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Cooking with liquor - Looking for advice on quality

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I recently have found myself cooking with liquor more.  Perhaps it's the ease of access or being reminded of it since liquor can now be purchased in grocery stores and a separate trip to a liquor is not required.  

 

Anyway, how important is the quality of liquor you cook with compared with the liquor consumed in a drink?  Specifically, vodka and tequila.  Should I look for different qualities in a liquor if I plan to cook with it rather than sip it?  For example, there are some really superior vodkas I like to drink (e.g., Stoli Elit, Crater Lake) . . . usually on the rocks . . . however, I'm not sure I want to make a vodka sauce with them.  Same thing with tequila.  This past weekend, I was trying out a grilling recipe that included tequila.  I passed on using Patron and used the less pricey Jose Cuervo Gold instead. 

post #2 of 2

The old rule was cook with only what you would drink.  Personally I think thats a dated way to go about things when cooking.  The beauty about cooking with booze is that the market for alcohol is very competitive, driving quality up and keeping prices fair.  I think you're doing the right thing when using Cuervo instead of Patron.  I'm somewhat snob when it comes to liquor but I would have no problem using Smirnoff in a vodka sauce compared to sipping on something better.  I think after cooking or marinating, the difference in negligible. 

 

I suppose the difference, for me, would be if I was using bourbon or whisky.  I think there is such a wide range of bourbons regarding their sugar, vanilla and spice notes that I would want to use a higher quality bourbon that suited my purpose.

 

I'm interested to hear what ya'll say.

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