Last month, during the course of Passover, a couple of buddies and I were reflecting upon kosher for Passover liquors, both those that others held, as well as our own modest collections. While we had modest arrays of options for consuming for the duration of the holiday, we realized preparing for Passover begins now.
While some readers of this website may greatly enjoy wine for all of Passover – and that is incredibly lovely – not all of us are cut out to drink only wine for all of Passover. Yes, we all have it for the sedarim, which is great, however, there’s much more to celebrate on the holiday, especially if there is a Shabbat in the middle of it. For those of us who enjoy spirits and/or cocktails, you may want to consider building up a liquor library for Passover.
While in our minds, we might think about preparations for Passover in terms of the early rabbinic passage that discusses the intellectual preparation for Passover thirty days prior to Passover (Pesaḥim 6a), it is hard to get ready for Passover before that, since Purim is right there. As readers of this publication, you are likely also deeply thinking about Purim, so it can be hard to get Passover in one’s head with Purim before it. However, dear readers, while this is true that we should begin preparations for Passover thirty days in advance in terms of the halakhic aspects. For building up a kosher for Passover (KFP) liquor library, however, maybe we need to begin thinking now.
What made the group of us think about this matter in particular was that there are a very tiny amount of KFP liquor options available within driving distance for us. While those in either the greater New York City area or Los Angeles might have a wide array of options, as well as those in Israel, for those of us in the rest of the country do not have this wide of an array of options. When we asked around where people got various KFP liquors, it turns out some of us got them whether while visiting Israel, whether in duty free while traveling in various other countries, or going to New York City, Chicago, or LA, which have a greater array of kosher options.
Liquors one might think to buy that are KFP include tequila, mezcal, arak, cognac, sotol, vodka, and even some whiskey-like spirits. One particular friend said he put off buying verified KFP sotol and mezcal bottles on trips to the east coast last August and this past January, regretting it by March when local stores were out of stock.
So we realized if we want to begin to build a KFP liquor library and something that can even endure for years – as many spirits are meant for keeping for multiple years – that we need to begin now. While Passover only ended last month, the time to prepare building a kosher for Passover liquor library for next year begins now.