How to Use Glycerine to Make Smoother, Better Spirits

Glycerine is used to smooth and mellow spirits and add some modest body , read more to understand why you should always use Glycerine when making your spirits at home .

Why Add Glycerine to Your Spirits?

Glycerine is often used in home brewing to ‘smooth’ spirits.  Here we look at what glycerine is and why it’s a popular ingredient in home spirit distillation.

What is glycerine?

Glycerine is an organic clear, odourless liquid that has a slightly sweet taste. It’s naturally present in most animal and vegetable fats and is commonly used in the food and beverage industry.


Why is glycerine used in distilling spirits?


Smooths and mellows

Glycerine is used to smooth and mellow spirits and add some modest body. If you think your distillate is a little sharp or has a bit too much of that ‘alcohol burn,’ adding a few drops of glycerine can reduce the harshness, add mellowness and improve mouthfeel.


Reduces ageing time

Glycerine is also used by homebrewers to round out the flavour and reduce the ageing time of the spirit. Let’s face it, who’s got 5 to 10 years to age whiskey in oak barrels before we taste the fruits of our labour?  


Pairs well with oak chips and essences

Oak chips are often used to add flavour to whiskey or bourbon and glycerine combines really with the oak chips and any essences used.

Adds a touch of sweetness

Glycerine can also add a hint of sweetness to the spirit but it’s important not to add too much. Typically, 5 mls per litre gives a good result. Remember, you can always add more. If you add too much glycerine, you’ll notice it in the finished product and if the spirit is high proof it can turn soapy.


We recommend you try adding glycerine to your next brew and see what you think. It certainly takes the ‘edge’ off and rounds out the flavour.  Here’s a super bourbon recipe you can try:



Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey Recipe … makes a total of 6lt




1 x Classic Tennessee Bourbon

1 x Top Shelf Southern Whiskey

Still Spirits Glycerine

200g AHB Tennessee Bourbon Chip


METHOD To make 3 litres


  • Mix 1 sachet of Classic Tennessee Bourbon and half a bottle of Southern Whiskey with 3 litres of filtered alcohol at 40%.
  • Add 15ml of glycerine to smooth the bourbon and add a touch of sweetness. 
  • Add 100g of AHB Tennessee Bourbon Chips and soak in glass for 2 to 8 weeks plus. The longer the soak, the deeper the colour and the more intense the oak flavours and aroma. Sample as it matures to discover the flavour intensity that suits.

Note: There are enough ingredients supplied in this recipe to make 2 X 3lt batches. Also, you can vary the quantity and volume to suit your taste. Once matured, bottle your bourbon & remove the chips.


Always oak in glass. The longer you leave it the better it becomes .