This Is The Best Whiskey To Cook With

People have been happily knocking back various types of whiskey since whenever the stuff was invented — about the best we can come up with, date-wise, is a vague sometime in the middle ages. From the 19th century on, at which time it was first employed in the now-aptly named Old Fashioned, whiskey has also played a role in a panoply of cocktails. Lately, however, the spirit has been coming into its own as a cooking ingredient. Restaurants including Applebee's, TGI Fridays, and Red Robin have whiskey burgers on their menu, while Haagen Dazs has a whiskey hazelnut latte ice cream flavor and Rhee Drummond likes to add whiskey to her sticky buns.

Excited to start cooking with whiskey? It's surprisingly versatile, so you could start by adding a slug your next batch of chili, using it to make a steak sauce, or glaze meats such as ham and roast pork. You could also try some whisky (without the "e") in the simple Scottish dessert known as cranachan or even add some to a batch of chocolate chip cookies. If you're wondering what whiskey to use, though, we have some rather surprising advice on the subject, particularly when you consider the source.

Cooking whiskey need not be expensive

Whenever certain home cooks, random internet know-it-alls, and celebrity chefs whose names rhyme with "Tina Martin" advise on what ingredients to use, they always seem to recommend using something "good," which, in plain English, tends to mean "the priciest stuff available." This may also be what you'd expect from an organization bearing the name Escoffier and named for the great Auguste, but you might be pleasantly surprised by the advice offered by the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts as regards cooking with whiskey. While they enthusiastically endorse its use in recipes ranging from pancake syrup to pie, surprisingly enough, they do not insist on top-shelf stuff.

Instead, Escoffier offers the very palatable advice to use more budget-friendly booze brands for cooking. They feel that good whiskey is meant to be savored, but cooking whiskey need not be anything too extravagant. They also acknowledge that not everyone is a big whiskey drinker and suggest purchasing miniature bottles for recipes that require just a tablespoon or so of whiskey. If you prefer not to have alcohol in the house at all but you'd still like to experiment with whiskey flavor, we do have another suggestion. While many zero-proof spirits sadly come up short in the taste department, WhistlePig makes a nonalcoholic rye called PiggyBack Devil's Slide that has all of the flavor with barely any of the booze and can easily take the place of the higher-octane stuff.