Mosaic’s guide to cooking with alcohol

The secret weapon for a perfect meal.

Staff Columnist

For those who crave the occasional sip of alcohol throughout the day, there are many ways to sneak a bit of alcohol into practically every meal. All of these tips and tricks can create a boozy and intoxicating dish, while amplifying the taste of your food.

One of the simplest ways to enhance the flavor of any dish is to include alcohol in a sauce. Simmering the alcohol in butter or stock mellows the zest to create a light and refreshing touch of alcohol for any dish. For instance, vodka in a tomato or cream sauce tastes especially great with pasta, while bourbon and rum make for a sweet sauce.

For a more bold flavor, any protein can be soaked in a brine for 18 to 24 hours. Composed of salt, water and other ingredients like alcohol, brine may add a significant amount of flavor. Therefore, when enjoying this dish, the alcohol is easily detectable. A stronger alcohol should be used in the brine to ensure its flavor is evident. For instance, bourbon makes for a very potent and delicious brine.

Similarly, alcohol can be used in a glaze in a main dish that may be brushed across any sort of protein. Glazes act as a sweet, glossy coating, but may be savory as well. Bourbon and brandy would be especially useful in adding a caramelized taste to the dish.

For those with a serious sweet tooth, alcohol may be included in the dessert course. There are various desserts — tiramisu, creme brulee or brownies — that may have a kick with a bit of added alcohol. Almost any alcohol may be used; however, bourbon, brandy, rum or whiskey are most commonly used in desserts for that extra elevation in flavor.

For a healthier dessert using alcohol, macerate or marinate fruit in alcohol. This treat pairs especially well over ice cream, pie or any other dessert.

Preserving the fruit using alcohol is also a great technique to enjoy alcohol without having to constantly reach for the liquor cabinet. Darker varieties of alcohol like bourbon pair especially well with fruits. Enjoying some preserves over biscuits or crackers can make for a sweet and savory snack when you do not want to crack open the liquor cabinet.

Without being constantly seen with a bottle in hand, you can still enjoy alcohol in a variety of ways and forms throughout the day and into the night. Just try not to go overboard before the real fun begins!

Editor’s Note: The writer of this article is under the age of 21. The consumption or possession of alcohol, however, was neither used nor required to write the article. The Review does not support underage drinking.

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