Alcohol’s unique chemical properties make wine, beer, champagne, sake, and liquor more than just a complementary drink to your meal. Recipes like beer-steamed crabs, tequila hot sauce, rabbit braised in red wine, and more are (if you’ll pardon the pun) proof that booze has a true home in the kitchen.
French Canadian Trifle
(Bagatelle) The typical bagatelle in La Beauce is a child’s delight of Jell-O, white cake, and strawberry jam. We prefer this grown-up version, with fresh fruit, custard (instead of Jell-O), and a drizzle of marsala.
Oloroso sherry and cognac add a little zing to a classic whipped dessert–try adding a little raspberry purée or a few chopped white peaches. See the recipe for Syllabub »
These oyster fritters are meltingly tender with a beer batter that is surprisingly airy.
Figs in Brandy
Preserving figs in citric acid and brandy helps prevent the growth of microorganisms in the fruit, and boiling the mixture in canning jars produces an airtight seal. If you have leftover fig syrup when you are finished canning, strain and refrigerate it to drizzle over ice cream or to stir into iced tea. See the recipe for Figs in Brandy »
Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce
Based on a dish served at Birrificio Italiano, a brewery and restaurant in Italy’s Lombardy region, this puttanesca-style pasta sauce is enriched with Bibock, the brewery’s bock-style beer.
Butter Saffron Cake
Steeping the saffron in vodka helps boost the flavor of the spice throughout the cake.
Adding beer to the batter helps the fish for these tacos fry up golden brown and lightly crispy.
Ma You Ji
TAIWAN Mild and faintly sweet, Chinese rice wine is the standard cooking liquid and sauce for this sesame oil chicken dish. See the recipe for Ma You Ji »
Japanese-Style Linguini with Clams
This Japanese take on the Italian classic, made with sake-steamed littleneck clams, shiitake mushrooms, and julienned yakinori, is our new favorite way to eat pasta. The mushrooms and seaweed lend the umami notes provided by pancetta in the original dish.
“The meatballs were left on our porch in a Farberware pot with a loaf of Italian bread and a note that said: ‘Figured you wouldn’t have time to cook.'” Get the recipe for Classic Meatballs
The trifle is a very old concoction—by some accounts, more than 300 years old—but twentieth century variations have turned it into a classic, occasion-ready centerpiece. Drenched in sherry and kirsch, our version features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream.
BOOZY HOT SAUCE
Chef Elizabeth Karmel of Hill Country Barbecue in New York City serves this infused tequila drizzled over everything from grilled fish to grilled peaches. See the Tequila Hot Sauce recipe »