19 May KASHRUS QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
Is there an issue with having alcoholic seltzer? Does an alcoholic seltzer need a hechsher?
We’ve already certified a very large company that makes alcoholic seltzer; it’s very popular. It is something that needs supervision for two reasons. One- The alcohol needs supervision. You need to know what the source of the alcohol is. I’m not just talking about Pesach where alcohol is a question if it’s kosher for Pesach. The source of the alcohol needs to be determined all year round. If you’re serving a bourbon or a scotch, there are specific rules for what it needs to be made of, specifically grain or corn, which can raise serious questions for Pesach. All year round, there’s no real mandate of what type of alcohol must be used. However, a grape alcohol that’s not certified is not kosher.
The second issue is the flavors that are put into alcoholic seltzer. Flavors have issues in kashrus because flavors can have hundreds of ingredients and each one has to be kosher. Therefore, you can not buy alcoholic seltzer that does not have a hechsher.
Does caffeinated seltzer with no flavoring need a hechsher? If the only added ingredient in the seltzer is caffeine and nothing else, caffeine itself is not a kashrus issue.