bubbles floating in clear 200 proof food grade ethanol by culinary solvent bubble floating in clear 200 proof food grade alcohol Culinary Solvent Product Page

200 Proof
Food Grade Ethanol

by Culinary Solvent

Everything to Know About Food Grade Ethanol

Culinary Solvent is pure food grade ethanol.  Ethanol and "ethyl alcohol" are the same.  While ethanol is an "alcohol", not all alcohols offer the food safe properties of ethyl alcohol.  Use the information on this page to understand more about food grade ethanol terms, varieties, raw material considerations, and other important components to when making a decision on where to buy 200 proof food grade ethanol for your next project or recipe.

food grade ethanol molecule on white background

Food Grade Ethanol vs "Beverage" Alcohol

Food grade ethanol and beverage alcohol both contain only ethyl alcohol.

Proof: Food Grade Ethanol is available up to 200 proof.  Beverage alcohol is available up to 190 proof.  Some states limit beverage alcohol to 151 proof.

Additives:  Food Grade Ethanol contains only ethyl alcohol.  With the exception of "vodka" or "neutral grain spirits", beverage alcohol always contains other ingredients, natural or otherwise, which provide flavor, aroma, color, and character.

Available Sizes: Food Grade Ethanol is available in pints, quarts, gallons, and bulk jugs up to 55 gallon drums.  Beverage alcohol is limited to a maximum size of 1.75liters.

Buying Online: Food grade ethanol is available 

Beverage alcohol always contains water, even Everclear 190 proof contains 5% water.   

What is Food Grade Ethanol? Understanding "undenatured" ethyl alcohol.

Undenatured Food Grade Ethanol is ethyl alcohol that contains zero additives (denaturants), and which has been processed using systems and recipes that maintain food safe conditions for use in products that are consumed or applied directly to the skin.  Ethyl alcohol is also known as "Ethanol" and is one of many types alcohols, but only ethyl alcohol is regarded as safe for consumption and topical application.  

The Significance of "Food Grade" Ethanol

Ethanol labeled as "food grade" is produced and processed under strict regulations to ensure it's safe for human consumption. This designation means it contains no harmful impurities or additives and is suitable for use in food products, tinctures, and personal care items. 

food safe commercial kitchen environment

Denatured Alcohol is not Food Grade Ethanol

Denatured alcohol and food grade ethanol are both forms of ethyl alcohol, but they serve vastly different purposes due to their composition and safety profiles. Denatured alcohol, as the name suggests, is ethanol that has been mixed with additives to render it poisonous, bad-tasting, foul-smelling, or nauseating, deliberately making it unsuitable for human consumption. These additives, which can include methanol, isopropanol, and other synthetic chemicals, are added to prevent the misuse of the ethanol in beverages, and allowing it to be sold without the alcohol taxes that apply to drinking alcohol. This makes denatured alcohol a common choice for industrial, cleaning, and fuel applications where the toxic additives do not interfere with the intended use.

Takeaway: Denatured alcohol is not food grade ethanol.  Learn more about denatured alcohol suppliers and denatured alcohol alternatives on our About denatured and non-denatured alcohol page.

Notable Chemical Properties of Ethyl Alcohol

  1. Chemical Formula: Ethyl alcohol's chemical formula is . This represents two carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom.

  2. Polarity: Ethanol is a polar solvent, which means it can dissolve both polar and certain non-polar substances. This property is vital in extractions and in the formation of solutions with a wide range of compounds.

  3. Boiling Point: Ethyl alcohol has a boiling point of 78.37°C (173.1°F). This relatively low boiling point makes it easy to remove from solutions through evaporation, which is especially useful in distillations and certain cooking techniques.

  4. Flammability: Ethanol is highly flammable. It can be ignited easily and burns with a blue flame. This property is the basis for its use in certain culinary presentations like flambéing.

  5. Density: Ethanol is less dense than water. Its density is about 0.789 g/cm^3 at 20°C.

  6. Miscibility: Ethanol is miscible with water in all proportions. This complete solubility is useful in mixology (creating cocktails) and in making tinctures where a range of alcohol-water concentrations might be desired.

  7. Vapor Pressure: Ethanol has a high vapor pressure, which means it evaporates quickly when exposed to air. This characteristic is beneficial for processes requiring rapid drying.

  8. Hydrophilic Nature: Ethanol is hydrophilic, meaning it has an affinity for water. This makes it a good dehydrating agent for foods and a useful drying agent in laboratories.

  9. Toxicity: While ethyl alcohol is consumable and is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it can be toxic in large amounts. Its purity, when referred to as "food grade," means that it doesn't contain harmful impurities or additives.

  10. Reactivity: Ethanol can react with various inorganic and organic compounds, making it suitable for numerous chemical reactions. However, in its pure form and under standard conditions, it's generally stable.

  11. Preservative Qualities: Due to its ability to denature proteins and lipids, ethanol can act as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. This property is why it's often used in preserving biological specimens and in herbal tinctures.

How to confirm your alcohol is "Food Grade Ethanol"

Read the Listings and the Labels

  • Look for the words "ethyl alcohol" or "ethanol".  Only ethyl alcohol should be used in applications that will be consumed or applied to the skin.
  • Look for the words "200 proof" or 100% ABV.  Look for other words that are not "ethyl alcohol" followed by a number and a % sign, as an indication that the alcohol is not pure ethyl alcohol.
  • Look for the mention of "denatured".  If you see this word listed anywhere in the title or the product description, then additives have been added to the alcohol.  If making a final product that will be consumed or applied to the skin, do not use denatured alcohol.

Consider the Source of the Ethanol

If you are shopping purely by price, be aware of scammers that can offer regulated products listed as pure or additive free on ecommerce platforms that sell "everything" to everyone.  Specifically, people that buy food grade ethanol on eBay or amazon in the name of finding the best deal possible should do extra due diligence into the supplier of the alcohol to ensure purity and quality standards are met.   

Look up the Brand, and Read the Reviews.

The internet and social media platforms make looking up the reputation of a brand instantaneous.  Visit the homepage of the brand, check the last time they updated their social media accounts, search reddit or Quora for firsthand experiences with the product and ordering process, and lastly read the reviews of customers who have made purchases from the supplier.  Read our discussion on online food grade ethanol suppliers, prices and portfolios here.

Ask for a Certificate of Analysis (COA)

  • Request a Certificate of Analysis for the product which states the components contained within the product down to the parts per billion. 
  • Ensure that your product contains only "Ethyl Alcohol".  If 200 Proof the ABV of ethyl alcohol should read between 99.96% and 99.98%.
  • Seek percentages of other impurities or other alcohols listed such as methanol, benzene and ensure that amounts listed, if any, fall into the specs.
  • Look for the batch designation and ensure that the certificate connects to the product you received.

analyzing food grade ethanol for purity and quality

How Alcohol is Measured: Understanding ABV and Proof

When purchasing food grade ethanol online or exploring various alcoholic products, you'll encounter several terms that describe the alcohol content and quantity. Understanding these measurements is crucial to making informed decisions, especially for applications requiring precise concentrations.

ABV (Alcohol by Volume): ABV stands for "Alcohol by Volume," a standard measurement used worldwide to quantify the amount of alcohol (ethanol) in an alcoholic beverage. Expressed as a percentage, ABV describes how much of the liquid, in a given volume, is alcohol. For example, an ethanol solution with 95% ABV contains 95% alcohol and 5% other components by volume. Food grade ethanol, especially for culinary and medicinal uses, often has a high ABV to ensure purity and effectiveness.

Proof: Originally, "proof" was a British term from a test for the alcohol content of spirits, but it has evolved into a measure of the alcohol content, especially in the United States. In the U.S., proof is calculated as twice the ABV. For instance, a liquid that is 50% alcohol by volume is 100 proof. The term "200 proof" refers to pure ethanol, with no water or other substances mixed in, making it 100% alcohol by volume.

how to measure abv and proof of food grade ethanol

    Food Grade Ethanol Begins with Food Ingredients

    Food grade ethanol, revered for its purity and versatility, is meticulously crafted from real food ingredients. The source of these ingredients significantly influences both the quality and the characteristics of the final product. Commonly derived from corn, grapes, cane, or wheat, food grade ethanol's origins are as diverse as they are natural. Each source imparts a unique profile to the ethanol, making the transparency of these ingredients crucial for consumers, especially those with specific dietary preferences or restrictions.

    Raw Material

    Taste and Smell

    Uses and Pairings

    Available in organic

    Cane (sugar cane)

    Strong, close to burnt notes of molasses, brown sugar, and hard caramel.

    Blends well with vanilla and spicy herbs (think culinary alcohol extracts, like vanilla extract)

    Yes – most popular form of value-priced organic spirits


    Most easily recognizable; abundant in fragrant flora aromas that are obtained from the rich grape skins and pulp through the process of juicing; earthy, not sweet; scent is prominent even when layered.

    Most commonly used to make wine



    Crisp, spicy, reliably consistent aroma profile (when sourced from different reputable distillers).

    Primarily used in the beverage industry (think beer)



    Naturally the most neutral aroma, taste, and character profile; little to no odor; produces most neutral alcohol available.

    Tinctures, liniments, perfumes; good for any project that requires a neutral alcohol base, including cocktails (think vodka)


    raw materials used for food grade ethanol including grapes, corn, cane, wheat


    Practical Applications of 200 Proof Food Grade Ethanol

    Pure, 200 proof ethanol from CulinarySolvent.com is indispensable in a diverse range of applications, each tapping into the chemical's unique characteristics and androgenous-level safety. 


    In the cosmetics and beauty industry, it is a vital solvent and preservative, essential for blending ingredients in products like perfumes and lotions and acting as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, surface disinfectant sprays, and hand sanitizers. In the food sector, it enhances flavors and aromas as a solvent in extracts, extends shelf life as a preservative in baked goods, and is used in producing certain food colorings.

    Herbal Tinctures for Foragers and Apothecaries

    Preserve, concentrate, and increase bioavailability by tincturing your wild sourced botanicals, herbs, roots, stems, seeds, bark, or sap.  Some extractions require water... by starting with pure 200 proof ethanol, diluting your alcohol solution to different lower concentrations (ABV) is a snap. 
    Read More: Guide to Alcohol for Herbalists and Apothecaries
    pure food grade ethyl alcohol designed for botanical tinctures and extracts

    Cannabis Tinctures and Extracts

    Food grade alcohol makes cannabis tinctures quickly and efficiently.  Leave the alcohol in as a tincture, or evaporate the alcohol away to yield a potent concentrate. 
    Read More: Guide to Alcohol Cannabis Tinctures

    Cooking, Baking, Confections

    Food grade alcohol makes custom flavor extractions, all natural food coloring, and edible paints and decorations. Unlock advanced baking techniques made possible with 200 proof food grade alcohol.

    Read More:
    Chef's Guide to Alcohol for Cooking

    food grade ethanol for bakers to hobbyists, culinary solvent does it all

    Perfume, Cologne, and Body Products

    Pure ethyl alcohol is the best alcohol for perfume making, hands down.  Safe for skin and body, natural sustainable organic recipe, simply the best.
    Read More: Perfumer's Guide to Perfumers Alcohol

    pure ethyl alcohol for perfume and cologne recipes

    In the pharmaceutical industry, it dissolves active ingredients in medications, serves as a preservative, and disinfects medical equipment and surfaces. 

    Artisans and Craftsmen

    Artisans and specialists from luthiers seeking the cleanest French polish possible, to additive manufacturers seeking consistent results when handling precision components.  The high purity of 200 proof alcohol offers efficiency and adherence to stringent quality standards across these diverse applications over 190 proof grain alcohol alternatives.

    Chef's Guide to Alcohol for Cooking

    Everything to know about alcohol for cooking.

    Explore Terms

    How to buy food grade ethanol?

    Buying food grade ethanol from Culinary Solvent is quick, easy, and convenient.

    View Step-by-Step Guide

    Guide to buying organic alcohol.

    Everything to know before buying organic alcohol online.

    View Guide
    Buy food grade ethanol here from CulinarySolvent.com Shop here for Cculinary Solvent food grade alcohol from CulinarySolvent.com

    Ready to get
    to making?

    Step 1: Buy Culinary Solvent


    At this time no permit is required to buy or ship 200 proof alcohol to California addresses (January 2024)

    Yes. Culinary Solvent is pure food grade ethanol, contains zero additives, and is safe for human consumption in tinctures, flavor extracts including vanilla, edible decorations, and organic food coloring applications.

    Yes, ethanol is a type of alcohol, specifically referred to as "ethyl alcohol." It is the alcohol most commonly associated with beverage uses and is often what is meant by "alcohol" in everyday conversation.