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Best booze for baking??

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I've got a couple of baking recipes (cakes, puddings, etc.) that require different types of alcohol and I was wondering if anyone out there might have recommendations on the best brand to use. I'm looking for the best in brandy or cognac, bourbon, calvados (or other apple brandy?), kirsch, and rum. Any suggestions? I'd like to go as 'on the cheap' as possible without sacrificing too much in the quality department. Basically, what are my options? While I want quality, I can't afford a $100 bottle of booze for baking at this point.

Also, if there's an online purveyor for the calvados or kirsch that you'd recommend, I'd greatly appreciate it. I can't find either in any form anywhere locally.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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  1. For any cooking, I now use supermarket own brand cognac which keeps it "on the cheap". When I used to drink, cognac was a favourite and we kept a better class of booze.

    You're unlikely to find "bargain basement" calvados or kirsch.

    1. Like Harters. I rely on the supermarket or discount liquor store and don't spend big $$ Don't drink, but like to have variety for cooking. Keep sherry on hand for lots of poultry/seafood cooking, Triple Sec as sub for Grand Marnier. I usually sub brandy for cognac and vice versa, maybe I don't have such a fine sense of taste, but doesn't seem to affect baked goods.

      Sorry, can't help you on calvados or kirsch, but I do have an old bottle of Apricot Zwack, a liquer, which I am treasuring because I can't seem to find available anywhere.

      1. IMO there's no need to use "the best" in baking. The flavor changes considerably.

        1. How about Schnapps? Comes in a multitude of flavors.

          1. Here are some Chow links with discussions about better (or best) calvados brands:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/560958
            None of the following liquors will set you back much:
            For rums I use Ron Bacardi Gold or Appleton Special Gold. either one is fine for cooking or drinking.
            For brandy, E & J, although there are much higher end brandies for drinking, anything with the name Remy Martin, Martell or Hennessey should do ya.
            As for kirschwasser, I've always used Leroux for cooking and I don't drink it, bleh.

            Here's a link for a California purveyor that ships but there are laws about shipping liquor and wine across state lines in the US, so you may have to buy it locally, depending on where you reside:
            http://www.klwines.com/shipping_quest...
            If your state is on the no-ship list, maybe have a friend from another state send it to you, although he/she may have to lie to Fedex or UPS -you didn't hear that from me.
            Edit: I see you're in exile. Hope this purveyor link helps.

            1. Brandy: Korbel (Cognac is brandy from the Cognac region of France)
              Rum: Myers's Original Dark
              I also keep a bottle of Cinzano Vermouth around to cook and deglaze with instead of white wine. Vermouth is flavored so there is quite a difference in brands so try a couple to find the one you like.
              Gordon's vodka for Penne ala vodka