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Questions on Cooking with Alcohol

For recipes calling for wine, choose one that you would drink, rather than a cooking wine. See more pictures of wine.

Q. What is bourbon? Is it the same as whiskey?

Whiskey is a type of alcohol made by slowly cooking fermented, mashed grains. The steam and other vapors that are produced by this are collected and cooled and aged in wooden barrels.

Just as different wines are made from different grapes and different cheeses are made from different milks, different whiskeys are made from different types of mash.

Bourbon is whiskey made from mash that contains from 51 percent to 79 percent corn. In addition to being primarily corn-based, bourbon is aged for at least two years in oak barrels that have been charred on the inside -- the charred wood gives the bourbon a smooth, smoky flavor

Q. When a recipe calls for wine, what should I use?

A. First, use a wine that you would enjoy drinking. It doesn't need to be a fine wine; a good table wine will do. Avoid products labeled as cooking wines because they contain salt. After adding wine to sauces and stews, simmer the food for 10 to 15 minutes to evaporate the alcohol and blend flavors.