Bourbon Cooking Tips and Hints

Bourbon has a lower freezing point than water

Salty bourbon pecan pie (gluten-free, with sorghum flour and sorghum syrup)
Alanna Taylor Tobin / Getty Images

From flavoring an assortment of desserts to being used in barbecue sauces and a plethora of other recipes, bourbon can be a very versatile ingredient to have in your kitchen. If you're new to cooking with bourbon these tips and hints will help you master the art of using this drink outside of your glass.

Helpful Tips

  • Bourbon should lend a very faint flavor of caramel, vanilla, charcoal, and a very light taste of wood to your recipes. These flavors work well in both savory and sweet dishes.
  • It can be used as a substitute for brandy.
  • Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, so you may wish to think twice about adding a little extra kick of alcohol to frozen desserts because they may not freeze properly.
  • If you do not want to invest in a full bottle of bourbon for a recipe, you should be able to pick up small single drink serving bottles (which usually measure a little less than 1/4 cup) at most liquor and package stores. This is the small bottle you see served on airlines, and it is usually enough for most single recipes as a flavoring.
  • Some of these recipes may call for a "shot" of liquor rather than giving a precise measurement, most likely used in a savory recipe where the amount of liquid is not important to the stability of the end result. A single shot can range from 1 ounce to 1 1/2 ounces. If you want more bourbon flavor, measure on the high side. If you want less or it is a frozen recipe, use only 1 ounce.