Top 5 foods to pair with whisky
Share this article:
The goal of a food and drink pairing is simple: Make both taste better when consumed together.
While red wine and steak are probably the most well-known food and liquor pairing, there are plenty of other combinations that taste just as good.
Wine is the go-to drink for most diners, but whisky can also enhance a meal's flavour profile. Instead of filling a wine glass to go with your next meal, maybe you should consider ye, bourbon, or scotch.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best whisky to go with your next meal.
A well-marbled ribeye steak goes well with a rich peated scotch to cut through the fat. Go for something that’s a combination of rich malt and deep, smoky notes. Scotch is your best bet, as its smoky notes mimic the flavour of a grill. Just remember to enjoy your whisky neat or on the rocks, because complex cocktails might overpower the meat.
Whisky and cheese often have similar flavours, so you can either combine similar ones or relish in the contrast. Spicy, malty toned whisky goes well with hard blue cheese. You can also combine salty cheddar with an aged scotch that has notes of honey, vanilla, or both. Soft, creamy cow cheese works best with light, smooth, and fragrant whiskys like Jameson.
If you are going to dig into a leaner steak, such as fillet or sirloin, your best option is a bourbon that complements the meat’s savoury taste and lower fat content. Bourbon is known to provide a sweet counterpoint to deeply savoury meat, and the lower fat content of a fillet lets you appreciate the nuance in a more subtle dram.
Seafood goes well with salty and spicy fruit whiskies. You could pair smoked salmon or sushi with an unpeated and lightly malted drink, whereas medium-bodied whiskies go well with fish such as mackerel. If you’re really adventurous, you could pour a few drops of fine whisky onto sweet, buttery oysters instead of a squeeze of lemon. Light and fragrant whiskies are the perfect match for a range of seafood like sushi, crab, or mussels.
Scotch and chocolate have always been a popular combination in Scotland. One whiskey that goes well with all types of chocolates is Bourbon. The bold, full-bodied whisky significantly enhances the flavour of dark chocolate. A bar of orange-flavoured chocolate tastes great when you sip scotch with hints of citrus in it. Sip the whisky first, letting its taste linger on your tongue for a while before you have a piece of chocolate that could arrest your taste buds. If you’re not too keen on plain dark chocolate, dark chocolate pudding works just as well.
The important thing to remember is that the pleasure is in the hunt. The next time you head to your favourite steakhouse, give as much consideration to what’s in your glass as you do to what’s on your plate.