Vodka is not just all play and no work. It's more than just a banging base for cocktail that delivers on its purpose (plus a head banger of a headache the next day if you're not too careful).
Here are four creative (see: delicious and useful) ways to use vodka in the kitchen:
1) Baker baddies, listen up: Vodka makes for the most tender pie crust ever!
Whip up a martini and put your apron on. You're about to bake a pie you'll never forget (depending on how many martinis you drink, of course). All you have to do is follow the recipe you have, but replace one-third of the water with vodka.
How does it make your pie especially soft? Well, gluten develops when flour comes in contact with water, which often leads to dense, tough crusts. So, replacing some of that water with vodka makes for a more tender crust without throwing off the dry/wet ingredient ratio of your recipe.
2) Got some vanilla beans? Use vodka to make your own vanilla essence
Check out this epic two-ingredient Bottomless Vanilla Extract recipe for making a batch of homemade vanilla extract you can boast to your baking buddies about for a good while (it lasts AGES!). All you need is vodka and vanilla beans. Easy as (vanilla) pie.
3) Calling all pasta lovers! You have to try Pasta alla Vodka
Say hello to minimal effort, maximum taste reward with this 5 star-rated Pasta alla Vodka recipe. If you're a sucker for a tomato-based gem of a dish, this is the one for you.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 100g tomato purée
- 5 tbsp vodka
- 100ml double cream
- 200g penne or rigatoni pasta
- 30g grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative, plus extra to serve
- small handful of basil leaves, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or casserole dish.
- Add the shallot and a large pinch of salt and gently fry over a low heat for 10 mins or until softened and translucent.
- Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Stir through the tomato purée, cook for 2 mins, then stir through the vodka and cook for 3 mins. Quickly stir through the cream to combine, then remove from the heat.
- Cook the pasta in salted water following pack instructions. Drain and reserve 150ml cooking water.
- Add roughly 50ml of the water to the tomato sauce, then tip in the pasta and cheese, tossing everything together over a low heat until well coated and glossy (loosen with a splash more of the cooking water if it’s a little dry).
- Season to taste, then serve with a sprinkling of the extra parmesan, a good grinding of black pepper and the basil leaves scattered over the top.
4) Make an ice pack that moulds to your injury (it's legit)
Have you ever bunged your knee and hopped over to the freezer only to find a mishapen ice pack that leaks everywhere? Yeah, us too. You need to pre-prepare some of these babies to make that experience a thing of the past. Mix equal parts water and vodka in a Ziploc bag and freeze it.
What makes it special? When vodka and water combine in your freezer, it makes for the most useful mouldable ice pack ever because the vodka lowers the overall freezing temperature of the bag, making for a flexible ice pack that you can mould to the body part that hurts. Winning!
If all else fails, you can always drink it! Shop our wide selection of premium vodkas here. We stock everything from the Absolut and Count Pushkin ranges to flavoured Cruz and all your favourite Ciroc.