Oct 14, 2009
Drinking at a Bar, Lounge

So you're on a Shidduch date in a lobby of a hotel or meeting a business client in a lounge, is it permissible to have an alcoholic drink from a clean glass? Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka of OK Kosher Labs answers.

by Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka, Kosher Spirit

First, we have to look at the question from a halachic perspective. Is cold liquid in a non-kosher vessel permissible? The simple answer is that one is allowed to use a clean non-kosher vessel for cold liquids on a temporary basis, as long as one does not have the liquid sitting in the vessel for 24 hours (the time it takes for kovush – pickling).

Halacha requires all non-kosher vessels to be cleaned before use. One can rely on the fact that a reputable establishment keeps all items clean to comply with health regulations.

To explain further, regular liquids have a 24-hour time period of before kovush and absorbing from the vessel in which it is contained. Sharp liquids, like alcohol, would absorb in a shorter period of time (18 minutes). This is only true if the majority of liquid is alcohol, but most alcohols are not considered sharp liquids, because they would have to be over 100-proof (more than 50% alcohol).

The average alcohol contains a substantial amount of water and is not pure alcohol. In addition, many mixed drinks, like Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, etc. are even further diluted. With mixed drinks, it is imperative to make sure that each ingredient is kosher certified.

When drinking a shot, most people drink it right away, within 18 minutes and in most cases, the shot is not strong enough to absorb in 18 minutes anyway.

In a case where someone is drinking a “sharp” alcohol, like Zektz un Ninetzinger, it is proper to make sure to drink it in less than 18 minutes. Some Sefardim hold of the Beis Yosef’s opinion that glass does not absorb at all and are lenient, but the minhag of Ashkenazim is to be machmir.

A slice of lemon or lime (commonly added to drinks) is a sharp food cut with a non-kosher knife and is not permissible.

There is also a din of not drinking with goyim at non-Jewish parties (like an office holiday party).

This response was written for situations when one is socializing in a Torah-permissible manner (i.e. Shidduchim, etc.). For questions regarding a non-Jewish party, please ask your local Orthodox rabbi.

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Opinions and Comments
och!why?there is such a massive problem with shidduchim in chabad and has yet to be practically addressed.(moaning endlessly hasnt solved it yet)and these "major prblems"seem to be the focus.Its time for to DEAL with the bigger issues.please.
(10/15/2009 4:02:44 AM)
Non Jewish bar
Isn't there a Halacha that one is not alloiwed to drink certain bevereges in a non Jewish astableshment?

Yorah Deah Siman 114, can you discuss this?
(10/15/2009 7:07:20 AM)
thanks for the Shiduch tip
"Zektz un Ninetzinger" "socializing in a Torah-permissible manner (i.e. Shidduchim, etc.)." i LIKE that idea - ill try it on my next date.
(10/15/2009 8:39:18 AM)
zeks un ninetziker
zeks un ninetziker
(10/15/2009 9:01:11 AM)
Does anyone know if the average mixed drink contains Kosher ingredients or not? And which ones do if yes...
(10/15/2009 10:12:59 AM)
bochur buying for the girl
is there an overall problem with a bochur BUYING a drink , even soda or bottled water for a girl?
Many girls are being told by seminary teachers that there is a halachic issue with this irregardless of the idea of alcoholic beverages
(10/15/2009 10:16:17 AM)
kol hakovod
Thank you, Rabbi Hanokah and the kosher spirit magazine for bringing up the questions that we all need answers to. You guys at the ok are doing us all a great service keep it up
(10/15/2009 10:22:42 AM)
more info
Thank you for this practical information. Where can I find more info regarding which drinks are generally permissible to order?
(10/15/2009 10:49:45 AM)
These comments scare me....

To 1: Let people live. Not everything that anyone ever writes about has to be about your pressing issue. If you don't like the subject of the article it wasn't for you.

To 2: Careful there...you're making a shailah on ALL shidduch dating. I think for that answer you have to look in the 5th cheileck of Shulchan Oruch

To 3: LOL

To 4: I don't think Kosher goes by average...maybe if you said "chazaka" I'd get what you're saying...

To 5: Now this is what really freaks me out....where do you get this #$% from?
(10/15/2009 11:02:39 AM)
New on the Shidduch market
is it inappropriate to drink alcoholic beverages on dates? obviously im talking about mixed drinks not hard liquor?
(10/15/2009 1:01:34 PM)
and to #9
mi somcho leroish. u need to comment on everything?. u baal gaavoh. go home leidigayer,
(10/15/2009 1:30:31 PM)
to #10
1. If you are driving to the location (as most bochurim), try to minimize.

2. Drinking an alcoholic beverage can help you 'open up' and feel at each. A beer or cocktail is recommended.

3. On the other hand, don't over due it. Alcohol has weired - and at times dangerous - effect on humans.

the maven
(10/15/2009 1:51:06 PM)
"A slice of lemon or lime (commonly added to drinks) is a sharp food cut with a non-kosher knife and is not permissible."

not so true, if the knife was already used to cut many lemons....
(10/15/2009 1:53:06 PM)
To 13
The concept of there being no problem with the knife because it has cut many lemons does not apply in this situation. As Shulchan Oruch makes clear, this applies only to lemons used in lemonade BECAUSE many lemons are used and many will be sliced with the same knife.

This clearly does not apply to a knife used to cut only a handful of lemons, which is more probable at a bar.

There may be other kulos for having the sliced lemon, namely that a bar would not likely use the knife they use to slice fruit and vegetables as they would to slice non-kosher items, if that is even served in the bar. Of course, don't take my word for it and consult your LOR.
(10/15/2009 5:54:30 PM)
certain drinks/cocktails are not kosher (yayin nesech)
Certain drinks and cocktails have wine or wine based alcoholic drinks in them.
Cocktails like Manhattan have wine based alcohol
Cognac, brandy and vermouth are a majority of the time based on aged or fortified wine. Know what you are drinking before you buy.
(10/15/2009 7:24:35 PM)
Is it chasidish to drink on dates?
One may only drink in the presence of a mashpia!
(10/15/2009 8:51:07 PM)
Receiving a drink with a lemon slice.... on a date
If one receives a drink with a lemon slice over the glass rim, can they just remove the lemon slice if it was not touching the actual drink? And if it were touching the drinking, can I still just take it out, and it be OK?
(10/15/2009 11:31:34 PM)
yeah- drinking alcohol on dates-
not so 'dish
(10/16/2009 8:18:23 AM)
to #18
I mean a regular drink of soda, not alcohol. People have also gotten a glass of coke/ soda with a lemon slice.

# 17
(10/16/2009 2:45:35 PM)
dating pro
guys chill out - if a girl orders an alcoholic drink on a date, she has no ulterior motives beyond enjoying a good drink other than the coke she'll drink at home to wear off the headache you gave her. Stop reading into it and let everyone live - nobody's trying to get high on a date and a little alcohol is just to be a sport when sitting in a bar...
(10/18/2009 9:25:55 PM)
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