How is vanilla extract NOT an alcoholic beverage?

Which suggests that the tax is not meant as a deterrent, but a money-maker. If it was more about deterrence, the extremely desperate would be the ones to worry about, since they’d almost certainly be the alcoholics.

I knew a guy in college who tried all kinds of substances. I can’t imagine losing control (voluntarily) like that. But to each his/her own.

Nor have I. I love the smell of it. My guess is that it’s concentrated and therefore meant to be diluted…taken straight it’s too much of a good thing. @pulykamell seems to confirm.

Yup. That is the bottom line.

Taxing stuff that sells in tiny quantities like extracts would be a waste of time. However it may also depend upon the country where the alcohol is made. Some countries tax on sale, some countries apply excise on production. The alcohol in essences may have already been taxed before it made it into the essence. Alcohol deemed food grade will pass though a different channel than alcohol for other uses. (I was once interested in playing with making an aftershave from scratch. I asked my colleagues in the uni chemistry department what it would take to obtain some suitable pure alcohol. Their advice was that I would be best off buying some vodka. Their stuff was probably still too rough.)

There is a big difference between countries on how distilled alcohol is taxed. This matters for alcoholic drinks for human consumption where the distillate must age for some time before consumption. Whisky, whiskey, brandy, cognac etc. Some tax on distillation, some tax on release for bottling for consumption.

In Scotland the distilleries and their associated barrel store are bonded. As soon as the spirit leaves the still is enters a bonded production line, where the spirit in under the control of HM Customs and Excise. They have a little glass safe with sampling mechanisms that allow the distiller to take controlled small samples from the flow. The safe is covered in seals. But the main flow remains in bonded pipelines and flows into barrels in a bonded warehouse. The deal is that the spirit has not had excise paid yet. It can sit in barrels in the bonded stores for years, even decades, and when it is time to release it for sale, excise is paid. You can drive around Scotland and see huge bonded warehouses holding billions of pounds worth of future excise.

Here in Australia we had to opposite system. Excise is paid as soon as distillation is done. So distillers can have literally millions of dollars tied up in excise already paid on spirits that are not yet ready for sale. The spirits are available to do what you want from the start. So it sits in barrels along with all the other produce. Which is fine if you are a long established company. But the impost on cash flow makes entering the game near impossible. The main use is actually brandy spirit for fortified wines. These take additional cellaring, so it is a difficult problem.

I was going go mention something similar. I use imitation vanilla extract to make milkshakes/ice cream, and happened to have access to a bottle of real vanilla extract and wondered if it would work. It did not.

Anyone who works ER has seen people try to get alcohol from anything. Handwash seems to be more popular than mouthwash, perfume or spice extracts in my experience. The alcohol is claimed to be “denatured”, often by adding additives which make it unpleasant to drink. Some alcohols are unsafe to drink. Vanilla may be strong, sometimes, but it’s not that cheap.

I agree that Tussionex tastes good - and it works! FYI - it also contains hydrocodone, which is why it’s now C-II if you can even find it.

I personally swear by Buckley’s Mixture to the point where, when I finally found a bottle that could be shipped to me in the U.S., I paid $35 for it. That stuff WORKS even though it tastes horrible.

ETA: I’ve seen references to robotripping, although that wasn’t always the name used, going back to the 1960s.

Biotene is what we always recommended for people who for whatever reason must avoid alcohol, and it’s also popular with people on chemotherapy, because it doesn’t sting if they get stomatitis.

One other thing. Nutmeg is hallucinogenic in large enough quantities, although I understand it’s usually not a pleasant experience. Stick to sprinkling it in your eggnog, spiked or otherwise.

A friend of mine accidentally overingested nutmeg in a dessert his wife-then-girlfriend made where she just completely effed the amounts up by an order or two of magnitude. Being a good boyfriend, he ate it anyway. He said the experience was absolutely awful. Fever. Vomiting. Intense headache. General sense of confusion and being out of it. Oh, yeah, and rapid heartbeat, sweating, and intense dry mouth. He would not recommend the experience.

Costco pure vanilla costs $30 for 16 oz. right now, and is 35% ABV. Like I said above, it’s not the cheapest way to get a buzz on, when you can get a handle (about 60 fl. oz.) of decent vodka (40% ABV) at that price (or a handle of Skol for about $15.)

I knew a guy in college who tried it. He said you start getting the hangover before you get the high, you still have the hangover long after you come down from the high, and the high is not worth the hangover… He said, “It’s like a tequila hangover. Sort of like getting hit in the face with a shovel. There’s a reason you don’t hear about nutmeg addicts. It’s not worth it.”

Bit of a hijack, but somewhat similarly, I was a poor university student with a cigarette habit. I could roll my own, and often did, since roll-your-owns were less expensive than tailor-mades. By chance, I got to know a horticulturist in the Botany department at the university. Its greenhouse grew a lot of tobacco, because tobacco plants react in predictable ways to various things–perfect for undergraduate botany students to study. Since I could roll my own cigarettes, I asked if he could give me a few leaves of Virginia tobacco from time to time. I could cut/shred them, no problem.

He offered to do better–he had so many tobacco plants, that he’d give me a few. Sounded great, until he instructed me on their care. Lots of care–plenty of sunshine and water–until they got to be two or three feet tall (they were only maybe a foot high in the greenhouse). Then they were ready to harvest for smoking.

But once picked, the leaves were not ready to smoke yet, the horticulturalist said. They had to be cured, which could be done in a toaster oven. One at a time, under careful watch, lest the leaf get too toasted and catch fire. Then the next leaf, and the next, and so on. (Remember the Lucky Strike slogan, “It’s Toasted”? All cigarette tobacco is toasted; this is known as flue-curing, but Luckies trademarked the phrase, so nobody else could claim that their tobacco was toasted, though it always was.) Once the leaf had been toasted, yet still supple, it was ready for cutting. You had to cut out the main veins. Then, you could roll up the leaf, with other toasted leaves, kind of like a cigar, and cut slices off the roll, which would result in loose cigarette tobacco–this is the famous “Navy cut.”

Phew! That’s a lot of work, just to have a smoke. I thanked the horticulturist for the info, then stopped by the corner store on my way home, and bought a pouch of cigarette tobacco. It was so much easier.

Oh, gawd! We did that back n the 70’s. It’s been 47 years and I still shudder over the memory.

It is THE worst, most f*cked up experience one could volunteer for.

First of all, it taste like absolute shit. It’s hard to drink it down without puking. Doesn’t matter if you use hot water or juice. It’ll make you gag.

Then it doesn’t kick in for 12-24 hours. So you end up being toast long after you wanted to be. If you wanted to be high on it on Saturday night you needed to take it on Friday.

The sensation is like being trapped in a nightmare. There is absolutely nothing fun or pleasurable about it whatsoever! You just want it to end. But it hangs on for almost 24 hours.

And when it wears off you feel like you have a bad case of the flu for 2 days. Aches, pains, and nausea.

I never met anyone who tried nutmeg more than once.

And then there’s Angostura Bitters. It is a shocking 44.7% ABV, yet it is sold in grocery stores. It is intended to be used a few drops at a time, but I recently learned of a bar in Wisconsin where it is offered as a shot.

Of course I have a cite.

About 9 years ago my wife and I were in a bar in Paris, not far from the Eiffel Tower. I was trying different tap beers. I pointed out a tapper that had a label on it that did not appear on the paper beer menu. I ordered a glass of it. It was a thick burnt orange color with no head.

I chugged down a good portion of it and…BLECH! I almost fell off my chair. Instead of being a 5% beer it was a 50% form of bitters that they normally served in shot glasses. They served it to me in a pint glass!! It was strong as whiskey and tasted like shit.

Bitters is fine for a couple of drops in a cocktail. But not to drink straight. Yuck!

Never heard that before. I’m going to have to find a way to start referring to Marlboros as ‘tailor made’.

If memory serves, Washington Island is in Musicat’s neck of the woods.

Anders Erickson discusses The bitters shot.

I have been to that bar, and I have had a shot of the bitters. As I said above, I love bitters of all kinds, so this was quite pleasant to me, especially with a beer chaser.

Here the Angosturas are sold in the liquor section – or at least in the grocery stores I go to. I’m not entirely sure, though, if I would get ID’ed if I bought some. I don’t think I’ve ever bought them without buying other alcoholic beverages in tandem.

Cool! Anders Erickson has been there and done that also. Maybe your visits coincided?!

I can buy Angostura Bitters in my grocery store without ID. It’s on a shelf with maraschino cherries, swizzle sticks, cocktail onions, etc. Meanwhile, I need to provide state issued ID to purchase nonalcoholic beer (not that I ever would).

Sight hijack: In “We Took to the Woods”, the author Louise Dickson Rich, wrote that lumber camps banned lemon extract which contained alcohol. However (she wrote), the lumberjacks pilfered and drank the non-alcoholic version, and then thought they were drunk - and acted drunk.

Often things are taxed, not taxed, controlled, not controlled because “we’ve always done it that way.”

I remember attending a safety seminar where automobile windshield washer fluid was demonstrated as a flammable substance (it burns with a blue flame, not visible until the room light were turned off), but was not subject to the usual controls for flammable liquids. I believe the state fire marshal was notified and had it made an exempted substance.