Home > Life, The Universe, & Everything > “But The Rum!” What I’ve Just Learned About Kosher For Pesach/Passover Alcohol

“But The Rum!” What I’ve Just Learned About Kosher For Pesach/Passover Alcohol


Remember yesterday I was telling you about going out to try Chilean Wine thanks to the awesome team at Notable.ca? Well as I wrote the article on the TTC subway heading downtown what you are about to read below began as a short segue but I decided it deserved its own post.

Obviously this is still in the vein of alcohol, because, well that’s what last night’s post was about! I am extremely happy that yesterday finally marked the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover/Pesach. Why was I so happy to see this holiday go? Well, I can only take so much matza in my life! As far as I am concerned bring on the bread after Day One! To be fair, however, one thing this year’s holiday brought me was the knowledge that Jews who are observant of the holiday need not relegate their drinking to bad Israeli brandy, (Kosher) wine, and potato vodka.

For all you Jews who are completely observant of Pesach I can see your eyes lighting up and your attention suddenly grabbed. For everyone else, you’re gaining a bit of culture by reading this and hey, you can impress you Jewish friends next Pesach with this info!

My friend Charles (@aplusadvantage) educated me that there is a gin that is Kosher for Passover called BULLDOG Gin which is @BULLDOGGin on Twitter. They are a company based out of New York City and their product is available for purchase from the LCBO in Ontario – specifically in Toronto – contrary to what it says on the LCBO Website, http://www.lcbo.com. (I am taking the capitalization from the Twitter bio and the email signature of BULLDOG, I assume that is how they spell it.) I have yet to go out to an LCBO and confirm the information I have been given by BULLDOG (which they got from the LCBO) as well as confirm that the product is Kosher for Passover but it seems as long as a gin is not flavored it is technically Kosher for Passover as it does not contain any Chametz (food forbidden on Passover) or  Kitniyot (also forbidden on Passover but not by the Bible, by the Rabbis later on). In fact, according to this Chowhound.com posting there is one Gin called No. 209 which they confirm on that site is Kosher for Passover. This information was also confirmed on “Vos Is Neis” I am pretty sure that is Yiddish for “What’s News”, quite obviously a Jewish website. The reason gin is OK for Pesach is because it is made predominantly from  juniper berries.

Beyond this wonderful news about gin, which honestly, has never been my favorite kind of alcohol as I am more of a scotch man (but that’s made from grain so it is completely out for Pesach) there are a few other types of alcohol that if they are under rabbinical supervision to ensure no chametz were put in them are completely allowed for Pesach. As well, it seems that they are available for Passover use we just have to go out and find them and see if they can be bought in Canada (specifically, for my purposes, Ontario).

In the words of Captain Jack Sparrow, “But the rum!” [Video link] is probably what you are asking yourself at this point. I am happy to report that this DOES include rum. Rum is made of sugarcane by-products like molasses or directly from “sugarcane juice” (not even sure what that is but it’s Kosher for Passover)! This makes it inherently non-chametz and therefore Kosher for Pesach! And, it gets better still, according to this post on Answers.com there is a rum, and quite a well known rum called Bacardi Superior Original Premium Rum which is KOSHER for Pesach even without a notation on the label – clearly I am going to have to look into this.

This means next year Dan is gonna be drinking rum & Coke at his Passover Seder! No more 10 cups of wine just to get through it. I don’t think you understand how happy this makes me. This is why I wanted to share this with the world, and with you tonight. In my experience, the majority of Jews in Toronto are unaware of this situation. I am hoping this will help them in their endeavors to become better drinkers…oops I mean Jews, for Pesach 2012!

P.S. You’re welcome!

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  1. joefries
    September 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    woah. First of all most Gins are made from grain. They are nutral alscohol (read vodka) FLAVORED with juniper berries and etc. BUT the base alcohol is often from Grain anyways!

  2. September 26, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Thanks for the info joefries. Upon further research I see that you are right about the base being neutral alcohol. However, this means that if one were to make potato vodka and use it as the base, the final product would be Kosher for Passover as potatoes are completely ok for use on Passover.
    Very much appreciate the comment and dropping some knowledge on us!

  3. February 23, 2016 at 2:26 am

    I know you wrote this quite a few years ago but I just wanted to update your post. You really ought to amend your comment about Israeli wine. We make the best kosher wine in the world today. Some would say that we actually make the best wine that as a bonus, is also kosher. I know that in the States “Kosher” was once associated with sweet syrup but not today.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ll=32.049989%2C35.079346&spn=3.165785%2C2.438965&t=m&msa=0&z=8&source=embed&ie=UTF8&mid=znf8ip4C2Kyc.kNDV8r2BiGo4

    There are around 100 wineries in Israel today with more opening up every year, making every kind of wine to the highest standards. Just walk into a large kosher wine store and you’ll see. (Of course here in Israel there are many more to choose from). Off the top of my head, try the excellent Gush Etzion Alon HaBoded Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, the Shilo Secret Reserve Merlot or Chardonay, The Gvaot Cabernet Sauvignon or Gofna Petit Verdot. These are just my current favourites..

  4. February 23, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Regarding spirits for Pesach. I would not recommend any of the Stock, BBB or Carmel Brandies (even the high priced ones) as I find them sweet and sickly. However there are some excellent Israeli brandies from some of the boutique wineries worth checking out such as the Jonathan Tishbi Reserve. As well as Israeli, there are of course Kosher for Pesach real French Cognacs. VS, VSOP and XO from Dupuy and other famous names.

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