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Alcohol substitute in cooking

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Initial post: Dec 12, 2012 10:02:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2012 10:14:20 AM PST
Kathy Edens says:
I have a liver disease and can have absolutely NO alcohol. Doesn't bother me in the least as I have never been a drinker. However, sometimes I run across a recipe that calls for some type of liquor. If it is for a recipe for meat, I just substitute chicken or beef broth. However, if a dessert recipe calls for a special liquor such as Baily's Irish Creme or Fremboise (sp?) what can be substituted? Or can that ingredient simply be left out without altering the taste of the recipe?

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 4:07:22 PM PST
Hi Kathy,
If a recipe called for Bailey's I'd substitute chocolate milk made with either light cream or half and half - To make the chocolate milk mix 1 tsp cocoa powder with 3 tsp sugar and then whisk it into one of the slightly warmed creams according to your personal taste. Add a pinch of instant coffee or a tablespoon of brewed coffee to the mix if it suits you.

There are a few liquor flavorings out there that do not have alcohol in them but they are not always easy to find.
Probably found easier at this time of year when people are doing a lot a baking.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 5:40:16 AM PST
Kathy Edens says:
Thanks Puff, I have thought about the liquor flavorings. I'm wondering also about what to use when the recipe calls for dipping something like lady fingers in brandy for a dessert or when a sizeable amount is called for like in a flambe (not that I make flambes) :)

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 7:47:15 AM PST
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Posted on Dec 17, 2012 5:14:45 PM PST
Grandma says:
Kathy, alcohol cooks off when heated so a very small amount of alcohol might be OK, certainly in the amounts that most flavorings are used in - a teaspoon or two. (Remember, flavorings are often alcohol based too.) If you really can't have even the tiny amount of alcohol in a teaspoon of vanilla, then you will need to hunt up oil based flavorings. King Arthur is a good source for those. They are usually very concentrated so you may need to adjust your recipes.

Other than that, you can always substitute orange or some other fruit juice or simply leave the alcohol out entirely, especially if it is a small amount.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 10:38:57 PM PST
saradippity says:
SOME of the alcohol cooks off in the heating, but not all. In fact, not even most, unless you're cooking for a very long time. This myth continues because the amount of alcohol in the food isn't likely to make you tipsy (unless it's something that's prepared with tipsy in mind). I wouldn't recommend it to people with a liver problem though.

I agree with using fruit juice. In fact, I've wanted to try making sauces with grape juices, but haven't tried it yet. I read something the other day that talked about how apple juice can be used to deglaze pans for sauces, but it has a different (but still tasty) flavor and color. I found a good article on the subject (thanks for reminding me of one of my information quests, Kathy):
And it has a handy chart:

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 10:16:44 AM PST
Kathy Edens says:
Thanks for the idea about fruit juices. I have to chuckle when the television cooks say to cook with a liquorwine/etc you'd use to drink. I've never drunk wine, brandy etc. so I sure don't know a chardonnay from a chablis. Dry wine vs. any other kind? I don't have a clue. And I end up with liver disease anyway. Go figure. The specialist said I can have one sip of champaign the year the Cubs win the World Series. So I didn't even have a sip of champaign at my son's wedding!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 3:12:26 PM PST
L. Villa says:
To Kathy Edens:
Framboise is just a raspberry liquer so you can use fresh raspberry puree (sieved to remove seeds) mxed with a simple syrup (1c. sugar to 3/4 c. water) and a split vanilla bean.

You can also use this for a simple dessert like peeling (with a sharp knife) a nice sweet navel orange, slicing it into rounds on a plate then drizzling the red berry sauce over it. Then you can garnish with some fresh toasted, chopped pistachios or other nuts. Top with fresh raspberries, too, if you want.

For variations, cook the sauce/syrup with vanilla bean and green cardamon pods. Strain and cool and use with a fresh fruit salad mix.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 6:09:43 PM PST
Kathy Edens says:
Great tip. Thank you.

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 6:55:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2013 6:58:19 AM PST
widowTink says:
I use Captain Morgan Tattoo Rum in my cranberry sauce and glazed carrots. The alcohol cooks off, so even the grandkids can enjoy the incredible flavor of the citrusy, spicy dark rum. My homemade pizza sauce or spaghetti would not be the same without a little red wine (cabs are great for red sauces!) I would rather have a real flavoring rather than a chemical substitute. I do not believe artificial anything is good for overall long-term health. Another superior liqueur for flavoring is St. Germain, the elderflower liqueur from France, often called the "bartenders bacon" and improves the flavor of almost ANYTHING! I made fig preserves from my backyard fig tree and flavored it with St. Germain. It was AMAZING!!!
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Discussion in:  Cooking forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Dec 12, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 9, 2013

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