Vodka is best known as alcohol for making cocktails, but did you know you can also cook with it?
What is Vodka?
Vodka is a clear distilled alcohol with different varieties originating in Poland and Russia. Today, most vodka is made from fermented grains such as sorghum, corn, rice, rye or wheat, though you can also use potatoes, fruits or even just sugar.
Vodka isn’t considered to be a spirit because it is only 16% alcohol by volume (ABV) and it needs to be 20% to be considered a spirit.
Some vodkas are flavored with sugar and other natural (and some not so natural) flavorings.
The most common and popular vodka flavors are:
- black currant
- chili pepper
There are many more flavors available.
The most popular vodka cocktails are hands down a cranberry and vodka and vodka martini.
But it is also used in cosmopolitans, Moscow mules, bloody Mary’s, white Russians and more.
It is also the preferred alcohol for JELLO shots!
Storage & Shelf Life
Vodka, like most hard liquors, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but also shouldn’t be stored at high temperatures.
Unopened, a bottle stays good for up to 10 years. After being opened, most companies suggest consumption within 2 years. The water content starts to evaporate and then it starts to impact flavor.
Vodka has too high of an APV to freeze, so if you like yours super cold, you can just store it in the freezer. It won’t keep it fresher for longer, but it will keep it cold.
Cooking with Vodka
While most popular in cocktails, vodka can also be used in cooking. The most popular would be Vodka Sauce, a tomato based sauce spiked with vodka. In dishes such as this, the alcohol cooks off and only leaves the flavor, so it is safe for consumption for children and pregnant women.
You can also use vodka as a glaze for fish and in other sauces for meat. Did you know that a small bit of vodka (like a tablespoon) gives pastries and crusts a more flaky texture since it prevents gluten from breaking down? Just sub out 1 tablespoon of whatever other liquids it calls for.
Vodka is also popular in boozy fruit salads, olives and boozy popsicles.