When you think about how much you have to drink, do you ever include the alcohol that may have been in your food? Many people don’t realize that wine, beer and spirits used in their dinners may still be potent enough to raise their blood alcohol concentrations, but they can.
Whenever you’re drinking with your dinner, you have to remember to include alcohol that is in a dish. For example, if you eat a meal that has a wine gravy, it’s important to keep in mind that when the wine is added will determine the total alcohol content of the dish. If the wine is added at the end of the cooking cycle, almost no alcohol will burn off. However, if it’s added early and simmered for a long time, then most of the alcohol may burn off and no longer be present in the dish.
Many foods contain alcohol that you should keep in mind
All kinds of foods contain alcohol that you’ll need to remember when you’re tallying up your alcohol for the night. Some common dishes containing alcohol include:
- Meat and pasta sauces, such as whiskey-based glazes
- Vanilla extract
- Liquor-filled candy or chocolate
- Beer-infused meats, stews and breads
The alcohol content of these dishes will vary based on the cook times and when the alcohol was added.
Flambéed dishes are high-risk, high-alcohol content foods
Flambéed dishes are some to take a closer look at, especially if you’re feeling a little tipsy. These can retain up to 75% of their alcohol content after being flash-ignited.
Overnight storage makes a difference, too
Overnight storage of food dishes will also influence how much alcohol is present in your meal the next day. When stored, approximately 30% of the alcohol can evaporate away. Exactly how much is left will depend on factors like the humidity or temperature of the storage area.
These are some important things to keep in mind when you’re eating a dish that may contain alcohol. If you combine these dishes with other drinks, there is a possibility that you could become impaired and be unable to drive safely.