Food - Drink
Why Bourbon Is The Perfect Substitute For Vanilla Extract
By KALEA MARTIN
Vanilla extract is the all-purpose hero of the dessert world, and just a spoonful or two greatly enhances the flavors and aromas of sweet treats. However, if you start making dessert and find you're out of vanilla halfway through, just swap your bottle of extract with a bottle of bourbon from your liquor cabinet.
Bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels in order to produce its characteristically sweet and warming flavor. After aging, this alcohol ends up with a high concentration of vanillin, the same compound that gives vanilla beans their flavor, so bourbon offers a similar touch of sweetness and flavor-enhancing effect when used in cooking.
Bourbon and vanilla extract have such similar flavors and textures that they can be substituted at a one-to-one ratio, though the flavor of goods made with bourbon will be more caramel-like. Almond extract and honey are also popular vanilla substitutes, but they're more about sweetness and lack bourbon's complex flavor notes.