Can You Get Drunk Eating Vodka Sauce?

We've all probably had pasta with vodka sauce growing up, but have you ever thought about how much you'd have to consume before feeling a little buzzed? Evidently, the answer lies not in how much sauce you consume, but in what percentage of the sauce you eat is composed of vodka.

Most recipes for vodka sauce call for a very small serving of alcohol. In one particular recipe from Bon Appétit, just 2 ounces are needed for a dish that serves four. To put that in perspective, one shot glass is 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, according to Advanced Mixology. That means there is just over one shot of alcohol in a pot of sauce that feeds four people, which would make it very difficult for someone to get drunk.

In addition, it is important to note that alcohol evaporates when heated. According to the Food Network, a study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data lab revealed that when food is either baked or simmered in alcohol for 15 minutes, it retains just 40% of its alcohol content. Meanwhile, after an hour of cooking, the alcohol content drops to just 25%.

It is very difficult to get drunk off vodka sauce

Because of the low amount of alcohol, and the fact that so much is burned off during cooking, it is highly unlikely that someone could get drunk off vodka sauce, unless, of course, they had an extremely low alcohol tolerance or if the sauce had more alcohol than any other ingredient. Pediatricians have even come forward to confirm that vodka sauce should be safe for kids. Speaking to told PopSugar, Laura Yudys, a clinical nutrition manager at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, said "​​the amount [of alcohol] present in a normal serving should be negligible."

Dr. Ilan Shapiro, the medical director of health education and wellness at AltaMed (via L.A. Care), noted during the same interview that, "as a rule, we do not want to expose a child whose body is developing to any alcohol. The same goes for pregnant women, as there is no 'safe amount' that is recommended." He then added that, "it would be extremely rare if [kids] have symptoms of intoxication or long-term development problems." As for why vodka is in the sauce to begin with, St. Louis Magazine said the product emulsifies and binds the sauce together, giving the dish its creamy consistency.