Fake alcohol

How to identify fake or illegally produced alcohol and guidance on the dangers of consuming these products.

Fake or illegally produced alcohol is alcohol that is made in unlicensed distilleries or people’s homes to be sold.

Fake alcohol may be packaged to look like well-known, legally produced brands. This is known as counterfeiting.

Vodka is the most commonly faked spirit. We advise that if you see vodka on sale at a really cheap price, it probably isn’t vodka.

Properly produced and certified alcoholic drinks are made with ethanol which is a type of alcohol that’s approved for human consumption. Fake alcoholic drinks can be produced using other, cheaper types of alcohol. Drinking them can leave you blind, in a coma or even worse.

Fake alcohol can contain chemicals used in:

  • antifreeze
  • screen wash
  • nail polish remover

How to spot and avoid fake alcohol

Always remember the ‘4Ps’:

  • product – watch out for fake versions as well as brand names you have never heard of
  • price – if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • packaging – look out for poor quality labelling, spelling mistakes and bottles that have been tampered with
  • place – always buy your alcohol from a reputable off-licence or retailer

You should seek medical advice if you think you’ve drunk fake alcohol.

Source of this article


Good article, thanks for sharing :+1:

1 Like

Its inappropriately named…Its not fake alcohol if the main component is ethanol…but it only contains traces of other chemicals that are not potable.It can be classified as industrial alcohol like denatured alcohol sold illegally for beverage purposes .
It s still real alcohol Further you can only label it as fake brands if a certain clandestine liquor manufacturer imitate a well known brand but contains substandard product. but sold as the real thing.
The recent cases of alcohol poisoning was due to this illicit distillers not throwing away the first product of distillation which has lower boiling point, methanol which is toxic.and combining it with the large bulk of higher boiling distillate which is ethanol.
That happened recently in South East Asia…in the Philippines…

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I agree, there is no such thing as fake alcohol if the main component is ethanol, only its adulterated and should not be for beverage purpose.
It should be labeled as counterfeit liquor if using labels from popular brands.