What to do with all this whiskey?
July 6, 2008 8:40 PM   Subscribe

What to do with all this whiskey?

My boyfriend has bottles of unopened whiskey, but doesn't drink the stuff and I don't either. He has accumulated them as gifts from friends. He was thinking of cooking with it, but the catch is, he's vegan and he's never cooked with whiskey before. Can anyone suggest delicious vegan dishes that involve whiskey?
posted by MaryDellamorte to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of whiskey is it?

Is it American whiskey (jack daniels)?
Is it Scotch Whiskey (laphroig)?
Is it Irish Whiskey (jameson)?
posted by hal_c_on at 8:43 PM on July 6, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry, it's American whiskey...Jack Daniels and Jim Beam.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:44 PM on July 6, 2008

1. Find vegan restaurant.
2. Identify proprietor.
3. Offer bottle of fine whiskey in exchange for meal.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:58 PM on July 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

regifting...to me!

Whiskey is pretty good in sauces, like BBQ. Add it to some desserts, like cakes or pies. Look up a whiskey pecan pie -- a classic.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 8:58 PM on July 6, 2008

Follow-up question: how long does an opened Whisky bottle "last"? Difference between single-malt and blends?
posted by avocade at 9:08 PM on July 6, 2008

Party at Mary's!! (I'm partial to JD.)

A quick google search turned up this pecan pie recipe.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:12 PM on July 6, 2008

What about cherry whiskey? You may like that, or you may be able to make it, rebottle & gift it. Basically, you are steeping a buch of cherries in it, and straining. Please look for a recipe as this is a drastic simplification.
posted by kellyblah at 9:13 PM on July 6, 2008

Best answer: whiskey and bourbon are good with complex sweet flavors. Whiskey with sweet potatoes, dense nutty cakes brushed with whiskey, bread pudding with whiskey. Lots of candies and confections involve bourbon - bourbon sauces, bourbon balls, etc.

(the preview spellchecker recognizes whiskey but not whisky. My Scotch-drinking self is sad.)
posted by peachfuzz at 9:16 PM on July 6, 2008

I don't think pecan pie is vegan unless there's a way to make it without eggs. Whiskey does make a nice glaze as noted above.

It also makes a good regift.
posted by fshgrl at 9:24 PM on July 6, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, pecan pie isn't vegan, it has eggs and butter. Also, the old man isn't really partial to sweets anyway.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:28 PM on July 6, 2008

You could try making Whisky Sours if you're still looking to get crunk. I've never tried it so I can't vouch for it, but it sounds good to me.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:39 PM on July 6, 2008

I don't see why you couldn't substitute firm tofu for meat or fish in a bourbon-marinated meat or fish recipe.
posted by staggernation at 9:44 PM on July 6, 2008

Response by poster: I don't think marinating tofu with whiskey would be a good idea. Marinating meat with whiskey is good because the whiskey compliments the flavors that already exist in the meat. Tofu doesn't really have a flavor unless you marinate it. I think the tofu would taste like straight whiskey.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:53 PM on July 6, 2008

I think the tofu would taste like straight whiskey.

And I think that would be AWESOME.
posted by staggernation at 10:13 PM on July 6, 2008 [12 favorites]

And, less flippantly... in most "marinate X with liquor" recipes, the alcohol is only one component in a marinade that also includes some salty/sweet/spicy/herbal ingredients.

Tofu does have a flavor: it tastes like tofu. There's got to be a combination of bourbon + some other stuff that will go nicely with it.
posted by staggernation at 10:22 PM on July 6, 2008

I can't tell if you're adamant about never drinking whiskey, or just that you haven't found a decent way to do it yet. As a summertime suggestion, I will offer the simple Whiskey & Lemonade. That's the whole recipe, combine to taste. If you think whiskey is gross, this may change your mind.

That's not much of a recipe, but it should be vegan...
posted by paperzach at 10:36 PM on July 6, 2008

I think you're going to have a hard time using bourbon in any vegan cooking, except possibly in some kind of dessert, to weird out the syrup or whatever. Might work okay in a vegan chili. You could always just have loads and loads of Irish Coffee. Yes, I know the difference between whisky and whiskey but the principle remains solid.

Also, cake.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:40 PM on July 6, 2008

Actually I think bourbon would be pretty awesome in a really thick, chunky, hearty vegan stew.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:48 PM on July 6, 2008

Bourbon slush. Even my friends that don't drink whiskey LOVE this stuff.
posted by jtfowl0 at 11:02 PM on July 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I've never tried it, but I bet you could do something like beer-glazed beans, substituting whiskey for beer. Here's a recipe from Mark Bittman - you could use any beans, and probably less booze than he calls for beer, but it'll get you started (adapted from "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian"):

2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 T minced garlic
1 cup beer [maybe 1/3 cup whiskey and 2/3 cup water or broth?]
3 cups cooked beans, liquid reserved (canned OK)
1 T chili powder
1 T honey
salt and pepper

1) Put the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, then beer, beans, chili powder, honey, and salt and pepper.

2) Bring to a steady bubble and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning [if it needs any salt, try adding a hint of soy sauce -- it brings out all of the other flavors].
posted by rossination at 12:20 AM on July 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

>Follow-up question: how long does an opened Whisky bottle "last"? Difference between >single-malt and blends?

A long time - people pay good money for bottles of whisk(e)y that are several decades old. The whiskey will not continue to age in a bottle as it would do in a wooden cask - but it should not degrade either. This makes it a good option for re-gifting. Blends versus single malts.
posted by rongorongo at 1:23 AM on July 7, 2008

rongorongo: the question was an opened bottle.

My informants
claim that several weeks or even months is ok if the bottle is mostly full, but once you're down to the last few inches the most volatile and therefore tasty notes will evaporate off quickly.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:43 AM on July 7, 2008

Quick search of Google on whiskey and tempeh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:37 AM on July 7, 2008

Fixed link.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:39 AM on July 7, 2008

If you do stir-fries a lot, a lot of the common sauces use rice wine or Chinese cooking wine as a major component. Try substituting some whiskey for the wine - I believe you'll need to use more whiskey than wine, as the higher alcohol content will burn off more of the liquid.

Basically, I feel like anything savory can stand to have some whiskey in it. I would add it to sauces or dishes that have rosemary or thyme as one of the major herb components.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:56 AM on July 7, 2008

Kellyblah's idea of making cherry whiskey is a a good one. Not for yourselves, mind you, but as holiday presents. You'll be totally sorted for gift giving this December with some cherries and some adorable bottles with your own labels. Fun project!
posted by DarlingBri at 5:41 AM on July 7, 2008

Best jack daniels thing I've ever had: jack d's and kumquat gelato. I don't have a vegan recipe handy, but did you know it is possible to convert almost any recipe into a vegan one by making what is known in the food biz as "substitutions"?
posted by shownomercy at 7:38 AM on July 7, 2008

How about some vegan Haggis?
posted by mincus at 8:08 AM on July 7, 2008

Best answer: Jack Daniels et al mix pretty well with other flavours so you can experiment -- last year I made a blood orange and lavender foam (made with agar agar) that we served with Jack Daniels and it worked very well. That takes fairly specialist equipment though, (and I don't have the recipe to hand) but you could try something like a dressing with olive oil, oj, a dash of whiskey and cayenne pepper. Serve over a green leaf salad with chunks of orange or other fruit mixed in.

A similar-ish tack might be to make things based on the mint julep, bourbon, sugar with crushed fresh mint, then mixed with water and reduced for a syrup for soy ice cream, or water and arrow-root (or corn flour) (and perhaps a smash dash of balsamic) then heating till semi-set for a glaze you could use for more savoury things -- I'm thinking something like a fresh green bean and kidney bean salad, substitute the mint for ginger and it might go well with grilled tempeh/marinated tofu/aubergines (eggplants).

The other thing I would try pair it with would be maple syrup. I often recommend this for vegetarian cooking as it adds a kind bass note to the flavour of stews etc., that would otherwise come from meat, and can be difficult to get in its absence. For something more substantial try the following ( it can be adapted as a base for anything stews-like, casseroles etc.)

Start off with a Mirepoix or finely chopped onions and garlic. and fry off. I would also add red (bell) peppers at this stage and some of the flavourings. You can go in a number of different directions from here perhaps going for chilli with garlic, chilli, cumin but for now i am going to suggest using paprika, smoked if you can get hold of it. However you proceed you want to add tomatoes here -- tinned are fine -- and once they are broken up, a generous our of maple syrup and your whiskey to taste. Add any herbs you are going to use at this stage. If I was going down the chilli route I would reduce the mix and add black beans. But for now add water or vegetable stock and potatoes (whole if they are small enough) and then, when the potatoes are close to cooked, whole baby carrots (In the UK we get a variety called chantenay which are good for this). At this stage I normally fry up some vegie sausages and add them in chunks just before the end. Season then serve.
posted by tallus at 8:38 AM on July 7, 2008

Here is a list of bourbon recipes you might pick through, a few of them look like they would pass muster. And of course if you just don't want to fool with trying to make something with your whiskey, I'll gladly take it off your hands.
posted by nola at 8:41 AM on July 7, 2008

Sorry. I totally read "vegan" as "vegetarian". But still, I should have thought more about it. The deliciousness of pecan pie threw me for a loop.

How about grilled veggies (eggplant, zucchini, portobellos, etc.) with JD as marinade?

And is the party still on? :)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:36 AM on July 7, 2008

Make bourbon balls!

Then give them to your friends' children and watch the hilarity ensue!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:50 AM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks guys, there are a lot of good suggestions here.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:48 PM on July 7, 2008

BitterOldPunk reminded me of a funny story. My mother is a Master Chef, so for all of her various social/charity events like Junior League bazaars and whatnot, she's always asked to make something edible.

One year we made bourbon jelly, which is supposed to be served with the cheese course, rather than as a breakfast jelly. Mothra and I assumed that The Ladies Who Lunch would know that, and therefore, it didn't occur to us to tell people "Don't eat this at breakfast, it's still got a goodly alcohol load." (We did note on the labels that it was whatever proof Maker's Mark is.)

Boy were we wrong. Snockered Junior Leaguers everywhere for weeks. Hysterical!

If you want to make Bourbon Jelly, email me, and I'll get the recipe from Mothra.
posted by dejah420 at 5:23 PM on July 7, 2008

I notice no one has suggested soaking raisins or currants in them. That is something that is usually done with brandy, but it works with whisky too. Those raisins can then be used in fruitcakes or rice pudding, eaten by themselves, or used to top ice cream.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:39 PM on July 7, 2008

« Older Will my old speakers work with a new receiver?   |   Why is Pearl Jam more Classic Rock than Maiden? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.