By: Hendra Utama (LPPOM MUI Senior Auditor)
Liquor/alcoholic drinks/Khamr exist in various product variants. This depends on the raw material, yeast, and the process, which affects the high or low alcohol/ethanol content. In general, liquor is made from the juice of plants that contain carbohydrates or sugar, such as grapes, sap, barley, and rice which is then fermented so that a fermentation process occurs and alcohol/ethanol is formed.
Here are some categories of Khamr based on its ethanol content. First, beer has an alcohol content of 4-8%, made by fermenting a mixture of malt, hops, and other additives. Second, wine (grapes) having an alcohol content of 9-16% is made by fermenting grapes and/or other fruit. Third, spirits having an alcohol content of more than 20% are produced by fermentation of molasses, fruit juices, cereal extracts, or other materials, which are then followed by a distillation process.
The history of Khamr consumption has been going on for so long. Some references say this type of drink has been created since 5,000 BC. Even so, the application or use of Khamr in processed food products and cooking processes has only become a trend recently.
Many products that mix Khamr come from countries or manufacturers that do not consider halal and haram. Of course, this can cause problems later if we carelessly consume products whose halal status needs to be clarified. The following are products that, by the naked eye, we might not expect to be contaminated with Khamr.
1. Drunk Fish. This product, at first glance, looks like salted fish wrapped in clear packaging. The packaging sometimes mentions “dried fish soaked in wine.” So even if it seems like salted fish at first glance, if we’re not careful, there’s a chance that it will be soaked in wine.
2. Floss. When conducting an audit at a floss company, the writer found barrels of wine. The owner said the meat marinated in the wine aims to soften and enrich the taste. Even though the shredded raw material (chicken, beef, or buffalo meat) has a halal certificate, this product still has a non-halal status because it uses liquor in the shredded product—its status is mutanajis. Even though, in the end, the ethanol content is lost due to specific treatments, it will still be considered haram because it has been touched by haram and impure wine.
3. Cocktails. In Indonesia, a fruit cocktail is known as a piece of fruit soaked in simple syrup (liquid sugar). But remember that this cocktail is a mixture of various liquors in a drink or can also be enriched with other ingredients such as fruit juice, syrup, or cream. Therefore, don’t be fooled by the term cocktail, so in our perception, it will be the same as a fruit cocktail, and permissively we will consider it halal.
4. Pinacola Pilada. This type of drink is a cocktail which is a mixture of rum, coconut milk, and pineapple juice. Even though it can be found in various countries, including Indonesia, this type of drink itself comes from Puerto Rico.
5. Chocolate. As a snack product, chocolate is sometimes filled with liquor. The goal is the same to give the effect of a surprising taste.
6. Creative Coffee. During the rise of coffee shops, various kinds of coffee drinks (coffee creations) are sometimes mixed with liquor. An example is an Irish coffee which contains coffee, whiskey, and sugar.
7. Rhum and Raisin Ice Cream. One variant of ice cream flavors is rhum and raisin ice cream. From the name, you can know the presence of rhum in ice cream products. Even if it is only in the form of flavor, rhum is still judged as not being able to be certified as halal because it can accustom the consumer’s tongue to the taste of haram products.
8. stir fry vegetables, seafood, or fried rice. This dish does not escape the possibility of using peacock wine or angciu.
9. Sauce Vla. This pudding and cake accompanying sauce is often accompanied by rhum.
10. Black Forest. Although it looks tempting, we must be careful because black forest cake is often enriched with Kahlua sauce (coffee-based Mexican liquor).
11. Sandy drinks. This drink is a mixture of beer and lemonade, which is still considered impure and haram.