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I know that the alcohol content of food that is prepared with alcohol is a tricky study, as evidenced by the fact that food left out overnight stored overnight loses, by one study, 30% of its alcohol content. Several weeks ago I had some chocolate dipped strawberries that had been soaked in liquor before being dipped in chocolate. I thought I could taste alcohol, but my dining companion didn't taste it. So it wasn't a strong flavor. Is there any information out there on how much alcohol may have been transferred to the strawberries?

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Interesting question. From experience, if they're soaked overnight in golden grain, they are very alcoholic. But I'd guess this is a function of time and % alcohol. –  yossarian Aug 31 '11 at 16:02
    
@yossarian - in this case they definitely weren't very alcoholic, so I'm guessing not overnight. –  justkt Aug 31 '11 at 16:03

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I don't think this has a single answer: The amount of alcohol would depend on the alcohol content of the soaking liquor or liqueur, soaking time, temperature of chocolate, and how thick the strawberry was.

I suspect uncut strawberries would take at least several days to fully absorb alcohol and reach equilibrium, but the surface should take up alcohol fairly quickly. If they are cut up, exposing the more porous interior, I imagine an overnight soak would be sufficient to reach maximum alcohol content. The enormous, bloated mutant strawberries you sometimes see at stores could take considerably longer than others to absorb their maximum alcohol.

Alcohol is much more volatile than water, so the immersion in warm, melted chocolate would remove some alcohol, but once the chocolate cools, it should trap any remaining content.

The flavor of alcohol is easily masked by other flavors at under 20% content; this could explain why your friend didn't taste it, but you did. It's quite possible the strawberries packed a sobriety-busting punch, but it was disguised by the chocolate and fruit tastes.

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Thanks for the comprehensive answer. In this case they were definitely whole and soaked in tequila, and they were the typical large grocery store type rather than small, good fresh-off-the-farm berries. I'm curious, though, by your statement in bold - you are saying that the alcohol was under 20% of the entire berry + chocolate and so the flavor may have been masked? –  justkt Aug 31 '11 at 17:19
    
@justkt: I think 15-20% alcohol content sounds right, but bear in mind this is an educated guess at best. I'm basing this on was going on % alcohol by volume in beverages, thinking of port, sherry, liqueurs, and mixed drinks where the alcohol content is 15-20%, but the alcohol flavor is weak or imperceptible. At 25%+, the alcohol flavor is quite clear. –  BobMcGee Aug 31 '11 at 17:38
    
That also depends on the palate of the person eating it and the quality of the alcoholic beverage. –  baka Sep 1 '11 at 12:55

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