SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — A San Francisco distillery has produced what it claims is the first kosher-for-Passover gin.
Distillery No. 209 has come out with the product, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, at the urging of its owner, Leslie Rudd. Rudd also is backing a new kosher boutique wine out of Napa, Jeff Morgan’s Covenant label.
Gin is one of many types of liquor that are problematic during Passover because it is based on grain alcohol. Grains are considered chametz and are banned by Ashkenazim during the eight-day holiday.
209’s regular gin is made from corn ethanol. The Passover version uses a South African sugar cane-based alcohol, the Chronicle reports.
Cardamom, an essential flavoring in 209’s gin, also was forbidden by the Orthodox Union, which provides kosher certification for the new Passover gin.
Apparently cardamom is grown close to wheat, which renders it unfit for the Passover table. California bay leaf was substituted.
The Passover gin retails for $38 at specialty shops.