How to Use Vodka in More Than Just Your Cocktails

The year 2022 is about abundance and being, as the kids say, extra. We're living life to the best of our abilities in this very strange world, and that means trying any and all things when inspiration strikes. For me, that looks like getting more experimental in the kitchen.

Cooking for myself has always been a pain point, so learning how to make it more fun has been a longtime goal of mine. The ideas started to flow when I learned that adding vodka into my meals was an option. Once I discovered that vodka could transform a dish from chewy and tough to deliciously flaky or bring the aroma and flavors to a whole new level, I was thoroughly intrigued.

If you're looking for a way to sprinkle a little extra into your life, here are a few ways to use vodka in your cooking that'll convince you to always keep a bottle in your kitchen.

Vodka Can Make Your Pastries Flaky and Soft

Vodka cookies? Vodka pie? They may not be the catchiest names, but you get the idea. Incorporating vodka into your baked goods in lieu of water yields a flakier pastry. How does that work? Well, vodka stops gluten from forming in the baking process — a cool trick that water can't do. This will make your treats flakier instead of chewy — and while we all love a chewy cookie sometimes, we're going for new experiences here! Adding in 1/4 cup of vodka should do the trick, especially for the perfect pie crust. Add in a few other sweet ingredients, and you can create your own recipe — with a better name.

It Gives Your Soups an Extra Kick

When it's cold outside, nothing puts me in my childhood feels more than a warm bowl of soup. But I'm not trying to make my grandma's soup. We're giving "treat yo'self" energy all year long, which means adding a little vodka to your favorite soup recipes for another layer of flavor. While it's pretty common to add cooking wines to your favorite sauces, vodka creates a bold aroma that can't be beaten. Yes, most of the alcohol content cooks out of the sauce, but that won't stop the vodka from enhancing your already-marvelous flavor mix. Bloody Mary Soup, anyone?

Become Your Own Bartender When You Get Creative With Vodka

Elevate any meal with a cocktail — and, of course, make it your own. Don't resign yourself to a plain old vodka tonic — remember, we're living for extra all 2022. I love to play with a variety of garnishes, mixers, and even decorations. (Why not add an umbrella to your drink for a little razzle-dazzle?) And as long as you're stocking your cabinet or at-home bar with vodka, you should use the best. I personally enjoy Elit Vodka, which has won best vodka of the year 10 times since 2006, with five consecutive wins since 2017.

If those accolades aren't convincing enough, Elit's smooth taste goes down easy and makes it perfect for both cooking and drinking. The fine taste is cultivated from its signature freeze filtration process, which entails having the spirit quadruple-filtered and then frozen at -18 degrees Celsius. If I'm going to live in my main-character energy, I might as well drink the finest out there. Plus, it gives me a nice talking point when my girlfriends come over for my signature homemade cocktails.

Regardless of how you choose to use your favorite vodka, consider keeping a bottle on your counter to experiment with the next time you're feeling inspired in the kitchen. I know I will.