Whiskey is a great spirit all on it’s own but with the right food it really comes alive.
Pairing whiskey with food might be intimidating for novices who would be tempted to just pour a drink after a meal and not include it in your menu.
March 27 is International Whiskey Day so there’s no better time to get the most out of your whiskey cocktail or whisky sour.
With it’s roots firmly in Irish shores, bringing it home to South Africa is actually easier than it sounds.
Whiskey can be paired with anything from a lekker sweet milk tart to the homegrown nuts South Africa produces.
The combination of vanilla and spice flavours in Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, brings out the best in milk tarts, sweet chili cashew nuts and smoked salmon with a dollop of cream cheese.
If you want the spirit to shine during your main meal then consider pairing it with parma ham, smoked or cured meats or even a slow roasted and shredded duck.
For more Asian or Cape Malay inspired dishes, pair your whisky with steamed prawns or a spicy Asian curry.
Three Ships 5-Year-Old is made for blue cheese. It’s an incredible pairing, whether you enjoy it as a wedge of cheese or as a Roquefort sauce with your steak, it’s a powerful match.
Try also the whisky with chicken liver paté, smoked chicken or wild mushroom risotto.
Scotch whisky ambassador, Pierre Meintjies says some spices work beautifully with Black Bottle whisky.
“With Black Bottle spicy dominates, but nutmeg, pepper, ginger and sweet fruit are also present.”
“With the above in mind, a mild sweet curry and South African dishes like bobotie work beautifully with this whisky.
“A pasta dish with olives and anchovies or even a blue cheese sauce would also be great, so would smoky ribs and pulled pork.”
For the fish eaters, Meintjies suggests kingklip with broccoli and chilli and vegetarians can enjoy their pairing with spinach baked with ricotta and nutmeg.
“Scotch whiskies pair wonderfully with dark chocolate.
“Put a bottle of Black Bottle into the deep freezer for at least a week before serving it ice cold with Lindt dark chocolate,” Meintjies adds.
Jack Daniel’s chicken skewers
85g boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into skewer size chunks)
120ml Jack Daniells Old No. 7
350ml Maple syrup
50ml vegetable oil
30g dried thyme
Rub the thyme over all sides of the chicken. Whisk together the Jack Daniels, syrup and oil to make a marinade. Pour over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for several hours.
Skewer the chicken pieces and braai over a medium heat, basting frequently with the marinade to give them a shiny, brown glaze. The glaze will burn easily so keep a watchful eye over them.
Jack and cola steak
2 ribeye steaks (about 4cm thick)
60ml Jack Daniel's Old No.7
The night before your braai, combine the Jack and cola in an oven safe dish. Lay the steaks in the dish then cover and refrigerate, flipping them occasionally while marinating.
The next day, make sure your braai is nice and hot. If you can lay your hands on them, we’d suggest you add some BBQr’s delight Jack Daniels flavoured wood pallets
Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry, season liberally with salt and pepper and cook as desired. Leave to rest for two to three minutes before serving.