Vodka sauce is an Italian-American cuisine[1] sauce made from a smooth tomato sauce, vodka, typical Italian herbs and heavy cream, which gives the sauce its distinctive orange coloration. It is a key ingredient in penne alla vodka.

Vodka sauce
Place of originUnited States
Main ingredientsTomato sauce, vodka, typical Italian herbs, heavy cream

The vodka's function is, ostensibly, to release flavors in the tomato that are normally inaccessible; using alcoholic beverages for this purpose is common in Italian cooking, although usually accomplished with wine.[2][failed verification] It is also an emulsifier, serving to keep the sauce stable, when normally the oil of the cream sauce would react with the acidic tomato sauce to separate from the water in both.[3]


  1. ^ Long, Lucy (2015-07-17). Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia. ISBN 9781442227316.
  2. ^ Moskin, Julia (21 March 2007). "It Boils Down To This: Cheap Wine Works Fine". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  3. ^ Stella Culinary: What Is An Emulsion? A Cook's Guide