How to Cook with Vodka

Step out from behind the bar and head into the kitchen to learn how to cook with vodka. Learn tips and recipes for cooking with this versatile spirit. 

How to Cook with Gin, a guide // feastandwest.com

Vodka is frequently used in cooking.

One look at the menu of an Italian restaurant or the pasta aisle should tell you that. Penne alla vodka is a classic pasta dish with a creamy tomato sauce. The vodka helps to bring out new flavors in the tomatoes, as well as bind the acidic tomato juices with cream, olive oil and and water.

Plus, vodka sauce is just delicious — it’s one of my favorite ways to eat pasta.

But there’s a lot more to cooking with vodka than just pasta sauce.

Because of its almost flavorless taste, it adds a bonus booze factor in many recipes, especially sweet ones. You can also flavor vodka yourself for both cooking and cocktails.

If you missed it, you can see here what I wrote about what you need to know about mixing drinks with vodka. Keep reading to learn how to cook with vodka and see some awesome food recipes that go beyond pasta.

Click through to keep reading!

Pick up some pearly kumquats, cut some rosemary and combine for a totally new way to appreciate winter citrus. The Rosemary Kumquat Moscow Mule is a bright and refreshing variation on everyone's favorite drink with vodka and ginger beer. Copper mug optional, but totally encouraged. (via feastandwest.com)
Kumquat Moscow Mule

HOW IT WORKS IN COOKING

Vodka will add a boozy kick to most recipes, but if the vodka is cooked the alcohol will burn off. Vodka acts as an emulsifier to bind oils and water.

Because vodka is relatively flavorless, it won’t overpower your dish unless you add too much — then it will just taste like alcohol.

WHAT TO MAKE WITH IT

Savory dishes: Add vodka to sauces for pasta and meats, or use it in a glaze for fish.

Sweet dishes: When used in baking — such as a pastry or pie crust — a tad bit of vodka keeps the gluten from breaking down, encouraging a more flaky texture.

You can also add vodka to sweet treats for a boozy kick.

Infusions: Change up your cocktails or any other recipe by infusing vodka with other flavors.

Soak herbs, fruits, vegetables, spices and even candies in vodka for a few days and it will take on new flavors.

You can also use it to make your own vanilla extract.

TEMPERATURE CONSIDERTIONS

Freezing it: Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, which means it might not freeze properly.

If you’re making a frozen dessert, too much vodka might kill the ice.

Cooking with it: When you cook with any alcohol, the heat makes the majority of alcohol evaporate.

Depending on the cooking method and temperature, the alcohol won’t burn off entirely, but your dish won’t be as potent as drinking straight alcohol.

In general, the longer you cook anything with alcohol, the more will evaporate.

RECIPES

I rounded up eight food recipes with vodka for you to try. There are sweet ones and savory ones alike.

How to Cook with Gin, a guide // feastandwest.com

1. Vodka Pie Crust by Gimme Some Oven

2. Vodka and Clementine Glazed Salmon by the View from Great Island

3. Lemon-Infused Vodka by Boulder Locavore

4. Bloody Mary Soup by Jelly Toast

5. Creamy Roasted Tomato Diary-Free Vodka Sauce with Penne Pasta by Go Dairy Free

6. Vodka Cupcakes by The Baking Robot

7. Drunken Brownies by Yummily Yours

8. White Russian Pudding Pops by Endless Simmer

Homemade Coffee Liqueur makes a sweet holiday gift for all the coffee lovers in your life! All you need is vodka or rum, vanilla simple syrup, fresh brewed coffee and a jar or bottle, and this popular spirit is yours to gift or drink!
Homemade Coffee Liqueur, made with vodka

Cocktails

If you’re after a cocktail to pair with your meal, try any of the vodka cocktails I’ve written for the blog, including:

Well, that’s almost a wrap on vodka recipes this month! You can look forward to one more cocktail on Friday.

I hope you enjoyed vodka month on the blog and that you got some good ideas for how to cook with it. June will be all about rum! // susannah

The Golden Ratio Guide:

Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

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Comments

    • Susannah says

      Hey Danni, my advice is always to use the best vodka you can afford. I wouldn’t use the most expensive stuff in cooking, but probably not the cheapest either. Something in the middle of the road is always nice.

  1. B.Frank says

    Hi!

    I’m looking for something to cook or marinade with Vodka and medium hot Big John Green Chilies that are being infused into the Vodka. I would like to use the Vodka Chilies for cooking…

    I thought about using in my slow cooker with a pot roast and my usual spices and veggies, or possible use them in a Mexican dish of some sort (probably easiest to do).

    Does anyone have any ideas for using Vodka and Green Chilies to cook with? (Hate to waste the Vodka or the beautiful chilies.) The infused Vodka is for Bloody Marys.

    Thanks!
    Frank

    • Susannah says

      Hey B.Frank! That sounds absolutely delicious. Reminds me of my jalapeño tequila recipe. You could use the chilis as garnishes on your bloody marys or maybe even a martini! You could also mix them into salsas (like this bloody mary salsa) or use them anytime you’d use peppers in cooking, like a relish maybe? I love your ideas to use them in a Mexican dish or in your pot roast. Let me know what you figure out!

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