How To Booze Up Your Food

At some point in adulthood, pairing food and alcohol moved beyond pizza and beer. Now, you may know which wines go best with fish, or those that really boost the flavor of spicy sauces. But there’s another level of pairings you probably have yet to unlock: actually cooking with booze. We’re not just talking about a splash of cooking wine; this will require a liquor store visit. Here are the best boozy recipes to help you throw down in the kitchen.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Braising tough cuts of meat in red wine is a classic move, and some of the best old-school French recipes come from this tradition. It makes perfect sense, just consider how great red wine pairs with beef in terms of drinking. In addition to being super delicious and very versatile, it’s simple one-pot cooking makes it low-effort and high-reward.

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Bourbon Chili
Putting beer in chili is pretty standard, but bourbon is our favorite move, it adds a rich sweetness and a little bit of depth. There’s another nontraditional ingredient in this killer recipe—orange juice—and a fair amount of spice, too. It brings together chipotle, cayenne, chili and jalapeno peppers and the bourbon will complement them nicely. Since the recipe yields six servings, you can store the leftovers for a few days of great eating, chili actually gets better over a day or two in the fridge as the flavors meld and mellow.

Recipe

Beer-Braised Baby Back Ribs With Orange-Tamarind Sauce
This is the kind of dish you serve when you’re having friends over, and they’ve been talking shit about your cooking. Don’t tell them what you’re making, but do drop a hint that you’ll be using a six-pack for the marinade. What’s really special about this recipe, though, is that the sauce is an eclectic blend of ingredients, including strong-brewed coffee, Worcestershire sauce, Asian chili sauce, molasses, and tamarind, which you can track down at an Asian market or bodega. Let's face it, there’s just something awesome about tearing into a rack of ribs with your bare hands.

Recipe

Tequila-Spiked Caramel Corn
If you’re looking for something delicious and unique for your next Netflix and Chill, this is it. Even without the alcohol, this recipe would elevate your nights in. It calls for air-popped corn, roasted peanuts, light brown sugar, agave nectar, and a few other things you probably already have in your kitchen. When was the last time you used agave nectar in anything, anyway? Thought so. Netflix and Chill will never be the same.

Recipe