There is a comfort to be had in sticking to the predetermined pairings set by chefs and experts with far more cooking knowledge than most of us will ever gain. We even apply the same logic when matching our meals with the perfect drink. The rules of food needn’t be so rigid, though. It’s good to take risks and combine ingredients in new ways to create a soon-to-be classic dish. That way, we can be food pioneers – boldly going where few have gone before.
Food and drink can even be combined in the same dish with tried-and-tested results. Someone had the thought to combine steak and ale in pastry; another decided to cook their chicken in wine, thus bringing coq au vin to the table. These are classic recipes, and they were created with both food and drink in mind.
So, in this article, we’ll be presenting a few recipes to encourage you to be bold with your cooking choices. Whip out the spirits, the sodas, and even the sweets, as we dive into the best ways for you to add some drinks to your ingredients list.
Beer can chicken
If you’re looking for a showstopping centrepiece for an upcoming garden party, there are few sights more awesome than a chicken cooked upright on top of a beer can. Another simple recipe, this combination will ensure that your chicken is incredibly tender and juicy as it is infused with the taste of beer.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to suit your tastes. You can replace the beer can with any container that will fit and is safe to be cooked, so you can play around with flavour combinations. For example, if you fancy adding a fiery note to your dish, ginger beer is a brilliant alternative option. As long as you make sure that your container is safe for oven use before putting it into your chicken, you can fill it with any liquid you want!
We recommend preparing this dish in front of a crowd, so they can admire your innovative yet effortless display of cooking prowess.
Get the recipe here.
Wow your friends and family with this daring dish that sees a household-favourite flavour brought to the dining table in style.
Combining sweet and savoury, this dish is constructed along the same line of thinking as the classic pairing of gammon and pineapple. The main taste of cola comes from vanilla and cinnamon, while the thick liquid provides a wonderful sauce to be absorbed by the ham.
Since the taste of cinnamon plays a big part in this dish, cola ham can make for an appropriately Christmassy dish too!
If you fancy trying it, find the recipe here.
Penne alla Vodka
This recipe is rather understated considering the unusual combination of ingredients of which it makes use. Vodka is regularly paired with other beverages, added to mixers, and acts as an important element of countless cocktails. Rarely, however, do we think to add vodka to our food.
If you’re looking to spruce up a simple pasta recipe, vodka can truly elevate your dish – serving to unite the flavours of tomato and cream. There are a few other ingredients in this recipe that you can get stuck into; that way, you won’t be overwhelmed by the flavour of the alcohol, which should be cooked off. As daunting as a plate full of vodka might sound, this dish is a subtle way of clearing your liqueur stock.
To try this at home, look here.
Coffee steak rub
Coffee is a flavour that is often found in food, especially desserts. Cakes, ice creams, and cocktails all boast coffee as their main flavour, making it clear that it is a popular choice among the public. Even tiramisu, one of the most iconic and delicious desserts across the globe, is based heavily on coffee flavour. We spoke about classic flavour combinations earlier; coffee and cream is part of this esteemed club.
Far less common is the use of coffee in a savoury dish, but the combination of coffee and red meat is one that you’d be wrong to miss out on. The rich flavour of ground coffee makes for the perfect addition to a steak rub, complementing the meat’s juicy texture in a unique fashion. If you’re craving an extra caffeine fix, try coffee in your next dish.
For tips on preparing your own coffee steak rub, look here.
This recipe is as simple as it comes and is for those who prefer their cooking to have no cooking at all. These tasty treats only have a couple of ingredients: gummy sweets and alcohol. You can use any kind of gummy you choose, so it’s really up to you how you want to customise this dish.
Just take your tipple of choice, whether it’s vodka or wine, and soak your gummies in the drink for 12 to 24 hours. This easy-to-make treat is perfect for parties since it requires so little effort and can be added to a table spread in a pinch. As long as you can be patient enough to wait a day to let the alcohol infuse your gummies, you’ll love them!
For the perfect drunken gummies, look here.
That’s our list of recipes to help you experiment with adding drinks to your dishes. Whether you go for a juicy cola ham or some simple drunken gummies, we hope you’ll feel more comfortable challenging those classic flavour combinations. Experimentation is a part of cooking, so get creative!