We always seem to be the odd man (or woman rather) out at parties because we don't drink. But that doesn't mean we don't have a well stocked liquor cabinet! Why would we need it around if we aren't mixing up a favorite cocktail? Because we just can't get certain tastes in our food without it, especially in baking! It doesn't cost much and can take up very little space in your cupboard, but will make the biggest difference in your end results...
Even though we don't drink and we stick firmly to our guns on that policy, we do consume trace amounts of alcohol that don't quite burn off in the cooking process of some of our favorite recipes. Even when alcohol is boiled or flambed, it will still leave a ever so slight amount behind unless it's cooked above boiling point for longer than most recipes call for. But enough with the science and on with the booze!
We fill our pantry with mini bottles. It looks like we raided the mini bar at a hotel , but in all honesty, since we don't drink, they're the perfect size bottles and are frequently on sale for under $1. Most our recipes don't use more than 2 Tablespoons of any liquor, so they last us for 2-3 rounds of use. Wines and Beer on the other hand require larger packaging.
In our pantry here's what we keep stocked:
• A few bottles of stout beer. Usually used in breads and some cakes.
• Small boxes of red and white wine. Usually we buy what's cheapest and in the smallest boxes possible. We always have several on hand, but like having something that's easy to open and can be used in a few dishes without opening the next box. Perfect for deglazing pans without using stock.
• Marsala Wine. This one we pick up specifically as it's a great bold flavor to add with different proteins and veggie dishes.
We Use These Strictly In Baking:
• Mini bottles of Gin
• Mini bottles of Brandy (this one is almost essential in our pound cakes)
• Mini bottles of Rum (we should probably stop buying minis as often as we use it, but we still swear it's more inexpensive)
• Mini bottles of Whiskey
• Mini bottles of Amaretto (when we can find them)
• Tequilla (Mini bottles when we can find it, but they are often rare)
What do you keep in your pantry for cooking?
Let us know in the comments below!
Related: Recipe: Vegetarian Guinness Stew
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)