I generally use rum extract to make a "non-alcoholic" version of my eggnog recipe (which calls for rum and bourbon). However, the rum extract in my cupboard still technically has some alcohol in it, and therefore might not always be an acceptable substitute, depending on who I'm cooking for.

What is the approximate difference in alcohol concentration when using an extract to mimic flavor, compared to the original spirit? I have always heard that the alcohol in (e.g.) rum extract is "trivial" or "insignificant," and certainly don't disagree -- but I am hoping for a more quantitative measure.

  • 1
    You might be better to cook down some rum, probably light rum. Most of the alcohol will cook off. The alcohol in the extract is not insignificant, it's 70 proof, but in reality it will cook out of whatever you are making... Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 2:08
  • Alcohol in cooking, Do not burn off. Please stop telling people that. I am 50 years old and was told that it would not burn off. As a person in the medical field, I found out that it's true after doing some research and experiments. It takes a long time time for that to happen.
    – Don
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 19:21

3 Answers 3


As an example, McCormick Rum Extract has 35 percent alcohol, and lists the other ingredients as water, run, and natural flavor, in that order. Depending on the volume of your other ingredients, the alcohol content may become insignificant. Even imitation extracts, rum and others, contain alcohol. Bakery emulsions are an alcohol-free alternative, a water-based flavor concentrate, such as those marketed by LorAnn Oils and Flavors.

  • All extracts from McCormicks are about 35% alcohol. Most of alcohol will evaporate during cooking. I was shocked at how much alcohol is in Almond, vanilla, rum whatever. You can just buy it in the store at 35% (70 proof) anyone can in the USA... weird... Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 2:03

How much alcohol is in rum extract?

That will depend on the rum extract being used.

McCormick Rum Extract has 35 percent alcohol. Others have 40 to 45 percent alcohol in them.

Extracts are about 35% alcohol whereas most liquor is 40%, so you can pretty much substitute one for the other.

Most extracts labeled “pure” are a solution of whatever flavoring component they claim (vanilla, lemon, anise), some pretty strong alcohol (80 – 90 proof), and sometimes a bit of sugar syrup. The chemicals that we recognize as a “taste” are alcohol-soluble, so the easiest way to concentrate them to a baking-ready liquid is to dissolve them out of their skins, seeds, or pods. - extracts vs. alcohol in baking


Rum extracts have between 10 and 15% alcohol. Given the amount of extract you use, the final content of alcohol in your recipe will be almost nil

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