Just A Splash - Handy Alcohols For Cooking
by Nick Harman - Monday March 26, 2018 1:03 pm
When the recipe calls for a splash of alcohol, don’t turn to the bottle add Just A Splash
At the back of what we ironically call our drinks cabinet can be found a bottle of port so old it’s crustier than a Tunbridge Wells retired Brigadier, a bottle of Marsala that was bought once, used for a trifle, and then forgotten and a bottle of brandy that is technically empty but which I reckon I can still squeeze a few drops out of if needed.
Yes, when a recipe calls for an alcohol, we are usually ill-prepared in our house. I don’t want to go out and buy a whole bottle of something that I may not use again for months, as it’s expensive and a bit pointless. So, we do without, which is a mistake.
Alcohol does have a big role in cooking, and not just to keep the chef going with a big glass of red while the family all watch TV in the next room and repeatedly ask if dinner is ready yet.
It intensifies flavours by bonding with the fat and water molecules, which helps us detect the aromas better as our aroma receptors respond only to molecules dissolved in fat,
When we deglaze a pan with alcohol, a spirit or fortified wine, more flavour is absorbed into the browned proteins than it would be if we used stock. And each alcohol brings in its own flavours, too
Just A Splash is range of culinary alcohols in 100ml pouches - Rum, Sherry, Port, Brandy and Masala.
They have a slightly lower ABV to suit the cooking process better, and are small enough to be kept in the cupboard on standby. So there’s no longer any need to spend a fortune on bottles that just end up getting in the way.
A bit of brandy in that sauce for the steak? A drop of port in the sauce for the lamb? Some rum in that toffee sauce? And of course, Marsala for your trifle or mushroom sauce. Splash it all over.