5 Delicious Way to Cook Your Meals With Leftover Liquor

We all have parties, or gatherings, where there is one too many liquor bottles leftover.  Typically during a holiday or special occasion like a birthday. You may think the easiest thing to do is to just drink it, or worse, throw it away – GASP!

Neither option is optimal, so maybe you can try cooking it. Over the years, I have gathered up some go-to recipes that turned my leftover bottles into ingredients. I want to share a few ways you can turn your liquor into breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals.

Whiskey Bacon

Bacon has got to be hands down my all time favorite side dish and addition. It just makes everything better! If you agree, then this recipe is going to knock your socks off.

Whiskey bacon is like bacon candy. Basically you only need 4 simple ingredients that you will most likely have in your pantry already. I learned about this recipe back in 2018 and I haven’t cooked bacon another way since.

Common Leftover Whiskeys

  • Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey
  • Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey

Recipe

You’ll need very little to make a meal really stand out. A YouTuber named Ry (Cooking With Ry) made shared this recipe when he made his whiskey bacon burger, and I found a use for it in other places!

Tools:

  • Cast Iron Skillet (preferred) / Fry Pan

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 slices of bacon
  • 1.5 tsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 0.5 shot of Leftover Whiskey

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the skillet on medium high heat.
  2. Add strips of bacon altogether. Depending on what you’re cooking it for, you can organize them or just drop them into the skillet making it one big piece of bacon .
  3. Let one entire side cook and crips up before turning it over. About 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon.
  4. Turn over the bacon and repeat step 3 until the bacon is as crisp as you like it. I like it on the floppier side so it still has some flexibility.
  5. Remove skillet from heat and pour off some of that bacon grease for later. Odds are you will have a lot of grease which you can re-use for frying eggs or cooking beef.
  6. While the pan is off the heat, add butter, brown sugar, and whiskey. I used Jack Daniels.

(Pro Tip: Be careful that the whiskey is added away from the hot stove top. Safety first!)

  1. Return the pan to the hot stove on medium heat and mix everything together until the butter and sugar is melted, and the bacon is caramelized.

Take this recipe and add it to you breakfast meals, BLT sandwiches, Club sandwiches, burgers, or even baked beans if you want to get really creative.

Beer Braised Sausages

I never explored the possibilities of cooking with sausages before this year. I was yearning for a different flavor besides chicken and beef, and thought i would give Italian Sausage a try. I’m so happy I did!

Beer braised sausages has got to be my all time favorite recipe. Since I was new to the sausage game, I turned to Tastemade for help. It’s 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes!

Common Leftover Beers

  • Heineken (My Favorite)
  • Stella Artois
  • Coors Light
  • Blue Moon

Recipe

This Tastemade Beer Braised Sausage recipe includes a side recipe for homemade mustard. Personally, I don’t love mustard, but if I’d want it, I would just buy it. Sorry Tastemade, but I only needed the sausages!

Tools:

  • Skillet or Dutch Oven

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Mild Italian Sausages
  • (1) 12oz Leftover Beer bottle
  • 1 tsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 sprigs of fresh Oregano — or 1 tbsp of dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp of Crushed red pepper (optional!)

Instructions:

  1. Add Olive oil to skillet / dutch oven over medium to high heat.
  2. Add garlic and let it brown up.
  3. Add Italian Sausages until brown on all sides.
  4. Once browned, flip over, and add the beer to simmer the sausages. I used Heineken.

(Pro Tip: Pour the beer slowly as it will foam up and spill over if added too quickly.)

  1. Add the sprigs of Oregano and crushed red peppers for extra spice.
  2. Bring the sausages and beer to a boil, and then let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the alcohol is cooked down. This will keep caramelize the sausages and keep them juicy.

Slice these sausages up and dip it in homemade mustard (as recommended) or BBQ sauce and mashed potatoes. You can also slice them and add to a homemade pizza or pasta dish. The possibilities are there!

Beer Battered… Anything

Honesty time: I hate getting burned. Which is what keeps me from deep frying a lot of delicious foods. However, my mom doesn’t have that fear, and she has a really yummy batter that she taught me.

Common Leftover Beers (continued)

  • Corona
  • Miller Lite
  • Guinness
  • Dos Equis

Recipe

Beer batter is so simple, it hurts (not literally). Again, you only need a few ingredients, three to be exact, and you have the base for crispy chicken or fish.

Tools:

  • A mixing bowl
  • Fork or Whisk

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice flour
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Leftover Bottle of beer

Instructions:

  1. Sift each flour into the bowl. This will add air to the mixture.
  2. Gradually add the beer onto the flour mix until you get a creamy consistency. You may not need to use the entire bottle. I used Corona.
  3. Add the eggs and mix well.

Pro Tip: Make the batter the day, or morning, before you use it. The longer it sits, the better the crispiness when you fry the protein.

You can use this batter to make Fish n’ Chips, Fried Chicken, or even fried cauliflower for a vegetarian dish.   

Penne Alla Vodka

The first time I ever tasted penne pasta in vodka sauce, I was a Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. On their menu, they have a Pasta of the Day option. After that, I began to scout vodka pasta sauces, but of the storebought sauces tasted half as delicious.

I took to the internet to find a good penne alla vodka recipe and found The Cozy Cook. They have a delicious recipe for the pasta, which includes chicken. At the restaurant, I didn’t have protein with the disk, so I skipped that part. You can too!

Common Leftover Vodkas

  • Grey Goose – all of them
  • Smirnoff
  • Tito’s (My Favorite)
  • Skyy

Recipe

The Cozy Cook’s recipe is very simple once you remove the protein element. It only takes about half an hour to make. If you separate the sauce from pasta, you can even freeze the sauce in the fridge for five days and have leftovers.  

The following is their penne alla vodka with chicken recipe, without the chicken.

Tools:

  • Deep skillet or saute pan (preferred) – for the sauce
  • 2-3qt saucepan with a lid – for pasta
  • Spatula, wooden or silicone is recommended to avoid scratching the pan.

Ingredients:

  • (1) 8oz box of penne pasta
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vodka — I used Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated (optional)
  • fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the penne pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
    (Pro Tip: To save time, boil the pasta while the chicken sears.)
  2. In skillet or saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and use a spatula to release some of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the diced onions and cook until they have softened and begin to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add the vodka to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes. I used Tito’s.
  5. Once browned, reduce the heat to low, and add the diced tomatoes and marinara sauce. Stir in the heavy cream.
  6. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and add the final Tablespoon of butter.
  7. Add in the pasta and use the spatula to stir until the penne is evenly covered.

(Pro Tip: This part is optional, as you can keep the pasta and sauce separate, and use the leftover sauce in the future.)

  1. Top with Parmesan and chopped parsley to serve!

You can certainly experiment with the types of pasta and meats you add. Chicken breast is simply the best protein because it doesn’t overpower the sauce.

Red Wine Marinade

The best use out of leftover red wine is to marinate your meet in it. Personally, when I want to marinate chicken or steak, I use spices that have laying around, which is how I stumbled upon red wine in my marinade.

Common Leftover Red Wines

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir

Recipe

This recipe is all mine, and you can switch it up to your liking, and use it for meats such as chicken or steaks.

Tools:

  • A mixing bowl
  • Fork (optional)
  • Deep Tupperware or a large ziplock back

Ingredients:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 Sazon Goya packet
  • 1-2 tsp of garlic, minced
  • A quarter of an onion, diced
  • 0.5 tsp of cumin, podwered or ground
  • 1 cup of Red Wine
  • 1 tbsp of Red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 0.5 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce (Steaks Only)

Instructions:

  1. Clean your meat of choice: chicken or steak.
  2. First use all of the dry ingredients: salt, peppers, cumin, and Sazon Goya. You’re going to use these as a dry rub for your meat on both sides.
  3. Place your meat into the Tupperware/ziplock bag.
  4. Add all wet ingredients: onion, garlic, EV Olive Oil, lime juice, vinegars, and your red wine. I used Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

(Pro Tip: You’ll find that your leftover wine has more flavors than any cooking wine you can find in the store.)

  1. Mix the meat in the Tupperware/ziplock bag and seal it. Place in the fridge for 3-12 hours before cooking.
Kristin Ryals
 

My name is Kristin, and I'm a housewife with big love for cooking. When I'm not bringing on the Food Network and attempting to become America's Next Top Chef, I'm browsing online for unique recipes to awe my friends with. Outside of the world of cooking (as if there is one!), I enjoy reading, skydiving, live music, and of course, shopping!

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