If you want to make food that little bit special, alcohol is always the answer. Okay, okay… Maybe it's not always the answer. But, there are many cases where a little bit of rum, wine or something else can really make a difference.
It is however, certainly the case in this collection of alcohol-infused savory recipes that I've gathered. These are recipes for savory sauces that use alcohol in some shape or form. Sometimes the recipe is just for the sauce, but other times the recipe for an entire dish is also present.
The recipes are a good reminder of the versatility of alcohol. Many of us (myself included) love to drink alcohol, but at the same time, it has a depth of flavor that can really bring food to life. Even if you don't cook with alcohol often, these sauces are still worth trying.
And if you like these, head on over to the sweet alcoholic sauces, for a different kind of flavor. Doesn't bourbon molasses and chocolate brandy sound delish?
Alcohol-Infused Savory Sauces
11. Beer Cheese Savory Sauce
The addition of beer to a cheese sauce is a little unusual, but then again, this recipe from thegentlechef.com is unusual in its own right. For one thing, the sauce isn't actually a cheese sauce at all.
Instead, it's a non-dairy sauce that tries to replicate the flavor of cheese sauce. It looks like the recipe does a good job of that too, and the addition of beer just enhances the flavor of the sauce.
10. Masala-Cider Sauce
I found this recipe over at thefoodieandthefix.com and you have to admit, the photography on the dish is just wonderful. This particular recipe is actually for roasted pork tenderloin, along with a cider sauce. For this list, it's the cider sauce that I'm interested in. Using an apple cider sauce with pork is really a clever approach because the flavors of apple and pork just work together so well.
The recipe does give the directions (and ingredients) for the sauce separately, so you could make just the sauce, or attempt the full dish.
9. Apple Cider BBQ Sauce
Here's another sauce that uses apple cider, although this time the cause is a barbecue sauce. Most people simply buy their barbecue sauce in a bottle from the store, but really that approach is a waste.
As this recipe from amuse-your-bouche.com shows, making your own sauce can be easy. Besides, I'm sure that any sauce you make with apple cider is going to be much better than what you would find at the store.
8. Whisky Butter Sauce
Here's another one where the recipe is for the whole dish. To be honest, I was on the fence about whether this one is sweet or savory because it really falls into both camps.
Regardless of how you classify it, this boozy treat from tramplingrose.com would be a great option for a cold fall or winter evening. Once again, you can make the sauce separately, and I can think of a number of alternative uses for the sauce.
7. Boy-Approved Spiked Pasta
Using vodka in a creamy pasta sauce is a surprisingly common approach, but that doesn't stop it from being a good one. The vodka can add a bit extra to the flavor.
That's often a good thing because pasta sauces can be a bit bland sometimes. Overall though, I love this recipe from 6bittersweets.com and the recipe does a great job of balancing flavors without being heavy-handed on the cream.
6. White Wine Sauce for Mussels
This recipe is for seafood lovers because paleoleap.com doesn't separate out the instructions for the sauce.
However, this particular white wine sauce looks like a very good one, and the flavors are perfectly designed to complement the flavors of mussels. The entire recipe if a great option if you are looking for a way to cook mussels that is a bit unique.
5. Figs in Port
This recipe from leitesculinaria.com is one of the simplest sauce recipes on this list, but sometimes the simple options are the best. The recipe is specifically designed for figs, and the figs themselves help to contribute to the overall sauce.
However, it might be possible to do something similar with other fruits. Regardless, this is a simple and elegant sauce recipe that would work well with the flavors of figs.
4. Foolproof Beer Cheese Sauce
Beer isn't a particularly common ingredient in a cheese sauce, but surprisingly, there are a lot of recipes out there for beer cheese dip. You could actually use a dip as a sauce if you wanted, but this particular recipe from thebeeroness.com is actually for a beer cheese sauce.
The recipe is a pretty simple one to follow, and I can think of many different uses for this particular sauce (mac and cheese springs to mind).
3. Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Alcohol and barbecues seem to go together naturally, so it shouldn't be a surprise that there are so many alcohol-based barbecue sauces. I found this particular sauce at afamilyfeast.com, and it uses bourbon as the alcohol of choice. It's a savory sauce that would complement the flavor of any barbecued meat nicely.
2. White Wine Sauce for Chicken
Here's another case where the recipe for the sauce is tied up in the overall recipe for the dish. I had to include it in the list though, because the whole meal looks simply amazing.
The recipe is from jocooks.com and, in this case, the alcohol is white wine, which always seems to match well with chicken. It would be relatively easy to make the sauce on its own, but honestly, I can't think of anything that it would pair better with than chicken.
1. Hot Butter Rum Sauce
This recipe comes from pinchofyum.com and the recipe is actually for the bread pudding and also the sauce. Both the pudding and the sauce use rum, so it really is a boozy dish.
The directions for the sauce are entirely separate though, as the sauce is supposed to be poured over the pudding at the end. So, you could easily make the sauce on its own and combine it with whatever you like. Personally, I think it would go nicely over something chocolaty or even over ice cream – although you might have your own preferences.
And yes, this is another case where the recipe is kind of savory and kind of sweet. I think whether you define the sauce as sweet or savory depends (in part) on the dish you are putting the sauce on.
After all, some dishes will highlight the savory elements of a sauce while others will highlight the sweet elements.