Gin is flavored with juniper berries, orange peels, and coriander seeds, and distilled in a pot still. Because of its unique flavor profile, there are many ways to use it for cooking or baking. If you want to know the answer to whether or not you can cook with gin, read on.
Table of Contents
- Can you use gin for baking desserts?
- Can you use gin for baking savory dishes?
- Can you cook meat with gin?
- Can you use gin in pasta?
- Will gin alcohol burn off when cooking?
- Can you cook fish with gin?
- Bonus: more tips for how to use gin
- Final Round
Can you use gin for baking desserts?
Gin is well-loved alcohol. It sounds strange to use a bitter alcohol in a sweet dish but gin does have a few natural ingredients that can be useful in desserts. The juniper berry is the fruit of a plant in the pine family. The oil from these berries can be used to give gin its bitter taste, but it also contains piney notes that are good for flavoring savory dishes too.
However, even if you’re caught up in a baking frenzy, don’t go substituting other types of alcohol with gin willy-nilly. The flavor of gin can be so strong and pungent that it will completely change the taste of your desserts, which might not be a good thing.
Bonus tip: if you’re looking to bake lemon meringue pie or chocolate cake and want to add a splash of alcohol, you might be better off using rum instead.
To learn more about flavored gins, check out our article Do Flavored Gins Contain Sugar?
Can you use gin for baking savory dishes?
Yes! Gin can be a great ingredient to use in savory baked dishes. Similar to vodka, gin is grain alcohol with a high concentration of ethanol and subtle taste. It’s commonly used as an ingredient in cocktails and other mixed drinks because it mixes well with other flavors.
In the right context, it can make a delicious addition to food. Gin can be used in most baked dishes where you would use vodka or Marsala wine, like with shrimp scampi, chicken piccata, and even lemon bars.
Can you cook meat with gin?
Gin is a strong alcoholic drink, with some gins having more than 50 percent alcohol. Gin is often used in cooking due to its unique flavor which can benefit a wide range of foods and dishes.
Many people wonder if it’s possible to cook meat using gin as a form of flavoring or marinating the meat in alcohol before cooking. The answer is that you can add a small splash while cooking or even as a marinade before cooking to add a new taste to the meat you’re cooking or baking.
Can you use gin in pasta?
If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your next pasta dish, look no further than an unexpected ingredient — gin. Gin is a distilled spirit made with juniper berries, coriander, and several other ingredients including the orange peel. Your favorite gin cocktails are also commonly used in cooking recipes.
So what happens to the alcohol when you add it to a sauce? Does that mean that all the alcohol burns off? The fact is that most of the alcohol will burn off during cooking, but this process does take time. A general rule of thumb is to never cook with alcohol you haven’t tasted. If you’re concerned about the amount of alcohol in a recipe, try cooking a small sample and tasting it before serving your meal to others.
While the alcohol content will cookout out some dishes, it could still be enough to add a different dimension and novel flavor profile to your pasta dishes.
Will gin alcohol burn off when cooking?
To keep the conversation going about gin burn off, a good proportion of the alcohol in gin will burn off depending on how long you cook it. The longer you cook, the more the alcohol will evaporate, but you’ll still get the subtle flavors of gin.
Alcohol can evaporate at temperatures above the boiling point of water, which is 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) but alcohol boils at 78.4 degrees Celsius (173.12 degrees Fahrenheit). The higher the proof of gin, the more heat resistant it becomes because of its high percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV).
Can you cook fish with gin?
Cooking fish with Gin is a very old tradition in the UK. Some of the most famous British fish dishes are Gin-soaked Salmon, Roast Cod with Vodka, and Steamed Fish with White Wine. This is why the flavors of Gin and fish go so well together. Gin has so many different flavor profiles, from ginger to orange all the way to cardamom, anise, licorice, cucumber and lemon that it can add amazing flavors to your fish. Just make sure to use a gin that you have tasted and like.
Some gin-based fish recipes include gin-cured salmon with cucumber and lime, and gin infused battered fish and chips.
For more information on gin, read the article How Is Gin Different From Other White Spirits?
Bonus: more tips for how to use gin
1. Use it as a glaze for Grilled Seafood
Not only does gin taste good, but its strong alcoholic content also makes it an excellent choice for glazes because the alcohol helps to caramelize food. Many recipes recommend using beer or wine, but water can dilute flavors so make sure you choose something like gin. These are good for the summer months when the weather is better to grill outdoors, but you can also use them during winter with your oven broiler.
2. Use it for Poached Fruit
Gin poached pears are often recommended as a dessert option because the fruit retains its texture and there’s no need for added sugar. There are many recipes available, but the basic method is to gently poach your fruit in gin to impart flavor then remove it before adding any other ingredients.
3. Use Gin Flavored Salt for Drinks
Gin-infused salt sounds like an unusual mix but it’s actually rather delicious. You can then sprinkle this on drinks to add an extra burst of flavor.
4. Use it in Marinades
Gin is a great marinade because it tenderizes the meat, just like salt does. To make the most of the flavors you should let the dish sit for about 15 minutes before cooking and be sure to pat it dry.
5. Make a Fizz Cocktail with it
If you’re looking for something to do with your leftover gin, turn it into a fizz cocktail! Just mix three parts tonic water with two parts gin then add ice and lemon or lime slices for garnish. This is absolutely delicious and very easy to make.
6. Add it to Soups
To add a flavorful kick to your soups, add in some gin. Just remember that adding alcohol will reduce the soup’s ability to heat up properly, so wait until the end of cooking before adding it. Just add a splash because you don’t want it to overpower the delicious soup you’ve just made.
7. Substitute Gin for Vodka in Cocktails
Gin can also be used as a substitute for vodka where recipes call for it. It’s perfect for Bloody Marys and Kangaroo Court cocktails.
There are many different types of gin out there, and each has its own distinct flavor. Because of this diversity, you can add it to different cooking and baking dishes for something new. Just remember to use something that you’ve tasted before.