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What to eat with whiskey?

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Smoky, malty and briny with a deep complex taste, whiskey is a popular beverage to consume neat or in cocktails. There are several types of whiskey featuring diverse flavors ranging from Scotch to Irish, bourbon, malt, rye, and wheat whiskey.

There’s a longwinded controversy surrounding whether whiskey should be paired with food or not. In the recent past, the popularity of pairing whisky with food is slowly growing. 

To perfectly pair whiskey with a favorite snack or food, it’s vital to understand the types and classes of this divine spirit. 

What to eat with whiskey? Whiskey pairs well with dark chocolate, cheese, dried fruits, nuts, grilled steaks, meatloaf, smoked salmon, and apple pie or apple crumble. In addition, consider serve with citrus-flavored cake or marmalade.

Different types of whiskey has specific pairing with food. The rule of thumb is full-bodied whisky goes well with hearty and high-fat dishes, medium whiskey go well with high-protein meals, and light whiskey pair good with seafood and spicy dishes.

However, avoid any food that has strong garlic taste or overly spicy since it will overpower the flavor of whiskey.

Whiskey flavors range from light to full-bodied, from a slight touch of fruit and sweetness. Some feature citrusy hints with more sophisticated and bold varieties that include earthy, strong peat, and smoky notes. 

Whether a dish is cooked with whiskey or served alongside, the ingredients should complement perfectly with whiskey such that neither the food nor the spirit overpowers the other. This article goes into depth on the fruits, snacks, and foods to pair with whiskey. 

What goes well with whiskey?

There has been much debate as to what pairs well with whiskey, but the liquor is popularly served with food. Seek out pairings where neither the food nor whiskey overwhelms the flavor of the other. 

Here are ingredients that pair well with whiskey in a complementary fashion:

  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, wild mushrooms
  • Cured meats: bacon
  • Meats: beef, fried or grilled chicken, duck, roasted pork, steak, venison, foie gras
  • Seafood: oysters, shellfish, salmon
  • Cheese: blue, brie, aged gouda, cheddar
  • Spices: allspice, cinnamon, ginger, star anise
  • Sweets: chocolate
  • Dairy: cream, ice cream
  • Drinks: ginger ale
  • Condiments: honey, brown and white sugar, vanilla, wasabi, sauerkraut
  • Juice: lemon
  • Liqueur: orange curaçao
  • Food: sukiyaki, smoky-flavored dishes, especially smoked fish and smoked salmon, spicy dishes, sushi, tempura, teriyaki, yakitori

Fruit that goes with whiskey 

Whiskey can be used in cooking or making fun cocktails. But when it comes to cocktails, fruits are essential ingredients that cannot be bypassed.

Citrus fruits may mask the flavor of the whiskey too much depending on the type you are drinking. Additionally, dark fruits overwhelm whiskey owing to their robust flavors, but this is subject to the kind being served.

Here are perfect fruit selection that goes with whiskey:

Snack to serve with whiskey

Starting the party with quick snack or appetizer and a sip of whiskey is guaranteed to please the tastebuds of your guests. The key is to prepare snacks that are light and easy to serve so that it does not overfill and interrupt the main course.

Here are snack ideas to serve with whiskey:

  • Chocolate: Plain dark, milk, white chocolate or cocoa powder pairs better than actual candy bars. Keep an eye out for chocolate truffles or chocolate bats as they emphatically highlight the whiskey notes. 
  • Cheese: The good thing about pairing cheese and whiskey is that they all come in different flavors. More pungent cheeses like blue cheese should be served with spicier whiskeys. Brie cheese, a softer, creamier type should served with a lighter whiskey. 
  • Dry Fruits and Nuts: When choosing a good snack bar to eat with whiskey, pick something that is not overly flavorful. Lightly roasted and unsalted dry nuts and fruits make a perfect snack to serve with whiskey.
  • Finger Sandwiches: The subtle flavor makes a great snack to accompany whiskey. They are easy to make and easy to binge eat on the go.
  • Cheese dip: Prepare crunchy chips to dip in cheese sauce with a side of spicy jalapeño. A creamy dip complement well with whiskey for quick light appetizer.  

Keep the snacks simple and not too spicy if you plan to savor the taste of the whiskey. Snacks are just as important as drinks if a person wants to enjoy the taste and complexity of the spirit. 

What flavor goes well with whiskey?

Whiskey is known for its complex depth of flavor and can always be enjoyed neat. But when paired with other flavors, its versatility shines perfectly.

The mixture of these flavors may suit the personality of one type of whiskey more than the other. Identify the best flavor that goes with the whiskey that you are enjoying. 

  • whiskey + cinnamon + dried fruits + ginger + lemon + star anise
  • whiskey + lemon + orange curaçao
  • whiskey + cinnamon + raisin + brownies
  • whiskey + salmon + potatoes + lemon
  • whiskey + soda bread + butter
What to eat with whiskey

Eat with Whiskey: Conclusion 

Whiskey in general complement well with chocolate, cheese, dried fruits, nuts, meat and fish, and apple desserts.

Gamey meats, for example, venison or lamb, grass-fed beef, roasted pork, and root vegetables pair well with whiskeys of moderate to medium intensity. 

When it comes to cheese options, medium-bodied cheeses such as aged gouda and cheddar work perfectly with whiskey. Blue cheese and brie cheese also work well but require a more selective approach to the whiskey pairing.

Not all sweets goes well with whiskey, but denser desserts like pumpkin bread or fruitcake are best pairings with whiskey. Plain chocolate is the best bet if are looking for something to serve on the sweeter side of things.

Therefore, whiskey can also be paired with multiple flavors. The only thing is to better understand the type of whiskey to better identify ingredient pairing with specific foods. 

It is recommended to not serve whiskey with garlic, or foods that are too spicy or citrusy. These ingredients may be overpowering, and can conflict with whiskey taste.

If you are new to enjoying meals with whiskey, use this guide of ingredients and flavor combination to explore the classic blends that are guaranteed to elevate your culinary experience.

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