Is it safe to drink ethanol (medical alcohol) or add it to a drink?

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Let’s say I love Dr Pepper, and I want to make it “spicier” but not add any external flavor, can I add to it some ethanol, the same you use to clean infections and wounds? Of course, In small and calculated proportions ( for example a drink that would contain normally 30% vodka and 70% juice, make it in this case with 12% pure alcohol and 88% juice)?

Because on the Internet I see people saying that yes, you can, and It’s the same as drinking more pure vodka, and others say It’s really harmful and you should never do it and that it contains cancerous substances

In: Chemistry
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No, as they mix in stuff to keep you from drinking it. I’d buy something like vodka or grain alcohol if you wanted this effect without danger or disgusting taste.

If its food grade alcohol then yes. Ethanol is ethanol. However, if you just got this from the drug store, it probably has other chemicals in it that will make you sick if you drink it. food grade ethanol that is used in chemical reactions or food processes is typically bought from a chemical supply company and they usually check your ID when buying.

Ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) isn’t medical alcohol, or typically isn’t. Ethanol is the drinking alcohol.

Hypothetically ethanol could be used as a disinfectant, but that would just be a very high % alcohol solution.

Typically medical alcohol is isopropyl alcohol. And drinking it can be very irritating to you stomach and digestive tract, possibly to the point of causing bleeding. Drinking it is probably going to cause you problems. Unless you’re just accidentally drinking a tiny little bit that’s diluted with something else, but you can’t really drink it like normal alcohol

If it’s not denatured technically yes. But most forms of ethanol you find outside of liquor stores are denatured meaning it will kill you in different ways if you drink it. It’ll be more expensive and harder to find than actual drinking alcohol anyway. And your lab instructor will probably be pissed.

What you want for this purpose is everclear. Some states don’t sell 190 proof on account of too many people drinking it straight which is a bad bad idea. In those states they sell a 120 proof version.

In any case that’s pasically what you want if you just want to add alcohol to something random.

> can I add to it some ethanol, the same you use to clean infections and wounds?

Isopropanol is used to clean wounds and infections. That won’t do your kidneys any good and can render you blind. It is rubbing alcohol. Both wood alcohol (methanol) and rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) can blind and kill.

Ethanol is the only alcohol you can drink. However, ethanol in commercial or industrial quantities may be denatured. If the quantity of ethanol consumed doesn’t get you then the additives will.

A lot of direct answers in this thread, essentially if it’s food grade then sure – there’s commercial products like everclear or you can get it cheaper by volume (although likely way more than you’re likely to use, hopefully) through food supply stores.

Realistically, 95% ethanol is good for making extracts and that’s about it. 95% ethanol added to Dr Pepper will absolutely change the flavor. It’s not flavorless – just seems that way when you have it straight since it’s so harsh. Really, just stick to a complementary alcohol like rum. It’ll taste better, be cheaper, and you won’t be rolling the dice hoping that that bottle that says “potable” on it won’t blind or kill you.

Speaking of extracts, food grade ethanol, and Dr Pepper, the only appropriate combination of these three is making cinnamon extract and then adding to dr pepper. Cinnamon sticks packed into a mason jar (get bulk @ 16oz+ or you’ll pay a fortune) of a length as close to the mason jar height as possible, fill with food grade ethanol and patiently wait a month or three.

*Under no circumstances* add anything that isn’t specifically designated for human consumption to your drink. *Ever.* Even if you think it’s safe. Just buy some Everclear, they sell at over 90 proof.