That deal still comes with a catch, though. (Vanilla extract is also the only flavoring deemed important enough for the federal government to officially define standards for.). Alcohol used in liquor is taxed at $13.50 per gallon by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (better known as the TTB), the offshoot of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that was formed during federal-bureaucracy shuffle that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. How does that make any sense? Per the official FDA code: "In vanilla extract the content of ethyl alcohol is not less than 35 percent by volume and the content of vanilla constituent, … A lot of the reason that's still the case is the money. Vanilla extract falls mostly under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration as a food product and not the stricter governmental regulations for spirits or liqueur, even though an alien chemist might be hard pressed to tell you what the physical difference between the two is. This means that for most vanilla extracts, four to five …

All rights reserved.Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20).Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our affiliate partnerships with retailers.Your California Privacy RightsThe material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Vanilla extract has a lot of thanks to give to the Flavor and Extracts Manufacturers Association, founded in 1909 (69 years before that other FEMA). Yep, that falls to the TTB too, which subjects flavor extracts to a series of tests to make sure they're not going to end up the next big thing at high-school post-prom parties across America. People getting drunk or trying to get drunk on household products containing ethanol (the kind of alcohol we mean when we talk about booze) is hardly uncommon. (Meanwhile, of course, because ethanol was used as an ingredient in so many different products, other trade associations were making similar arguments for their products. Seeing their last chance to avert disaster, FEMA flooded congressmen with telegrams reading, "We call your attention to the fact that all prohibition [sic] bills now before Congress as worded would destroy our legitimate business." Yes, you can get drunk from vanilla extract… if you’re desperate enough. (Jägermeister is 70 proof, or 35-percent alcohol, while most vanilla extract hovers between 35 and 40 percent.). Though Prohibition was repealed, the groundwork that era laid for defining vanilla extract as a completely different animal than liquor is still solid.