Whiskey has been a popular drink for years, but with the recent boom in micro-distilling worldwide, it has also become a fashionable tipple. People are drinking more whiskey than ever before, and there are now even more ways to enjoy this classic spirit.
The thing about whiskey is that it goes beautifully with practically any food – except another whiskey shot. So how can you make your next tasting session something special? Fear not, for we bring you the ultimate guide to whiskeys and food pairings.
With so many different whiskeys available today, choosing which one to have with your meal can be tricky. After all, what works for someone else might not work for you; your taste will determine whether or not you like a specific type of whiskey.
However, that does not mean there aren’t some universal principles when pairing whiskeys with foods. Understanding which flavors work well together lets you experiment and create perfect partnerships. Here are some of our favorite food and whiskey pairings!
- Grilled Steak and Bird Dog Whiskey
Steak is a classic pairing with red wine, but we think it goes better with whiskey. The strong, woody, herby whiskey notes compliment the meaty, smoky flavors of steak and make the whole meal feel like a celebration!
Bird Dog Whiskey is an excellent choice for this pairing. The component gives the whiskey a distinctive sweetness, which works well with the flavor of the steak. The whiskey is also aged in oak barrels, which complements the smoky char of the steak. It has a nice sweetness that pairs well with the smokiness of the steak.
When you’re going for this pairing, we recommend cooking the steak rare. This way, you get the most out of the smoky flavor. For the best results, we recommend cooking the steak in butter. Butter not only adds a rich, delicious flavor to the steak but also helps prevent the meat from drying out.
- Apple Pie and Whiskey
One of the most classic foods and drink pairings is apple pie and whiskey. Combined, both flavors create a rich, caramelized, absolutely incredible taste. With the addition of a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, your apple pie will be transformed into a dessert fit for a king.
The sweetness of the apple complements the spiciness of many whiskeys, and the creamy texture of the pie makes the drink feel like a true indulgence. The key with this pairing is to use a whiskey with a strong caramel note. High-quality bourbon is a great choice.
This pairing is best enjoyed warm, straight from the oven. It’s the perfect way to finish off a delicious homemade apple pie!
- Smoked Salmon
Salmon is one of the most popular foods to pair with whiskey. It is delicious with scotch, bourbon, and many other types of whiskey. However, smoked salmon pairs well with almost any kind of whiskey because it has intense flavors that can withstand the strength of the whiskey. For this pairing, you’ll want to use a smoky scotch or a peaty single malt.
The salmon’s saltiness will intensify the drink’s smokiness, while its texture will give the whiskey a creamy finish. Avoid using something too light, like a blended scotch, as it won’t have the flavor to stand up to the smoked salmon.
For the best results, we recommend serving the salmon on a piece of toasted rye bread with a dollop of creamy blue cheese. This will soak up the salmon juices and create a rich, delicious flavor.
- Dark Chocolates and Whiskey
Chocolate and whiskey are a classic pairing, and for a good reason! The complex flavors of whiskey are great with dark chocolate. High-quality dark chocolate will have a rich, bitter flavor that pairs well with many whiskeys.
The flavors in the whiskey will bring out the creamy, rich notes in the chocolate to create a unique flavor. For this pairing, use a whiskey with rich, creamy notes. Something like Wild Turkey Forgiven would be a great choice, as it has dark chocolate and vanilla notes.
- Try Some Cheese and whiskey
Cheese and whiskey is a classic combination that will satisfy your taste buds and your soul. The bold, spiced flavors of many whiskeys and their creamy texture go perfectly with cheese. For example, the strong cheddar flavor will be tamed by the whiskey and transformed into something smooth and delicious.
Whiskey is also made with only the finest ingredients and is carefully crafted, just like the best cheeses. Both are also often aged in wooden barrels, which gives them a unique flavor.
Some cheese tastes terrific with bourbon and other whiskeys, but we think it tastes best with scotch. If you’re eating scotch and cheese for this pairing, try a Speyside or a Highland scotch. These usually have a very creamy flavor that pairs well with many different types of cheese.
Many different factors can influence the taste of any given food. A meal prepared by different chefs may have a significantly different flavor profile or be inedible. Once you know what to look for, pairing food with the perfect beverage becomes much easier. Matching specific foods with specific drinks is something professional chefs do all the time. When creating your pairings, remember that whiskey has a robust flavor, so it’s best to pair it with something strong. Try these food and whiskey pairings.