Cooking with alcohol is not a new trend, but rather a tried and true form of adding and enhancing flavors in foods you’re cooking. Food benefits from alcohol by bonding with fat and water molecules. What does this mean? Alcohol helps to connect our aroma receptors with the dish its used in.

White Wine

A crisp, dry white wine (think Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio) is a great everyday cooking alcohol that will enhance and accent the flavors and aroma of the food you’re cooking without masking them. White wine has a bright flavor that lends itself to most dishes it’s used in. It doesn’t overpower your meal but will please your palate with its complex flavors. Typically, a good rule for choosing a wine is to select one you would drink.

Uses:

  • After cooking; deglazing the brown bits from your pan.
  • White wine adds a touch of acidity to risottos.

Recipes:

Mussels in White Wine with Lemon

 

Sunshine Salmon

 

Red Wine

Red wines offer fruity notes and a variety of other flavors to dishes. When choosing a red wine, be sure to select wines that are not heavily oaked. Avoid tannic wines, as they will not lend themselves well to your dishes.

Uses:

  • Adding to recipes as a complementary ingredient.

Recipes:

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

 

Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine-Mushroom Sauce

 

Beer

Beer is a staple in many chef’s pantries. It has natural enzymes in it that are great for making marinades. Beer’s nutty and sweet flavor profile lends itself very well to your favorite dishes.

Uses:

  • Making fall/pumpkin-flavored soups and stews.
  • Adding moisture to breads.
  • Boiling foods such as bratwursts.
  • Using its sweet overtones to add a malty depth to classic desserts.

Recipes:

Corned Beef and Vegetables

 

Beer-Battered Hogfish with Creamy Herb Slaw

Bourbon and Whiskey

Bourbon and whiskey are great for adding deep sweetness or a citrus taste to dishes they’re added to. Bourbon can help bring out the deep molasses undertones while whiskey adds a citrus taste to your dishes.

Uses:

  • Allowing fruits to soak
  • Combining with other ingredients.
  • Deglazing your pan.

Recipes:

Sweet and Smoky Pulled Pork

 

Chicken and Hummingbird Waffles with Banana-Bourbon Syrup

Now that you’re familiar with alcohol’s different uses in cooking, we hope you’ll become professionals at cooking with alcohol. Let us know in the comment section about some of your favorite dishes you prepare with alcohol.

 

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew L. started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog, Edmund. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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