May eating rum cake intoxicate you

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When you cook with wine or spirits like vodka or rum, some of the alcohol burns off, just leaving the taste behind. That alcohol has somewhere to go, and that means it's evaporated and spreading through the air as smoke. The alcoholic fumes alcohol ingested through your lungs can intoxicate you faster than if you drank them noticeably on you own.

Alcohol-based dishes

Since alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, it partially evaporates whenever you cook with it. This means that you can prepare foods like vodka sauce that will lose the alcohol but retain the flavor of the spirit. Cooking with wine and spirits does not guarantee that their alcohol content will go away, but - which depends on the duration of the cooking. For example, while a rum cake loses around 75 percent of its alcohol content after an hour of baking, flambéed with a spirit such as vodka loses only 25 percent of its alcohol. The alcohol that the bowl loses evaporates as smoke.

Alcohol inhalation

Inhaling alcohol exhaust fumes, cooked or uncooked, can have a noticeable effect. Although everyone absorbs and feels the effects of alcohol differently, alcohol fumes can feel tipsy while you cook in inhaling. Your body absorbs alcohol through your lungs faster than it does through your stomach, making you feel its effects faster than if you had been sipping a glass of wine. Ultimately, however, this also depends on factors such as size and tolerance to alcohol, so not everyone who breathes vapors while preparing a Marsala cream sauce will necessarily feel the wine.

Dangers of smoke

While inhaling the fumes from alcoholic cooking can make you feel drunk, it's not necessarily safe - not even as safe as the alcohol actually would be. Alcohol vapor can irritate the lungs and airways, and because the alcohol goes directly to the brain - rather than being slowly absorbed through the stomach - it can make you feel more intoxicated in less time, as well as destroying more brain cells. Although these are usually only concerns, if you intentionally and inhale vapors from ordinary alcohol - in a sauna, for example - they indicate the potential danger of sucking alcohol directly through your lungs.

Safe cooking

If you are concerned about the potential of feeling tipsy from alcohol smoke, you can avoid the vapor effects with relative ease. When cooking on the stovetop, use an extractor fan, or open a window and run a fan so that the steam in the air is drawn away instead of directly into your nose or mouth. Eat a light snack before cooking too. While you may be inclined to wait until you feel hungry for cooking, inhaling steam alcohol on an empty stomach increases your likelihood of feeling its effects.


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