I’m sure you’ve heard of beer soap, but did you know that you can add hard liquors and spirits to soap? It can be a bit tricky because of the alcohol, but here is how I do it.

First of all, I don’t make a lye solution with liquor. Usually when you make beer soap, you boil the beer to get rid of the alcohol and the carbonation. You don’t ever want to make a lye solution with liquor and add it to your soap. You’ll almost always get an instant seize.

Some liquors have such a high alcohol content, that if you boiled them, you would end up with very little liquid to soap. Liquors can also be quite expensive, so using them in high quantities in soap would raise your costs.

So I simply add liquor at .5 oz. per pound of oils to thinly traced soap. It will make your soap move fast, so be aware of that. Liquor can also make your soap heat up while in the mold because of the sugar content. Your soap will always go through gel phase. Soap cool.

Let’s make a bourbon soap!

Bourbon Soap

Bourbon Whiskey Vanilla Bean Cold Process Soap Recipe

Coconut Oil – 12.5 oz.
Shea Butter – 2 oz.
Sunflower Oil – 2 oz.
Avocado Oil – 2.5 oz.
Olive Oil – 15 oz.

Sodium Hydroxide – 4.8 oz.
Distilled Water – 9 oz.

Bourbon – 1 oz.
Vanilla Bean Powder – 2 tablespoons

Juniper Essential Oil – .5 oz.
Almond Essential Oil – .5 oz.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil – .5 oz.
Grapefruit Essential Oil – 1 oz.

Bramble Berry Tall 12” Silicone Loaf Mold

Safety Warning: This recipe is for soapmakers who have a basic knowledge of the soapmaking process and know the correct safety procedures to use when handling lye. If you are new to soapmaking, visit our beginner instructions. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves while soaping.

Step 1 – Make your lye solution and set aside to cool down.

Step 2 – Weigh the coconut oil and shea butter into a microwave container. Melt, just until melted.

Step 3 – Add the liquid oils to the melted oils. This helps to cool the temperature down.

Step 4 – Add the vanilla bean powder and essential oils to the base oils.


Step 5 – Once the oils and lye are cooled to under 90 degrees F, pour the lye into the oils and emulsify.



Step 6 – Add the bourbon and mix by hand.



Step 7 – It will start to thicken! Pour into your mold quickly.



Step 8 – Tease the top if you want peaky tops. Sprinkle with vanilla bean powder.



Step 9 – Let sit overnight to saponify.

It will probably gel because of the sugars in the alcohol.


Step 10 – The next day, unmold and cut your soap.

Step 11 – Cure for a minimum of 4 weeks.


If you find that this soap gets away from you and seizes, simply dump it into a crockpot and hot process it.

Happy Soaping!

-Amanda Gail