Does Tiramisu Have Alcohol ? Traditionally, Yes

Tiramisu is a wonderfully refreshing and not overly sweet dessert that just screams Italy at you. The coffee, the mascarpone, the ladyfingers, everything is just delicious. One thing has always been up for debate though: does tiramisu have any alcohol in it ? Ad if yes, can you get drunk off it ?

This is what we’re going to take a look at, since tiramisu is a fairly popular dessert. Many people would like to know if their favorite treat is boozy or not. So let’s take a look.

tiramisu alcohol

Does tiramisu have alcohol ?

Traditional tiramisu does contain alcohol, specifically Marsala wine. It can be found either in the coffee mix, or the cream mix, or in both. The overall percentage of alcohol in tiramisu is fairly low, since you only need a little. Home-made tiramisu may have more alcohol, depending on the maker’s wishes. 

Not every brand that sells ready-made tiramisu adds alcohol to their recipe. Those that do this will state the alcohol content on the label, and it’s usually something around 1.5%. 

Can you get drunk off tiramisu ?

Getting drunk off tiramisu is very difficult, because the amount of alcohol present in it is minimal and you’d need large amounts (pounds) of tiramisu to even feel a slight buzz.

Does this mean you can safely drive after tiramisu ? No. We strongly advise you to avoid alcohol completely when driving anywhere, even if it’s a small amount like in tiramisu. You could be very tired, or take medication that should not be combined with alcohol, or you may have an alcohol intolerance without knowing it. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Read also: Mascarpone VS Cream Cheese 

The conclusion is that while tiramisu has a very low amount of alcohol, you should still avoid it entirely when driving. If buying some tiramisu to bring home, make sure to look at the ingredient list for any alcohol. 

Booze substitutes for tiramisu

If you’re making tiramisu at home and simply don’t have Marsala, you have an almost endless list of booze options to use. We recommend going to the darker, more caramel-y type of alcohol. For example vodka or tequila won’t work as well here, since they’re very different from the other substitutes.

Good options are liquors, like whiskey cream, Kahlua, Sheridan’s, and you can even go for a fruity liquor like cherry liquor. It will change the flavor slightly, yes, but it’s definitely something your guests will appreciate.

Other options include brandy, cognac, or even whiskey since it has a more rounded flavor. Again, remember there are strong drinks so you only need a little. We recommend spiking the espresso and not the cream. You risk separating the mascarpone and ruining the entire dessert. You’re better off with a spiked espresso dip. 

Non-alcoholic tiramisu is easy to make

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic version of tiramisu, you don’t have to look very far. All you have to do is not add alcohol. There are no extra steps, no tricks, no hacks, nothing of the sort.

This way you’re sure there is no alcohol in your tiramisu, and you can safely serve it to anyone who would normally not have alcohol.

Can kids eat tiramisu ?

Children can have tiramisu only if it has no alcohol in it. There is a small amount of coffee, and thus caffeine, so be sure to keep tiramisu away from babies and toddlers. 

Most tiramisu servings are very small, so you don’t have to worry about too much caffeine present in your child’s tiramisu. Still, better safe than sorry. Always check the label, both for caffeine and for alcohol. Remember that children are smaller than adults, and they react to stimulants much more acutely.

If you’re making tiramisu for children specifically, there are a few things you can tweak to make this a completely safe dessert. For example you can swap the espresso for a decaf version, or you can use thinned hot chocolate as the dip instead. To give tiramisu that vaguely bitter, earthy flavor, you can add some ground chicory to the cocoa mix. 

Keep in mind that tiramisu relies on that thin coating of cocoa powder on top to give it a balancing bitter note, so don’t forget about that. If your child does not want anything bitter at all, replace the cocoa powder with powdered chocolate milk mix.

In short, tiramisu does normally contain alcohol, so be careful when ordering it on a night out. If in doubt, ask the waiter or whomever can ask the chef. And if you’re making tiramisu at home, you’re completely in charge of whether to add any alcohol or not, how much you add, and whether you serve it to your children or not. These are really personal decisions.

If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.