Is Alcohol Really Better Than Water?

Decorating By NYCGiGi Updated 26 Aug 2009 , 10:54pm by __Jamie__

NYCGiGi Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:11pm
post #1 of 18

Well, first off, I think we all know that alcohol is better than water when we're drinking it...just kidding!

But I'm wondering if alcohol is better than water when you are working with fondant or gumpaste and lustor or petal dust? I find that water seems to work just fine for me, but should I really go buy a bottle of vodka or Everclear just for my cake supply? What is the difference?

Thanks all!
Jessica

17 replies
jammjenks Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:22pm
post #2 of 18

Water will not dry. It will remain sticky. Alcohol dries much quicker and will not be sticky. You can use lemon extract (or some other extract with a high alcohol content) in place of vodka/everclear. That's what I do.

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:23pm
post #3 of 18

The reason people use the alcahol is that it evaporates off the cake more quickly and therefore does not make the fondant sticky and you can get on with your design faster. You do not have to use vodka or everclear (although I like having a bottle handy icon_smile.gif ) you can use lemon extract or other clear extracts.

veronica720 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:24pm
post #4 of 18

The alcohol evaporates very quickly. I have used both and I like the alcohol much better, when I used water it left the fondant stick longer after applying the dusts. I have also heard others say it seems to be more vibrant in color. I don't remember about that part though, I have been vodka for a while.

Also the higher the proof the better

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:25pm
post #5 of 18

lol, I think we must have been typing at the same time.

poohsmomma Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:27pm
post #6 of 18

I find the alcohol evaporates quicker and leaves the fondant less sticky. I use it for cleaning and painting. You don't have to buy vodka...I've used peppermint extract-only because it had the highest percentage of alcohol content.

Texas_Rose Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:31pm
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by poohsmomma

I find the alcohol evaporates quicker and leaves the fondant less sticky. I use it for cleaning and painting. You don't have to buy vodka...I've used peppermint extract-only because it had the highest percentage of alcohol content.




Wouldn't that leave it tasting like peppermint? (Sorry if that's a dumb question)

Anyhow, I prefer using vodka because it's cheaper than extracts and dries faster than water. I have a big bottle of vodka I bought a while back and I refill a little dropper bottle with it so that I don't have to get out the big bottle all the time. It was $12 and I probably have used a fourth of it in about the last year and a half, so it's really economical. And it's so generic that I don't have to worry about anyone in the family drinking it icon_biggrin.gif

NYCGiGi Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 6:53pm
post #8 of 18

Alright everyone - I'm going to start using alcohol tonight! Thank you for the answers about the evaporation and stickiness; it's very helpful!

Now if only I can make sure I don't get in the habit of making a martini while I use the vodka as glue each time....hmmmm......

niccicola Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:01pm
post #9 of 18

NYCgigi...are you going to mix your alcohol with the dust to apply to the fondant?

I ask because I want my sister's wedding cake to be SUPER sparkly and typically, I've always used my "for cake use only" makeup brush and dust it on dry, but will it be better if i paint it on using the alcohol? mix the dust with vodka into a thin paste/paint and do it that way?

veronica720 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:05pm
post #10 of 18

Some vodka is really gross tasting, so I would recomend buying that kind to prevent the accidental drinkage. lol

prterrell Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:05pm
post #11 of 18

I keep one of those mini bottles of cheap vodka* in my cake deco supplies for use in painting. One little bottle will last you quite a long time unless you do a LOT of painting!


*I reserve the good, expensive stuff for drinnking. icon_biggrin.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:06pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by niccicola

NYCgigi...are you going to mix your alcohol with the dust to apply to the fondant?

I ask because I want my sister's wedding cake to be SUPER sparkly and typically, I've always used my "for cake use only" makeup brush and dust it on dry, but will it be better if i paint it on using the alcohol? mix the dust with vodka into a thin paste/paint and do it that way?




It's more sparkly if it's brushed on dry, or gives more of an overall glow if it's painted on.

niccicola Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 7:08pm
post #13 of 18

her cake is dark blue fondant with silver stars...kind of going for this starry night wedding theme...i want the blue fondant to sparkle...going on dry will make it work, I'm wondering if the fondant will absorb it or not? My past experience has been that the sparkliness goes away. I really want it to glitter and shine on her wedding day

Carolynlovescake Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 8:19pm
post #14 of 18

Mental note to add here...

Be careful telling people who consume your cakes that you paint with a vodka/everclear base.

Anyone who's a recovering alcoholic will have heart failure thinking you fed them alcohol because they don't realize it's dried and evaporated.

Trust me when I say this and no I have NO STORY TO TELL about this happening to me! thumbs_up.gif

tuffstuff Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 8:48pm
post #15 of 18

Niccicola,
If you're fondant is dark blue and your luster dust is dark blue, it will work. Assuming you don't have an airbrush, I would paint 2 coats - first coat with left to right brushstrokes, and the 2nd coat with up and down brushstrokes. Maybe even a third coat will look nice.
I don't think it will work to paint say, silver luster dust on blue fondant. It will look very streaky and weird.
You don't want it to be paste consistency. More watery than pastey but not too thin, or you will need more coats.
I recommend Everclear for mixing with color or dusts. It dries the fastest.
That's my opinion. Hope it helps! icon_biggrin.gif

mmgiles Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 9:21pm
post #16 of 18

I'm not a drinker, but I use Everclear and can ensure no one will be sneaking in it. Its gross. I have purchased an aresol luster spray that would work great, it doesnt ad color, but will add shimmer to the cake.

I also find that using alcohol as opposed to water makes the paste smoother, and doesnt look clumpy. To me it's like adding a tiny bit of finger nail polish remover to an old bottle of polish. Makes all the difference.

niccicola Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 10:31pm
post #17 of 18

OOh, thanks for the advice!! Yes, the fondant will be between royal and dark blue the luster dust is "midnight blue" and "royal blue"...so I was thinking of combining them. I like the idea of left to right then up and down...

i'm not lying when i say i want this to be an uber dusted cake haha

__Jamie__ Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 10:54pm
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolynlovescake

Mental note to add here...

Be careful telling people who consume your cakes that you paint with a vodka/everclear base.

Anyone who's a recovering alcoholic will have heart failure thinking you fed them alcohol because they don't realize it's dried and evaporated.

Trust me when I say this and no I have NO STORY TO TELL about this happening to me! thumbs_up.gif




As a recovered alky here, I can tell you with 100% assurance...if we accidentally unintentionally ate a piece of cake with a slight, dried, evaporated smear of alcohol on it...it would get no more than a shrug and a laugh from us all.

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