Cooking with Booze

Cooking with Booze: Creative Ways to Use Liquor for Cooking

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Cooking with booze is an easy way to amplify any dish, making the food smell and taste better. No dish cannot benefit from a shot of alcohol, whether they are meats, glazes, sauces, preserves or sauces. Wondering what types of liquor you can use for cooking? Below are some of the favourites you can try.

Vodka (for pastries and pasta sauces)

Vodka offers a mild flavour and texture that acts like glue to combine water and oil since these liquids do not mix. Be careful not to add too much, though, since it is only used for binding ingredients and not for flavour. Add a tiny splash of vodka to pastries to prevent the gluten from breaking down or a dash to your pasta sauce to bind the oil, cream and the tomatoes’ acidity.

Wine (for stews and caramelizing vegetables)

Pick your choice of wine from the Iga catalogue to turn ordinary sauces into rich and creamy perfection, and be wary of the sweetness as sweeter wines will create sweeter dishes. Look for the dry and less sweet varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio instead of Riesling and Moscato.

If you aim for lighter sauces for your leaner proteins like chicken and mussels, go for white wines. Use red wine to make thicker sauces for heavier dishes like lamb and beef.

Tequila (for marinades, vinaigrettes and glazes of fish and chicken)

Combine it with food for a fragrant kick that adds interest to the taste. Use Blanco tequila for cooking dishes with citrusy elements, like salad vinaigrette and ceviche. To lend vanilla and smoky oak flavours, add reposado tequila on fish and chicken marinades and glazes for grilled vegetables.

Liqueurs (for desserts and sweeter sauces)

Liqueurs are distilled types of spirits that are incredibly sweet and thick, making them ideal for desserts and cocktails. For making light, refreshing beverages, add a tablespoon of fruit-flavoured liqueur to your drink. You can also add a bit of your liqueur choice into fruit salad sauce for a sweet and syrupy coating.

Coffee and chocolate liqueurs like Bailey’s and Kahlua can function as vanilla. Stir into your hot fudge cream or cup of coffee for an extra kick of flavour.

Brandy and Cognac are great for caramelizing fruits for desserts. You can also use them as an added ingredient to desserts like truffles, crème Brulee and cakes.

Bourbon (for sauces and glazes of heavier meats)

If you want a smoky aroma to your dish, a splash of bourbon or whisky might do the trick. Take your pick from the wide selection featured in the Iga catalogue. Whatever brand you choose, it will lend smokiness, sweetness and caramel-y flavour to any savoury food you are making. If you’re planning to add extra oomph to your bacon, think of maple-bourbon glaze! You can also infuse them on sauces for your beef and lamb dishes for that smoky, delicate flavour. However, always remember to cook on low heat when dealing with any of these alcohols and never add it into a pan on an open flame if you do not want to cause a fire.

Like salt, alcohol enhances the flavour of any food. Just one important reminder: never use alcohol you would not drink. If you do not like the taste on its own, you probably would not in any dish either.

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