see there have been playful contests to try to emulate whiskey by mixing flavors into grain alcohol. Prune juice gets mentioned a lot, as does liquid smoke. One guy charred four toothpicks to add a char taste. Whole black peppercorns were cooked into one batch. Seems like I remember whiskeys are aged in oak barrels that have been charred on the inside. One guy swore by charred marshmallows. (And we remember the iodine used drop by drop to fake the bottle of Scotch for the big date in M.A.S.H.)

Found some old prohibition recipes to fake whiskey. Some featured "beading oil." Beading oil apparently was a mix of sulphuric acid, oil of sweet almonds, and ammonia!!! They were making barroom rotgut, not something for friends. Beading oil is literal rotgut and eats teeth, too. And it was far from the worst ingredient.

Oh, and not all vanilla extracts have alcohol. There are a number of totally alcohol free vanillas. Check health food stores or online, Amazon. Health food stores might have some other interesting extracts and oils useful for the effort, too.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:26 PM   #20
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Re: "That means you cannot use vanilla and almond extracts as they both contain alcohol."

Thanks, Andy. You saved me a lot of work. Didn't realize they contained alcohol.

Bill

Bill

A number of us have replied to you about many extracts containing alcohol earlier in the thread. I did twice. Alcohol is a commonly used medium for extracting flavor.

Recreating the taste of an alcoholic beverage using no alcohol is probably a task best left up to the chemists and their labs.
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