Vodka Food Pairings
Vodka Food Pairings
Such as wine is to cheese and crackers, vodka is to a wide assortment of foods. In fact, in Russia there is a distinct appetizer served known as a Zakuski and it is a perfect vodka & food pairing. In most countries , there are traditions for cooking with vodka, eating with vodka, and joining in celebrations, traditions, and life altering events with their favorite vodka. Realistically, most vodka experts state that vodka is indeed better when paired with certain appetizers and foods, and vise versa. In addition, vodka food pairings is often thought to be much more fun and pleasant than wine food pairings.
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Vodka food pairings have been underrated, however many chefs are finding that it is a definite asset to have in the kitchen. Vodka can be used with spices, herbs, and fresh foods to come up with delightful sauces, appetizers, meals, and side dishes. Some of the best gourmet food chefs are using flavored vodkas such as peppercorn vodka, pear vodka, vanilla vodka, and citrus vodka to infuse and combine flavor to their dishes. It is incredibly versatile and absolutely provides more options than cooking with wine. Here are a few tips for creating the best vodka and food pairings:
- Peppercorn Vodka - Peppercorn vodka is best paired with seafood that is baked or grilled, homemade tomato soup, ceviche, steak, and charcuterie.
- Chocolate and Orange Vodka - These sweeter flavored vodkas are terrific with truffles, desserts, and vanilla semi-freddo.
- Spiced Vodka - Spiced vodka works well with dishes such as pies, BBQ ribs, or even quail that has been roasted just right.
- Pear Vodka - The gentle flavor of pears can enhance the taste of any pork dish, cheesecakes, crème brulee, dry cheeses, and some spicy dishes.
- Grapefruit, Honey, and Citrus Vodka - These are all tart and sweet vodkas that can compliment chicken dishes, scallops, seafood dishes, shrimp, and roasted duck.
- Truffle Vodka - Truffle vodka is a perfect compliment to lobster, escargot, risotto, cheeses, roasts, and seared tuna.
There are many exquisite appetizers and hors d’oeurvres that make excellent vodka and food pairings. Russia has the tradition for pairing their infamous Zacuski with everything as they drink vodka. Zacuski is a generalized term for their many appetizers. Here is a helpful list for the various snack and appetizer foods that are complimented with cocktails or a few sips of vodka:
- Smoked fish
- Potato pancakes
- Crab cakes
- Cured meat trays
- Salad Olivier
- Pickled veggies
- Various cheeses
Vodka food pairing requires a certain etiquette that is not commonly practiced. To receive and absorb the full benefit of the pairing an individual must properly taste and indulge such as that with wine tasting. In addition, using this etiquette can also help you properly determine what food and appetizers to pair with it or which vodka to use in cooking what food or dish. Here are the steps for applying proper vodka and food tasting etiquette to determine the best pairings and to create the most enjoyable flavor contrasts and compliments:1. Indulge in the aroma of the vodka that you are drinking. You may swirl it around in the glass, and sniff slowly as you draw the glass gradually closer to your nose.
2. Determine whether the vodka is harsh, sweet, smooth, mellow, and define its intensity by tasting it and swirling it about your lips and mouth.
3. While tasting the vodka try assorted foods to see which flavors are enhanced and taste improved with various types of food and alternate types of vodka.
Vodka food pairing has been around for ages in Russia and other countries that prefer the spirit vodka. With the large array of flavored vodka brands on the market, vodka food pairings and cooking with vodka is steadily gaining new insight from chefs and food connoisseurs who are experimenting and developing exquisite dishes and combinations.
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