Cook With Alcohol For The Most Flavour In Your Food. Here’s How
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There are numerous dishes that can be made better with a splosh of alcohol in them – meats, sauces, stews, gravies, preserves, glazes, you name it. When used properly and paired with the right kind of technique, alcohol molecules bind with both, fat and water molecules, that allow it to carry aroma as well as flavour. Similar to salt, alcohol is a great flavour enhancer and the chemical properties in it infuse their own flavour profile to food, thereby deepening the taste of meat-based curries or gravies.

If you’re new to the concept of cooking with alcohol, it is better to use it in modest amounts at first and always add more later, if needed. Specific types of alcohol work for particular kinds of cooking or in specific dishes, depending on the kind of technique that is used and the time it takes to cook.

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When cooking with wine, most of the alcohol content evaporates in the process of cooking leaving behind some flavour and moisture, making it ideal for thickening sauces, adding to stews and even caramelising vegetables. It is ideal to use wine that one would normally drink instead of ‘cooking wine’ which has a higher salt content and artificial preservatives. Using a dark or sweeter wine will result in your dish having a sweet layer of flavour or depth in the way it tastes. Similarly, using a lighter, savoury wine is great to pair with lean meats and fish.


Vodka, when used in food, acts like glue to combine fat and water together, with no added flavour or taste. Typically mild and light when used in cooking, vodka is ideal to use for pasta sauces, pie dough and pastries. Adding a splash of vodka while kneading dough for pies and pastries will prevent the gluten from separating whereas adding a tablespoon or two to your pasta sauce will enable in binding the acidity and fat molecules with each other, giving it a richer texture.


When added to food, tequila provides fragrance and a punch-up in flavour, highlighting ingredients that work well together with fish, lean meats as well as in marinades and glazes. Since tequila has a natural smokiness and citric edge to it, it works perfectly in vinaigrettes, sauces, salads and ceviches.

Bourbon Or Whiskey

 Due to their sweet, smoky, caramel profiles, bourbon or whiskey work well in sweet dishes that need to be enriched. Adding it to meats with a high fat content and pair well with sweet things (like bacon, for example), enhance the rich flavours of the meat, making it delicious to eat. The flavours of bourbon or whiskey also pair well with acidic ingredients like citrus fruits and grains.