What To Drink During Passover

Tequila Cocktails

As a Jew, when it comes to Passover (aka Pesach), I end up having a thousand questions and turning to the guru that is Google, like a ton. In this food and beverage world that I live in, it's safe to say that I have loads of epicurean questions based on the specifics of this holiday. Oh, I've so gone down the internet rabbit hole this time! But it's not all for me, trust me, you know you need this, too! With my Passover Safe Recipes Guide already created, I needed to know which alcohols were fair game for me to drink along with all of my eats. I literally couldn't find an article that said it all in words I understood without an English to Yiddish and English to Hebrew secondary and tertiary round of searching. Looking at all of the browser windows I had open, I no longer felt like I was digging so much as being buried alive. "Work smart for your alcohol knowledge, not hard" I told myself. The answer was immediately so clear. Yup, I went super old school and directly asked my super awesome friend for his thoughts—FYI, this super awesome friend I speak of is a rabbi, so I feel like I did good [yup, insert that fist bump emoji, for sure].

“Of course happy to help!! So the one caveat is that for something to be really Kosher for Passover it has to be specifically made for that purpose and have a kosher for Passover certification. Now that being said, for many people that level of Kashrut is beyond what they will care about so I can certainly let you know some of the kinds of liquors that are, in principle, Kosher for passover. Basic principle is anything made from wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt are a no-no. So, no grain vodka whiskey etc. The most common kinds you will find are thinks like Arak (Israeli Sambuka) Slivovitz (lighter fluid) and potato vodka. I suppose Mezcal may work as well. Wine is generally the go-to but there is one more thing which is awesome (but hard to find) which is called Mead, which is basically fermented honey. It's awesome!” — Rabbi Daniel Geffen of Temple Adas Israel

There's nothing quite like a list that starts with a disclaimer, so here goes! Below you will find two very simple lists “Do Drink” and “Don’t Drink”. I wanted to keep these lists simplified and direct so that you can literally print it out, put it in your pocket and reference it at-a-glance. To be clear, these lists are made for people like me who are looking to follow the broader over arching rules of Passover and not necessarily the super nitty gritty ones. For instance, for me, all wine is fair game on the holiday not just the “Kosher For Passover Certified” ones. Have fun with the "Do Drink" list! Don’t just search for the alcohol you want to drink, see what else is there that you haven’t tried and give something new a swirl (my puns are always intended)! Stay thirsty, friends!

Do Drink

Arak (raisins, dates or saccharum—anise-like flavor)

Brandy (wine, grapes and other fruit juices)

Buca (figs and spices)

Bulldog Rum (sugarcane)

Champagne (grapes)

Cognac (grapes)

Grappa (grapes)

Hard Cider (fermented juice of apples)

Kirschwasser (morello cherries and sour cherries)

Limoncello (lemon and potato vodka)

Mead (honey)

Ouzo (star anise, fennel, mastic, cardamom, coriander, cloves, and/or cinnamon)

Port (grapes)

Potato Vodka (potato)

Sherry (cherry)

Tequila (agave)

Vermouth (grapes)

Wine (grapes)

Y Chilli (chilli and cinamomo)

Don’t Drink

Beer (barley, water, hops, and yeast)

Gin (grain and botanicals)

Grain Vodka (grain)

Kailua (rum, corn syrup and coffee)

Moonshine (corn meal, sugar, and yeast)

Rum (all others aside from Bulldog)

Rye (rye, corn and malted barley)

Scotch (wheat and rye)

Whiskey (barley, corn, rye and/or wheat)