To resurrect an 1-2 year old English Christmas dark fruitcake, I removed the icing and marzipan, infused it liberally with whiskey liqueur - then cut it into cubes. I then served it with cocktail sticks and a dip of pure Advocaat. It was a great success, but the tasty dip should have been thicker like a light custard.

So the question is: How can I thicken it while still keeping 17% alcohol. If I add cornflour, I need to heat it up to thicken. But alcohol boils at 78degC which may not be hot enough for the cornflour.

  • 2
    Note that even if you heat it up to 100 C, the alcohol won't evaporate, because a mixture of alcohol and water behaves differently from pure alcohol. You will end up with less than 17%, but not with something like 2-3%, if that's what you're worried about.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 28, 2015 at 16:28
  • Thanks, I checked this out. A 17% alcohol water mixture will have an in between boiling point, but nearer to 100degC. The alcohol component vaporises first (distillation) and I only have to get to 95degC for thickening corn flour. So I may not lose much.
    – Brian F
    Dec 28, 2015 at 17:02
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    For such a short cooking time (you only need a few seconds at 95 C for the starch) you can assume up to 85% alcohol retention. Even if it's only 80%, the remaining drink is still in the alcohol range of a white wine. So it might be a thing to consider. But apart from setting that point straight, I think Stephie's egg yolk suggestion will work better, tastewise.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 28, 2015 at 21:54
  • Can you cover the dish, so vapours are not lost? Same concept as distilling, to capture and recondense the lost alcohol ? Or thicken and cool the sauce before adding the alcohol ?
    – Criggie
    Dec 29, 2015 at 1:31

2 Answers 2


Use more of the thickener that is already in the advocaat: egg yolks.

Make a custard with egg yolks and advocaat, heating gently until it thickens, but not beyond 60 C / 140 F or you risk curdling. A water bath is safer than working directly on the burner. At that temperature, the loss of alcohol due to evaporation is limited.

You can add brandy (to boost alcohol content and liquify the yolks) and sugar to adjust the taste as desired. -> those are the base ingredients for advocaat, so you can toy with the ratios and consistency without changing the flavour profile.

If you want to use corn starch, use some starch to thicken either a portion of the advocaat or some milk or cream to a consistency way thicker than desired, let cool and dilute with advocaat until the desired consistency. (Or stir the "pudding" into the advocaat.)

In this case, you shouldn't let the corn starch mix get fully cold, or you'd destroy the binding by stirting too much - as this poster learned when making pudding.

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    For instructions on how to do this, look up zabaione, which is an Italian custard made with wine.
    – Joe
    Dec 28, 2015 at 13:57
  • Thanks for all the advice on thickening with egg (like Zabaglione), using a little thick custard to mix with the Advocaat (gentle stirring only), or heating the Advocaat with corn flour direct. I may end up making my own Advocaat like I did as a teenager. I only remember we started by dissolving the shell of whole eggs with lemon juice - probably not necessary. Should be fun.
    – Brian F
    Dec 28, 2015 at 17:53
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    @BrianF, note that if you decide to do your own batch, you should mix the eggs / yolks with the alcohol and let rest for three days, just to kill any stray salmonella that might have snuck in, and then continue with sugar, the mixing and any other ingredients like cream (if used). Final alcohol content should be 10% or higher, legal requirement in Germany is 14% or higher.
    – Stephie
    Dec 28, 2015 at 19:29

You could also just add in some high proof liquor (high enough proof that you get more added alcohol than added thinning) so you end up with 17% or more net alcohol...

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