Top 25 Foods Made Better With Alcohol
We can all agree that food and alcohol belong together. However, an often-overlooked practice is pairing food and alcohol together in one meal, snack or dessert. There are countless alcoholic food ideas to explore using a variety of alcohols, from spirits and cocktails to wine and beer.
When looking for alcoholic food ideas, look no further than your favorite go-to meals, desserts or snacks to help improve the flavors and enjoy your food that much more by adding in alcohol. From drunken desserts to alcohol-infused fruits to cooking meals with booze, there is a myriad of ways to merge food and alcohol right in your own kitchen.
If you’re stuck for ideas on how to best combine your favorite foods and alcohol together, then check out these 25 alcohol-infused foods and drunken food recipes for your inspiration.
Pairing Food With Alcohol
Ultimately, the real key to getting funky with booze and chow is to understand how to choose the best types of alcohol and foods to experiment with. So, when venturing out into the realm of preparing alcohol-infused foods, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the art of properly pairing food with alcohol. The wrong pairing can turn your favorite dish into a regrettable meal you’re forced to choke down. Having a working knowledge of which alcohols go with which family of food can help prevent an experiment gone wrong.
In case you need a refresher, here’s a quick overview of the basics of pairing food with alcohol:
- Red Meats such as grilled steaks and smoked foods pair best with dark spirits like rum and whiskey.
- Spicy, blackened and Cajun red meats or fish work well with pale ales, IPA’s or a Syrah red wine.
- Grilled chicken, salmon, shellfish or anything traditionally made in a cream sauce taste good with vodka, gin, tequila or sake, as well as beers like pilsners, lagers or cream ales.
- White or light fish, cheese plates and fruits are best paired with lagers or a sauvignon blanc white wine as well as light colored spirits.
Generally, you can be safe if you stick to simple color coordination. This means red meats and darker, heavier meals require the substantial bold flavor of dark alcohols. On the other end of the spectrum, clear spirits, white wines and lighter beers better compliment light and fresh meals cooked in creamy or oily sauces.
Next Level Recipes
When exploring different alcoholic food ideas, you don’t have to look further than your current favorite meals and recipes. Cooking with alcohol is a great way to get creative with flavors. Using alcohol in conventional dinners, desserts, snacks and more can help to bring out the flavors in both the alcohol and the food. Adding liquors to foods not only helps to enhance tastes but it also adds fun to cooking.
As a rule of thumb, try to follow the same pairing rules as outlined above when adding your favorite wine or liquor into your cooked dishes. Here are some ways to turn your staple dinners and ingredients into better and boozier versions of themselves with these drunken food recipes.
- Pizza Pizazz: You’ve had your fair share of the pizza and beer combo. Nevertheless, adding alcohol to pizza is a completely different ball game. First invented by Victor Paone at Salvatore’s in Boston, you can take cues from this creative chef and create your own alcohol pizza. Add some tequila or whiskey to your tomato-based pizza sauce, or marinate your pizza toppings in alcohol then bake.
- Beer Chili: Get your same old chili recipe off the bench and back in the game by adding a dark stout beer to your chili sauce recipe. Adding beer to chili sauce amplifies the chili flavors and brings out the spice to give it an edge. Plus the longer the leftovers sit, the more the flavors infuse.
- Tequila-Steamed Seafood: Add some kick to your seafood by steaming your crabs, mussels or clams in tequila. Add some lime and a bit of chili powder or jalapeno for an even greater burst of flavors. If you aren’t a tequila fan, you can try whiskey with orange or lemon instead.
- Beer Can Jerk Chicken: Beer can chicken has become a growing trend in recent years. It’s no more complicated than it sounds. Take a whole chicken, gut it and hollow out the center. Open up a beer can and place the chicken on top of it vertically. Add some jerk sauces and spices to your chicken as a rub and bake it as usual. The result is a flavorful and spicy chicken dinner.
- Tequila Hot Sauce: If hot sauce is a staple in your home, then it’s time to spice things up a bit. Instead of reaching for your usual go-to hot sauce, why not create your own using tequila. Using a combination of jalapenos, garlic, limes and of course, tequila, you can concoct your own fiery condiment to use on the regular.
- Beer Infused Beef Potpies: Beer-infused beef potpie puts a new spin on this classic comfort food. Combine your ingredients for beef potpie and add in a dark frothy beer like Guinness. Let the Guinness soak in with your ingredients, including the beef, in order to amplify the taste of this traditional home cooked meal.
If you’re the type of person who needs a little liquid courage at parties, then why not wow fellow party guests with some outrageous and delicious alcoholic party favors. At the next party, don’t show up empty-handed. Instead, get creative with these fun and unforgettable party-starters:
- Rainbow Jell-O Shots: You can make rainbow gelatin shots using your favorite vodka and different colored gelatins, like red, yellow, green and blue. Layer the gelatins into a muffin tin to create a cupcake size sweet and sassy shot.
- Gummy Bears: These drunken bears are sure to be the life of the party. Use a gummy bear mold with some gelatin and sugar to make your own DIY drunken gummy bears. You can make a few batches using different types of wines or spirits.
- Red Wine Ice Pops: Red wine ice pops are more than meets the eye. In fact, they combine two ingredients that were made for each other: red wine and chocolate. Simmer chocolate chips, milk and red wine together and then let the mixture freeze to solidify your spiked pops.
- Game Changing Brownies: These are like regular brownies but way better. Use a regular brownie recipe and add some liquor into the mix. Try flavored liquor like espresso vodka or dark cocoa tequila to really play off the brownie’s chocolatey flavors.
- Spiked Milkshake: This isn’t the milkshake you get a Grandma’s house. If you’re ready to revolutionize your milkshake experience, there are many ways to do so. Try adding rum, Irish creams or coffee flavored liqueurs to your standard vanilla or chocolate shake. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something fruitier, turn your orange milkshake into a tequila sunrise, or a pineapple milkshake into a piña colada.
Alcoholic Fruit Infusion
The sky’s the limit when it comes to combining fruit with flavorful barrel-aged spirits and liquors. At your next social gathering, be sure to offer up some alcoholic snacks in the form of booze-infused fruits. These are great alcohol-based refreshments for a hot summer day or an evening get-together.
- Infused Melon Balls: Using a melon baller you can carve out some pop-sized treats of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. Place them in a bowl and pour in your favorite alcohol like vodka or rum. You may want to test it out on a different batch to prevent drowning your drunken melon balls.
- Fruit Salad With Rum: Dice up your usual fruit salad ingredients like red and green grapes, strawberries, blueberries, pears and bananas and toss them into a bowl. Whisk together dark barrel-aged rum and raw honey and pour it over your fruit salad.
- Punchy Pineapples: One of the simplest recipes on the list, punchy pineapples are terrific alcoholic snacks to whip together for any occasion. Simply cut up thick slices of pineapple and place them in a large serving bowl. Pour vodka or rum over top and let the alcohol soak in. Eat them as is, or add these spiked pineapples to your favorite cocktail for an added kick.
- Mason Jar Fruit With Alcohol: Another trendy way of pairing food with alcohol is to add some pieces of fruit to a Mason jar and just add alcohol. Leave the jars to sit while the booze infuses into the fruit. Not only does the alcohol infuse the fruit, but it makes them taste juicier too. Try combining strawberries and champagne or peaches and rum when you try out this alcohol-infused Mason jar fruit recipe.
- DIY Bananas Foster: Try your hand at making your own bananas foster. This traditional New Orleans treat combines sliced bananas, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and of course, rum. The ingredients are cooked together in a skillet, which helps to enhance the flavors. There are plenty of different takes on this drunken dessert recipe, including adding in banana-flavored liqueurs.
Wind down your evening with some alcohol-infused desserts that will help you sleep like a baby. Here are some drunken dessert recipes for you to try out at your next dinner party.
- Chocolate Kahlua Balls: If you’re looking for something lighter, chocolate Kahlua balls are the perfect bite-sized drunken dessert. Using melted chocolate chips, combine in some sugar, vanilla, chopped walnuts and your favorite coffee or espresso flavored liquor and shape the mixture into balls. Roll the chocolate balls in coconut, let air dry and then serve.
- Not-Safe-For-Work Donuts: These aren’t donuts you’ll want to bring to the office. Using a regular donut recipe, add alcohol into the liquid mixture. You can try beer or barrel-aged spirits like rum or tequila to really enhance this drunken dessert recipe.
- Rum Cake: There are plenty of variations of this classic drunken dessert recipe. Nevertheless, making a rum cake is really as simple as taking a pecan or walnut cake recipe and using dark rum in the mixture. You can also create your own cake glaze using dark rum.
- Cookies n’ Cream Pudding Shots: Cookies n’ cream pudding shots are a more sophisticated version of the classic Jell-O shot. Using pudding mix, add in your favorite liqueur or vodka. Top the pudding shot with whipped cream and a mini Oreo cookie, and you’ve got a delicious drunken dessert.
- Grownup Cupcakes: These adults-only cupcakes are the perfect birthday party treat for alcohol lovers aged 21 and over. Take your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and add in a healthy amount of your favorite barrel-aged spirit like a strong whiskey or a delicious rum. Top it off with a maraschino cherry or a gummy candy to perfect the art of drunken desserts.
- Irish Twinkies: Put a twist on the classic sweet pastry from Hostess, the Twinkie. You can make Twinkies yourself at home and add some rum for the adults-only version of this famous childhood food.
Lazy Liquor Products
Not in the mood to bake, cook or simply pour liquid into a bowl? No problem. There are plenty of companies out there who’ve done the legwork for you. Here are the top liquor-infused products available for purchase in stores or online:
- Whiskey Chocolates: Butler’s Chocolates, a company based out of Dublin, Ireland, touts themselves as “purveyors of happiness.” Though it’s a bold claim, they have the stuff to back it up. That’s because Butler’s Chocolates combine luxury chocolates, truffles and toffee with high-quality Irish whiskey, to provide a decadent and drunken treat.
- Skittles Vodka: Sure, Skittles are great. However, Skittles vodka by the geniuses at Absolut is the best of two worlds: candy and alcohol. You can even use Skittles Vodka in a number of different drunken dessert or snack recipes. Drunken gummy bears with Skittles vodka, anyone?
- Beer-Infused Ice Cream: Beer-infused ice cream manufacturers such as The Brewer’s Cow and Frozen Pints have combined craft beer and ice cream to provide us with these brilliant alcohol-infused treats.
Barrel-Aged Spirits in American Oak Barrels
If you’re ready to hone your skills when it comes to combining foods and alcohol together, then know that the possibilities are literally endless in alcohol snacks and alcoholic food ideas. If you’re not scared of experimenting, then be sure to try your hand at barrel aging your own spirits. Barrel-aged spirits not only give you more freedom to experiment, but they help enhance the flavors of your foods that much better when you do use them in cooking.
At Deep South Barrels, we’re especially big proponents of selecting high quality, barrel-aged alcohols like tequila, whiskey and rum. When you’re ready to get creative with your food and alcohol combination, then look towards our line American oak barrels which you can use to barrel-age your favorite spirit or cocktail.
By barrel aging your own spirits and cocktails, you can take the great taste of barrel-aged alcohol and add it to your own favorite recipes or desserts to create your own drunken food recipes and masterpieces.