You may have heard of people cooking with wine or adding a splash of bourbon into a dish. To some, this may sound exciting. To others, it may sound daunting. Choosing an alcoholic drink is simple, but adding it into recipes is a little more complicated. However, if it is done correctly, it can really add a whole other element to your cuisine. Whether you have excess alcohol you want to get rid of or you want to work on a new cooking technique, this can be a great option. If you have never tried to do so, here’s some tips on how to use alcohol for cooking.

How-to Utilize Alcohol For Cooking: Getting Creative in the Kitchen

How-to Get Started

Alcohol can actually really improve your food when you use is properly. The way it works is that alcohol actually bonds with both the fats and the water molecules in your food. This is important because it means that the food will be able to carry both the aromas and flavors of the alcohol. It can also be used in sauces and marinades to improve the flavor and smell.

First, you will want to choose the right kind of alcohol. This is actually pretty easy. Use alcohol that you would normally drink. If it is too cheap or foul for you to drink on its own, it is not good alcohol for cooking either. Believe it or not, cooking wine is just cheap wine that is not good for drinking. Therefore, you will not want to use it while actually cooking either. Keep in mind that you also will not want to use really fancy alcohol either. Save that for drinking, because the things that make it special could be lost when using it to cook.

Sauce and Glaze

If you add spirits to stocks or butter, it will mellow out the alcohol a bit. This creates a flavorful and aromatic mixture to add to a variety of sauces. For example, brandy adds a lot to the sauce in Steak Diane. Make Shrimp Vodka Pasta with a splash of its namesake liquor. If you are cooking using alcohol and wish to use rum, you can make a Grilled Pork with Mango and Rum sauce.

You can also use alcohol to make a glaze. You can brush a glaze onto a meat or drizzle it onto sweets after baking them. A glaze will lock in the moisture and add a caramelization of sorts to food. Just like with a sauce, you can add alcohol to a glaze in order to add give it a more intense flavor.


Flambé is when you add liquor to a sauce and then set it on fire. This cooks the alcohol out, leaving an intensified flavor. If you are wanting to pick the best alcohol for cooking when making a flambé, consider brandy, cognac, and rum. Darker-colored varieties are the best alcohols for this. Banana Foster and crème brûlée are some of the most well-known desserts that you can flambé. They are both very delicious desserts. Plus, they are a really impressive dish to make for your guests.