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Top 5 spirits to have onhand in the kitchen???

justin.r.h. Aug 21, 2009 09:09 AM

Your thoughts?

  1. babette feasts Aug 21, 2009 09:15 AM

    I use liqueurs mostly for baking, so I keep Coitreau, Amaretto or Frangelico, Chambord, rum, and brandy or cognac. The last one goes into savory every now and then.

    1. Veggo Aug 21, 2009 09:21 AM

      my list:
      Grand Marnier
      Ale (for batters)
      gin & tonic for the cook

      1. LA Buckeye Fan Aug 21, 2009 10:21 AM

        dry vermouth for pasta dishes, cognac for gravies, red wine for red sauces, dos equis beer for chilis, and maker's mark whiskey in lieu of warm milk to help you sleep.

        1. bayoucook Aug 21, 2009 10:23 AM

          red and wine wines
          brandy or cognac
          Grand Marnier

          oops - that was six! but it's what I keep!

          1. c oliver Aug 21, 2009 11:30 AM

            wine (red, white and dry vermouth - counting that as one not three)

            1. Scargod Aug 21, 2009 12:08 PM

              Just to have on hand for cooking, mind you!
              Dry Vermouth or dry white wine
              Dry Marsala

              2 Replies
              1. re: Scargod
                Evilbanana11 Aug 21, 2009 12:09 PM

                This guy knows his stuff.

                1. re: Scargod
                  Cookiefiend Aug 21, 2009 12:15 PM

                  I agree with Scargod - I have these too..

                  The rest of the 'spirits' are for the cook ;-)

                2. p
                  pesto Aug 21, 2009 12:24 PM

                  My mother
                  my father
                  Julia Child
                  my grandma
                  James Beard

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: pesto
                    Passadumkeg Aug 21, 2009 05:05 PM

                    I love it! Me too!
                    How many recipes can I make from beer???

                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                      Veggo Aug 21, 2009 05:42 PM

                      keg, I'm guessing you have a partial bottle of Akvavit in the freezer for those nostalgic moments...

                      1. re: Veggo
                        Passadumkeg Aug 21, 2009 05:56 PM

                        I wish! The only high proof we have on hand right now is gin for summer G&T's. Not good to keep a lot of booze in the house w/ teens around.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                          pgj98m3 Aug 30, 2009 04:48 PM

                          Too true..I find all alcohol evaporates at a rapid rate when my son and friends are around...but they are now entering thier twenties

                    2. re: pesto
                      kattyeyes Aug 21, 2009 06:43 PM

                      pesto, yours was my favorite response. To the list, I'll add Harvey's Bristol Cream, which brings Uncle Al back to the kitchen (Steak Umbriago).

                      1. re: kattyeyes
                        pesto Aug 24, 2009 10:23 AM

                        Thanks...it gave me a giggle.

                      2. re: pesto
                        blue room Sep 13, 2009 11:56 AM

                        LOL ooooooOOOOOooooooo!
                        I should add yohoho and a bottle of RUM--for desserts.

                        1. re: blue room
                          pesto Sep 30, 2009 08:53 AM

                          Love it!

                      3. shaogo Aug 21, 2009 12:38 PM

                        - whatever white/red wine goes with the food I'm cooking (although I tend to under-utilize wine in my cooking)
                        - Good cognac (for stuff like Steak Diane)
                        - Pernod (indispensable in some of my cream sauces for use with pasta and/or seafood)
                        - Mandarine Napoleon
                        - Campari (for *my* glass)

                        I don't usually keep madeira, vermouth, etc. hanging around a long time; I buy a small one for nearly each use.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: shaogo
                          Scargod Aug 21, 2009 03:30 PM

                          I know there are some of these that don't like air and heat; you might say they have a poor shelf life once opened. Vermouth and fortified wines go in my spare fridge. My list is in the order of the frequency that I use them in cooking.

                          1. re: shaogo
                            bayoucook Aug 22, 2009 04:17 AM

                            I forgot Pernod; I have that, too. Gotta have it for my spinach-oyster soup amongst other things.

                          2. Wahooty Aug 22, 2009 07:14 PM

                            In terms of actual spirits? There are only two I actually cook with on a regular basis - brandy, and BOURBON. The latter is HIGHLY underrated as a cooking spirit - my dad is fond of saying, "I'm becoming more and more convinced that Southerners don't use it JUST because that's all they had..." It goes in my BBQ sauce, it goes in anything I make involving sweet potatoes or winter squash, and yes, I've made steak au poivre with it. And that's before we get into bread puddings or flambeed bananas.

                            If we're just talking booze, I'll round out my five with a decent white and red, and whatever the cook is sipping.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Wahooty
                              invinotheresverde Oct 1, 2009 10:36 AM

                              I was scrolling down the thread, surprised that no one had mentioned bourbon. I cook with bourbon more often than anything else combined.

                              1. re: invinotheresverde
                                Wahooty Oct 1, 2009 06:14 PM

                                Like I said, highly underrated. :) Especially as the weather starts to turn colder - it goes so well with fall flavors.

                            2. c
                              chazzerking Aug 24, 2009 09:43 PM

                              cognac, vodka, pastis(usually Pernod), Grand Marnier, sherry. I also keep Dry and Sweet Vermouth, Marsala, Madeira, and Pineau de Charentes in the auxilliary fridge. These are specifically for cooking. there is also a small liquor cabinet in the Kitchen as well, for drinking stuff. ( do use the vermouth for both cooking and drinking so as to consume it faster).

                              1. sockii Sep 1, 2009 02:21 PM

                                In my kitchen?

                                #1 & 2 are definitely red wine and white wine. Nothing fancy, but better than grocery store cooking wine. I cook a lot of Italian food so these are very necessary.

                                #3 would be sake. I do a lot of japanese cooking as well and store bought sweetened mirin just isn't the same

                                Tied for #4&5 would be tequila & bourbon, both of which I love for meat marinades.

                                1. p
                                  PitLab Sep 1, 2009 04:11 PM

                                  Islay Scotch
                                  Highland Scotch
                                  Lowland Scotch
                                  Isle of Mull Scotch
                                  Isle of Skye Scotch

                                  1. r
                                    rainey Sep 7, 2009 07:26 PM

                                    My list would be:

                                    for fruit: Chambord

                                    for baking: Grand Marnier and Kahlua

                                    for cooking: dry sherry and dry vermouth but I'd really need Marsala too when you pare it down to the minimum.

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