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posted: 6/12/2014 5:30 AM

When a whiskey disappoints, fix it in the kitchen

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  • Don't pour whisky you don't particularly like down the drain; pour it onto a smoky sauce for roasted potatoes.

      Don't pour whisky you don't particularly like down the drain; pour it onto a smoky sauce for roasted potatoes.
    Associated Press

  • Don't pour whiskey you don't particularly like down the drain; pour it onto a sauce for roasted potatoes.

      Don't pour whiskey you don't particularly like down the drain; pour it onto a sauce for roasted potatoes.
    Associated Press

 
By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press

In case you haven't noticed, there is a serious whiskey boom going on. And for those of us who enjoy whiskey in any of its iterations -- rye, bourbon and scotch, among others, are all close relatives of the whiskey family -- it has triggered a sometimes overwhelming wealth of choice when shopping.

The fun part is selecting among these new offerings, finding those delicious gems that will become regular fixtures in your liquor cabinet. The not-so-fun part? You inevitably will stumble upon some losers.

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But when you do, it would be a shame to pour a bottle down the drain.

The good news is you don't need to. Whiskey happens to work rather well in cooking, particularly in sauces for meats and roasted vegetables. So when we recently came across two bottles -- an all-corn whiskey from Texas and an overtly peaty Scotch Whisky -- I took to the kitchen to rescue them.

Though we call for specific styles of whiskeys in these recipes, the truth is you can use whatever you have (and presumably don't want for drinking).

Also, if you happen to prefer baking to barbecue, another way to use up a so-so whiskey is to soak raisins or dried apricots in it for a few days.

Once the fruit is plumped, drain off any remaining whiskey (and use it for a cocktail!). Bake the raisins or apricots (chop the latter) into your favorite blondie or oatmeal cookie recipe.

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