25 September 2005

The Kosher Status of Smirnoff Ice (in America)

I like hard lemonades. I can stand beer, but hard lemonades really are a cool, chill beverage, etc. The problem is that they generally find themselves on kosher "not recommended" lists (e.g. the CRC) and I asked a משגיח with the circle K about them and he suspected that it was because they have glycerin (it could have been some other ingredient) in them, which comes from animals. Oy, not looking good.
However, I started doing some research. I e-mailed reps at Smirnoff Ice, who informed me that their product, as well as the rest of their products, contain no animal products in them, nor any grape juice (same with Bacardi Silver, but I'm not as much of a fan), which someone else had found out regarding Mike's hard lemonade. Furthermore clouding my understanding was Rabbi Abadi's perfectly okaying hard lemonades' kashrus status. Now what?
So, about a month ago, I resumed drinking said beverage.
Then comes along a guy to YCT's שחרית on Friday, who is in the kashrus industry. Guess what I ask him? You got it. His answer? Check out Rabbi Abadi's website. Imagine that!! So I tell him I've seen that already and ask why it's not certified. And the answer... they want $$ for השגחה. Now, I'm not saying that kashrus agencies, like the OU, are more interested in moola than in making things kosher, but at least I know what's up. Hence, my informed decision about drinking hard lemonades (especially Smirnoff Ice).


Drew_Kaplan said...

One wonders what the Kansas City Va'ad (http://www.jewishkansascity.org/content_display.html?ArticleID=65011&page=8) has issue with natural flavorings?

Gatos Hombre said...

Which brands of hard lemonade did Rav Obadi approve? All? Also, I'd imagine the natural flavoring issue are things like grapes etc. which would obviously be a problem. The problematic kashrut status of many lemonades is the grape flavorings (like Snapples lemonade). It use to be that all of the Snapples were kosher except for the lemonade until a few years ago (outside of NYC).

And also i think that many kashrut agencies are run like a "business" and not always to provide as much kosher food as possile. One of the main sources for OU activities liek NCSY is their hechsher.

I'm not sure how i feel about this issue, but I definitley feel that local kashrut organiztions should "push off" the business aspect at times to make kosher food available b/c many people won't keep kosher if it is not convenient!!!!

CT said...

some of the Smirnoff ice twist flavors have a Hechsher (KSA).

Drew_Kaplan said...

Yes, I'm aware. Have you read the linked page to this one at the bottom? btw, this posting was made nearly a year ago, so I'm not sure that Smirnoff had a hekhsher back then.