Can You Drink Vanilla Extract?


Listen, we all love vanilla. It is a taste like no other that can rapidly transform a good dessert into a great one. But, can you have too much of a good thing? Too much vanilla won’t taste very nice. Can you drink vanilla extract? Today we will address this question, tell you why it might not be the best idea, and then ask our own question about why you would even consider it in the first place! We’re joking… Read on to find out more.

vanilla extract

Can You Drink Raw Vanilla Extract?

The truth is that, yes, you can drink vanilla extract. But it is probably not a good idea for the following reasons: –

1. Vanilla extract tastes horrible in its raw form

Think about how much vanilla extract you normally tend to use in most of your dessert recipes. Do any of them state that you must use a whole bottle? 



Because vanilla extract is seriously concentrated. It actually tastes really strong and not only of vanilla. Next time you are baking a nice vanilla cheesecake using vanilla extract, place a drop on your finger and taste it. Now ask yourself, why would you really want to drink a larger amount of it? 

2. It could get you a police record

Here’s the thing. Vanilla extract is suspended in alcohol. While the amount of alcohol varies, it is rarely below 35% proof. Which is equivalent to a bottle of vodka. You could easily put yourself over the DUI limit by drinking a large quantity, leading to criminal charges. Keep it in your sponges and cakes.

3. You’ll taste raw alcohol

As we said above, vanilla extract is suspended in alcohol, also known as ethanol. Ethanol has a lower boiling point than water. As a result, when you cook, boil, or otherwise heat it, this raw spirit eventually evaporates, leaving the taste of vanilla. 

Because you’ll be drinking vanilla extract, the alcohol will still be there, and you will taste it!

4. It might make you feel sick

Ever had to drink a lot of something unpleasant tasting? No, it isn’t our soup, cheeky!

How did it make you feel afterward?

The same could be said if you drink vanilla extract.

5. Too much vanilla can have unpleasant side effects

Too much vanilla can cause unpleasant side effects. Some people have reported redness, swelling, and a rash when their skin has come into contact with vanilla. Apparently, it can also cause headaches and insomnia. 

Considering that vanilla extract is much more concentrated than its natural counterpart, it is probably a good idea to steer clear of drinking it, just to be on the safe side.

Is Uncooked Vanilla Extract Safe?

Ultimately yes. Uncooked vanilla extract is likely safe. It wouldn’t be approved for food use if it was toxic. However, there are plenty of ingredients deemed ‘safe’ that you really wouldn’t want to drink.

Want an example?

Ok, let’s talk hot sauce. That’s almost certainly safe and eaten raw all the time. Would you want to drink a whole bottle of it? 

Absolutely not.

Apply the same logic to vanilla extract! 

What Happens if You Have Too Much Vanilla Extract?

If you drink too much vanilla extract, then you could potentially become intoxicated. The high alcohol content in each small bottle probably wouldn’t be enough to get you completely drunk, but several might. 

Aside from the fact that it will probably make you feel quite sick, the next day’s hangover will probably put you off vanilla for life.

Now, why would you want to go and spoil your enjoyment of cheesecake and ice cream forever?

What is the Difference Between Pure Vanilla and Vanilla Extract?

starbucks vanilla syrup recipe

Pure vanilla isn’t a liquid. It is, in fact, a bean. 

Vanilla in its natural and dried form looks like a long and very thin tube, shaped very similarly to a finger chili. To use it, you split the pod in two with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds from the center. The seeds are so small that they actually look almost like a powder.

Vanilla extract is sometimes made by boiling and distilling vanilla pods in an alcohol solution… Or so you’d think.

 Actually, Vanillin (the scientific name for artificial vanilla) has a few sources. Prepare to be shocked…

Modern-day vanilla extract can be made from refined petrochemical products! Chemicals from these processes are combined to make vanillylmandelic acid, which is a key component.

You might actually want to check how old your vanilla is too!


If it is an old bottle, there is a good chance that it may have been made from glands found in a beaver’s butt! We aren’t joking! Castoreum was said to have vanilla-like quality and was used for years to flavor all sorts of desserts, from yogurt to ice cream!

Based on the above, ask yourself why you’d ever want to drink either? 

How Much Alcohol is in One Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract?

Even if you’ve picked up a ‘weak’ batch. Federal rules state that vanilla extract must constitute at least 35% alcohol. For those adverse to math, that means that thirty-five will be alcohol for every hundred parts of the solution. 

A teaspoon of vanilla extract is around 0.173oz in volume. 35% of this works out at around 0.059oz of alcohol. Considering a small shot in the US is exactly 1oz, you’d need to drink about 16 teaspoons of vanilla extract to have the equivalent alcohol found in one shot.

Can You Drink Vanilla Extract in Coffee?

You’re absolutely fine adding a number of drops of vanilla extract into your coffee. Perfect if you’re looking for something extra sweet. It’s been proven that vanilla can prevent stomach aches and pains.


Why anybody would want to know if you can drink vanilla extract is beyond us? It tastes horrible in its raw form, contains raw alcohol, can be made from petrochemicals, and will leave you feeling pretty sick. These are all good reasons to not bother even trying it. After researching this, we are more than happy if it is in one of only two places. In the bottle or in our desserts! Would you ever consider drinking it? Let us know in the comments below!

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