Drunk on Vanilla Extract


This past Christmas, my DIY gift for some girlfriends was a bottle of homemade vanilla extract, which I learned was simply vanilla beans and your choice of an alcohol. Turns out that the alcohol can be vodka, bourbon, or whatever you like as long as it is 70 proof or higher. The concoction is then steeped in an airtight container for a minimum of one month.

I would guess that many of us have heard stories of addicts searching for abstract ways to get their hands on a fix, in whatever form it may take. Apparently, I was not the only one to figure out that vanilla extract – this seemingly innocuous baking staple – has a fairly high alcohol content. Although alleged, a woman over in Connecticut was booked for driving under the influence of vanilla extract.

New Canaan police were called to a scene regarding a stopped car in an intersection. Stefanie Warner-Grise from Connecticut was found sitting in her car with her eyes closed at the intersection around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23.  She was found with several bottles of pure vanilla extract in the vehicle, and New Canaan police said they could detect the scent of vanilla. They found that the 50-year-old woman’s speech was slurred, and she was unable to answer some basic questions. They then administered field sobriety tests, which she subsequently failed. The police officers promptly arrested her with suspicion of driving under the influence.

She has since been released on a promise to appear in court.

Who knew that taking shots of vanilla extract was an option for getting buzzed. An expensive option for sure, and apparently one with potential consequences.

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