Making a mixed cocktail to pair with a meal is a beautiful thing, but vodka used in the recipes for your food can also create some incredible results. It can keep meat tender, bring out the flavors in a dish, and even make sauces creamier and pastries flakier. Below are three of our favorite savory vodka infused recipes straight from the galley.

Penne alla Vodka

A classic Italian dish made with tomatoes, cream, and vodka. The vodka adds a unique flavor to the sauce and helps to thicken it.

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ Cup minced yellow onion
  • 3 oz. prosciutto or pancetta, diced (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ Cup Yacht Life Vodka
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • ⅔ Cup heavy cream
  • ¼ Cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ Cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ oz Penne Pasta
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook pasta. Season water with salt.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and prosciutto and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute another minute.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add tomatoes, vodka and add salt and pepper to taste. Return to medium heat, bring to a simmer and then reduce to low heat and simmer the alcohol off for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Cook the penne pasta according to package directions. When you drain the water, reserve ½ cup for the sauce. 
  5. Stir cream into the sauce and heat for one minute. Stir in parmesan, basil and oregano. 
  6. Add drained pasta to the sauce pot. Toss to coat and thin as needed with the pasta water.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Vodka Sauce Meatballs

Meatballs simmered in a cream vodka sauce.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ – 2 lb package of fresh meatballs
  • ½ Cup Yacht Life Vodka
  • 32 oz Jar of marinara sauce
  • ½ Cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish
  • Torn basil leaves for garnish
  1. Using a cast iron pan over medium heat, add oil and brown the meatballs on all sides to create a light crust (about 2 minutes per side) and transfer the meatballs to a plate.
  2. Deglaze the pan with Yacht Life Vodka and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom.
  3. If cooking in a slow cooker, add the liquid from the pan to the slow cooker along with the meatballs, marinara sauce, heavy cream and salt and pepper and cook 2-4 hours.
  4. If cooking on the stove top, add the marinara sauce, heavy cream, and salt and pepper to the pot to combine. Add the meatballs and heat slowly on the stove top, simmering until the meatballs are cooked through (about 35-45 minutes)
  5. When serving, top with freshly grated parmesan and torn basil leaves.

Lemon Vodka Chicken

Delectable chicken breasts marinated in a mixture of lemon vodka, lemon juice, and herbs, then grilled for a perfect entrée.

1 Lemon, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
3 Tbsp milk
½ Cup all-purpose flour
4 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp Yacht Life Vodka
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 Tbsp capers
1 Tbsp finely chopped basil
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Heat a pan of oil on high and char the lemon slices evenly on both sides, and set aside. Turn heat to medium.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk in a small bowl. Put the flour in a separate bowl.
  3. Cover each breast of chicken in flour, then dip into the egg mixture and then place into the oiled pan on medium heat. 
  4. Cook through until golden brown. Once done, remove the chicken from the pan. 
  5. Deglaze the pan with vodka, use a wooden spoon to remove bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add butter, lemon juice, parsley, basil, capers, salt and pepper. Cook evenly to reduce the liquid a bit. Then return the chicken and charred lemons to the pan. Toss together. 
  7. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce and leftover herbs and lemon.

These are just a few examples of the many recipes that use vodka as an ingredient. Stay tuned for our next galley visit for some sweet recipes with a tipsy twist as well!