Guide to Pairing Whiskey and Food

Your habits might change after you take a look at our whiskey and food pairings.

Have you ever pair whiskey with food? By the looking of things, many of us think that whiskey should drink alone. But some taboos are meant to be broken. As wine, whiskey can pair with many foods, but its distillation method and chemistry make it little bit harder.

There are two principal criteria for a perfect pairing: complementary and contrasting flavors. The main concept behind matching food and drink should be harmony.

So, here are some of the foods which are pair well with different types of whiskey.

Chocolate: Chocolate and whiskey go together well. Surprisingly, the two matching perfectly. However, chocolate should be selected according to strength of the whiskey. For instance, a quality dark chocolate goes together well with strong whiskey and milk chocolate pairs well with rye whiskeys. Fruit flavored chocolates are good choice to experiment with whiskeys such as light peat or sherry cask. Of course, the perfect matching can be found by experiment.

Cheese: When it comes to cheese, everyone thinks the historical pairing, cheese and wine. However, your favorite whiskey can be matched with cheese, unsurprisingly. Firstly up, choose the whiskey, prepare different types of cheese, and then decide which pairing works best. Sharp and salty Cheddar pairs well with a smoky whiskey or a wheated bourbon; Roquefort blends well with rye whiskeys.

Dried Fruits & Nuts: Nuts and dried fruits are quintessential foods for whiskey, the most important thing is to know the aroma of the dried fruit or nut served with whiskey. Sweet berries go well with strong peat whiskeys, and bitter berries pair well with sweet whiskeys. Roasted hazelnuts can be matched with smoked whiskeys.

Grilled Steak: The matching of whiskey with grilled red steak is perfect. However, the fat content of the steak should be considered. For instance, a leaner steak pairs well with bourbon, while a heavily steak goes well with stronger whiskeys. Besides, high-fat food like meatballs go together well with strong whiskeys.

Sea Foods: Perhaps surprisingly, fish and shellfish go well with certain whiskeys. It all comes down to that sharp hit of salinity and the cleanliness of flavors in the food. Smoked salmon or sushi can be paired with light and fruity whiskeys, especially rye whiskey. Shellfish goes together well with Scotch.

Desserts: Traditionally apple desserts go well with whiskey. Especially apple pie rich flavors with cinnamon and caramel pairs perfectly with Bourbon. Desserts with vanilla and caramel flavors such as cheesecake and ‘crème brûlée’ go together well with an aged whiskey or corn whiskey.