A Guide to Whiskey and Food Pairing

    Pairing food with whiskey is still a considerably new trend in the culinary world, but one that is gaining popularity at a fast speed. However, due to its newness and a general lack of information about it, many stay away from hopping onto this trend, for they fear putting together the wrong whiskey and food pairings.

    So here we have brought the ultimate guide on whiskey and food pairings for our readers. This guide pairs food flavours with whiskey notes so that you can easily apply them to the food you enjoy. 

    So without further ado, let’s take a detailed look at the whiskey and food pairings that never fail:

    Pairing Whiskey with Grilled Meat

    The smokiness of the grilled meat pairs excellently with rich and smoky whiskeys. The different notes of smokiness in meat and whiskey balance each other out deliciously. Strong whiskey also washes down the fatty juices from the grilled meat in your mouth. 

    While rich, medium-bodied whiskeys work well with grilled meat, you can also pair bourbon or rye whiskey with lean or white meat. Since grilled lean meat or grilled white meat doesn’t have as many fat renderings on it as much as fatty barbecue meat, the freshness of rye whiskey or bourbon keeps the meal light on the palate.

    Pairing Whiskey with Bread

    Bread with filling or toppings can often make for a simple yet rich meal. You can easily elevate simple meals with a bread base with strong and spicy whiskeys.

    Malt whiskey or rye whiskey can pair well with carb-rich meals such as pizza, meatloaf, bread pudding, sausage loaf, French toast, biscuit and gravy, fondue, sandwiches, etc. Don’t be afraid of adding sauces and dips to your meals, either. A strong, spicy whiskey goes well with all rich foods. 

    Pairing Whiskey with Fruits and Nuts

    Who said you could only have whiskeys with meals? A cool glass of whiskey can also accompany a healthy plate of fruits and nuts at brunch. Pairing whiskey with fruits and nuts can be even easier than figuring out whiskey and food pairings. Simply follow the rules below:

    • Strong whiskey with sweet fruits and nuts
    • Sweet whiskey with sour and tangy fruits or bitter nuts
    • Smokey whiskey with roasted nuts

    Based on this easy-to-follow guide, you can create some flavoursome combinations with your choice of fruits and nuts. But if you are picking up a trail mix pack or pre-mix nut packets with high salt content, stick to smoky whiskey to wash off all the salt the nuts can leave in your mouth. You should also consider pairing popcorn and whiskey, but it’s essential to consider the flavors and textures at play, as Best Corn Popper explains. The combination of the buttery crunch of popcorn and the warm, smoky embrace of whiskey creates a delightful, satisfying, and indulgent contrast.

    Pairing Whiskey with Seafood

    Seafood pairs well with sweet, spicy, and even strong whiskey, depending on how you prepare it. For example, grilled seafood served with vegetable pairs well with malt whiskey, whereas seafood mains with high salt content, such as oysters and clams, pair well with spicy whiskey.

    Deep-fried and creamy seafood mains can be paired with strong whiskey. However, smoked salmon pairs especially well with bourbon. The spicy and fruity flavour of bourbon goes well with the smokiness of salmon. Similarly, smoked lobster also pairs well with bourbon. 

    Pairing Whiskey with Dessert

    Whiskey and food pairings cannot get more exciting than pairing whiskey with desserts. Whiskey goes incredibly well with all chocolate desserts. However, depending on the other ingredients of the chocolate dessert and the type of chocolate used, you can experiment with strong whiskey, malt whiskey, rye whiskey, and bourbon. On the other hand, fruit-based desserts pair well with light and sweet whiskies.

    Pairing Whiskey with Cheese

    A cool glass of whiskey with a warm cheesy dish can make for one of the most delectable comfort food experiences. However, cheese also comes in many flavours similar to whiskey, which may require a whole other guide for pairing whiskey and cheese. 

    But in general, most cheesy dishes such as cheesy pasta dishes and even cheesy meat and vegetables can be paired with smoky whiskeys. If the cheesy dish is non-spicy, you can also enjoy it with a spicy whiskey. 

    On the other hand, if the food isn’t overpowered by cheese, such as in cold summer salads, it pairs well with light and sweet whiskey. Sweet whiskeys also make a great option on a cheese board with fruits and nuts. Cheese Boards can also be an excellent way to enjoy new flavours of whiskey. 

    Get started 

    If you want to try different whiskey and food pairings but don’t know where to start, consider joining The Whiskey Club. The Whiskey Club is Australia’s biggest whiskey subscription club and delivers the finest whiskeys from all across the globe to subscribers. Subscribers can explore different whiskies from the comfort of their homes and can even go to whiskey tastings across Australia for a discounted price.


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