Benedictine, Gin and Tonic, and those sorts of things

This is forbidden by most major Kashrus authorities. Nothing is unchanged, and even those who wish to claim that it may have been Kosher, need to produce evidence that it’s currently Kosher.

Now, there is a rumour that Rav Lande from B’nei Brak permits it. I’d love to see that letter. It seems to be elusive. I think Rabbi Hasofer, who was once in Melbourne, is now the younger Rav Lande’s right hand man on Kashrus.

I note that I became a recent convert to diet tonic water (NOT for pregnant women). Schweppes used to be on the list, then were removed. It seems that much of the problem with Schweppes may be that they can’t be bothered saying what’s in their drinks and as such, we don’t know.

Enter Kirks. I bought those. Now they don’t seem to make the diet or normal tonic anymore (unless someone can direct me where I can buy).

In the meanwhile, I bit the bullet, and said to “hell” with relying on these secretive companies. We bought a SodaStream which also supports Israeli enterprise, and it has a diet tonic flavour. Provided you don’t but the fancy version with the LED lights (LED lights on Shabbos is a topic on its own) you can use it on Shabbos too.

Many of the flavours are new, and I just love the diet pink grapefruit. Reminds me of breakfast in an Israeli hotel where you fress to the extent that you can’t eat lunch.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

4 thoughts on “Benedictine, Gin and Tonic, and those sorts of things”

  1. Just a few thoughts.

    You write:

    This is forbidden by most major Kashrus authorities.

    In Israel there is just the Chief Rabbinate that can issue a Kashrus Certificate. Anyone describing a product or a Restaurant as Kosher without having their certificate is a Ziyuf and an offence.
    This said, we have a lot of Hashgachot. They can babysit or walk by and put a stamp on whatever they want, but they cannot say it is Kosher.
    Here we have a product, “ActivBrain” which is approved by many, including the FDA, GMP and Eda-Charedit. It does not say anywhere that it is Kosher. The Eda-Charedit approval just lets us know how to use the “drug/supplement”:
    באישור הבד”צ העדה החרדית ירושלים
    אקטיב בריין למהדרין מאושר ע”י העדה החרדית ירושלים מתאים גם לאנשים/ילדים שמתקשים לבלוע כמוסות, ניתן לפתוח את הכמוסה וליטול רק את תוכנה.
    It does not say if it is Milchig of Fleishig as the derivatives of the active ingredient are described as:
    כיום מפיקים פוספטידילסרין ממקורות שונים כמו: סויה, ביצים, חלב, חמניות ומקורות ימיים. חשוב לציין כי הטענות ניתנו אך ורק לפוספטידילסרין ממקור לציטין סויה ומוחות של בקר
    Do they use only the Soya? Is it Batel BeShishim? If yes; why is Pareve Chocolate processed on the same line that the milk one considered Milchig?


    In your article “Benedictine, Gin and Tonic, and those sorts of things”
    You are discussing drinks. I am no expert on the ingredients in the different drinks, but while on the topic I wonder:

    How was יין נסך changed to משום בנותיהם ?

    Aren’t all drinks (maybe even just talking to a no Ben Brit or eating with them) forbidden משום בנותיהם ? Can I drink in a pub a Kosher Tomato Juice with them?

    Doesn’t משום בנותיהם apply only when you sit, WITH THEM, in the pub, and not in your home with only your family drinking סתם יינם ?

    Is there a difference of sitting with them in a pub drinking a glass of wine, a brandy or a diet coke? Aren’t all forbidden משום בנותיהם ? Or are only the ones without a Hechcher?

    If this Gentile I’m sitting with in the pub has no daughters, can I have a drink with him?

    I’m enjoying my Schweppes tonic water. Unfortunately we do not have the diet version.

    Diet Tonic Water vs. Regular Tonic Water
    Last Updated: Sep 17, 2014 | By Sara Ipatenco
    Tonic water is used to make certain cocktails.
    Made primarily of carbonated water, sugar and quinine, tonic water is a bitter-tasting beverage you can drink on its own or combined with liquor, typically gin, to make a cocktail. Traditional tonic water contains added sugar, while diet tonic water contains artificial sweeteners.
    Calories and Carbohydrates
    A 12-ounce serving of regular tonic water contains between 124 and 130 calories. The added sugar in regular tonic water is responsible for the 32 to 33 grams of carbohydrates a 12-ounce portion contains. Diet tonic water doesn’t contain any calories or carbohydrates. This is an important difference if you are trying to lose weight because the added sugar contributes to total caloric intake. Eliminating added calories can help you reach your weight-loss goals.
    Quinine Content

    Quinine is added to regular and diet tonic water, and it’s the substance that gives the water its characteristic bitter taste. The original purpose of adding quinine to water was to help treat malaria, though tonic water is no longer widely used to treat any medical condition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandates that tonic water can’t have more than 83 parts per million of quinine. There are about 15 milligrams of quinine in a bottle of tonic water, according to This small amount isn’t dangerous, but you should always check with your doctor before adding tonic water to your diet to be sure it’s safe for you.

    What is Quinine?
    כינין הוא חומר המופק מקליפת עץ הצינקונה הגדל בהרי האנדים אשר בפרו. את הכינין מפיקים מתמצית העלים. הכינין מוכר כתרופה נגד מלריה מאז המאה ה-17. כמו כן מומלץ להתכווצויות שרירים.

    Schweppes Tonic Water should be Kosher. See here:

    But I’m not a Posek.

    Very good for Leg Muscle Cramps.
    But again, I’m not a M.D.


    1. Thanks. On Activ Brain, which as I understand it is a Cortisol capsule, this really is another realm of Kashrus which goes into health and the patient. There are Poskim who hold that all tablets and capsules can be taken. Others, will tell you to have it Shelo Derech Achila (e.g. wrapped in glad wrap!) and yet others will be careful unless it is a Mamash Sakono not to use any gelatine based capsules or similar because of the Kabalistic effect it may have on your Neshomo.

      In Melbourne, Pareve Chocolate is made once the machinery has been cleaned/Pagum if also used for Milchig. We have a secretary at work who is lactose intolerant. I told her which chocolates to have, and her headaches disappeared. The ones which simply said Dairy Free, were enough to give her headaches.

      Stam Yeynom is Mishum B’Noseihem. The Acharonim discuss this and agree, that in reality the Chashash they might use Yayin Nesech is too remote. Furthermore, a Mechallel Shabbos B’Farhesyo who is not a tinok Shenishba also can’t touch such wine, and yet we can marry their daughters 🙂 precisely because we know they aren’t performing libation ceremonies.

      In essence, simply having יין מבושל removes the Cheftza of wine from the Gezera. As I understand it, unless it is for business etc it is forbidden to enter a Pub anyway, irrespective of whether you drink. We get into Maris Ayin, and there are all sorts of Eytzos depending on where one lives. Whisky was never forbidden, and we do not add new Gezeros today. The Tanoim had the authority, as does a local Rav on his Kehilla, but only if they accept it and are able to do it.

      It is Lo Plug, whether they have daughters.

      I love the TASTE of Tonic Water (as does my wife), with or without Gin. The problem with companies like Schweppes is that what is done in one country, doesn’t necessarily apply in another country. In all likelihood there may be nothing wrong with the diet Tonic Water, but stupid Schweppes refuses to tell what the ingredients are. I have contacted them myself, and they are simply arrogant and don’t care.

      Kol Tuv (and I am no Posek either!)


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