Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ouzo Substitutions

I needed ouzo for the Greek-Style Shrimp and Feta recipe so I used a vodka tincture substitute. (From the Cooks Illustrated magazine for September & October 2010, page 13.)

Ouzo, the popular anise-flavored spirit of Greece, lends shrimp saganaki a nuanced flavor that we like. But since ouzo is not in everyone's liquor cabinet, here are two alternative.

Pernod—Though slightly sweeter than ouzo, this French asise-flavored liqueur is the next best thing.

Vodka + Anise Seed—One tablespoon of vodka plus 1/8 teaspoon of anise seed makes a fine substitute for 1 tablespoon of ouzo.

I used the vodka method. We have star anise so I broke the seeds out and crushed them with a mortar and pestle before mixing with the vodka to form the tincture.

Note the Greek-Shrimp recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of ouzo so triple the above formula.

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