While it’s common to pair a glass of wine with dinner, it’s not the only alcoholic drink that you can serve with a meal. Whether you’re snacking on cheese or nuts, or you’re having a full five course meal, you can enjoy food with alcohol. Whisky is no exception to this. This beloved liquor also works well when paired with certain dishes. Just as it is with wine pairings, there is a skill to marrying the right flavors together. Understanding these flavors is the key to making a good pairing. If whisky is your poison, learn how to match your favorite drink with dinner! It might just pair well with your favorite food.
The basic tips
Matching whisky with food is not much different than matching wine with food. If you haven’t read up on it, here’s all you need to know about food and wine pairings. The same theories apply here as well.
Consider the food
It always helps to first consider what you’re serving. For example, if you’re having a predominantly fatty dish, you can serve it with a more intense whisky with slightly higher alcohol content. The fat that lines your mouth will soften the blow of the whisky’s booziness.
It’s also common to pair whisky with fruits. However, be wary of citrus! Whether fresh or dried, the acidity in citrus fruits won’t pair well with the sweetness of whisky.
Consider the occasion
Aside from consumption, you should also consider the occasion. Is it a casual sit-down dinner? A house party? Or a formal five-course affair? This will help in choosing the right whisky.
If you’re having more than one course during the meal, you may want to pair the whisky with the heaviest course. This is because the drink may not match the flavors of all the dishes being served.
Consider the spirit
Pay attention to the flavors of the whisky itself. Stronger whiskies will pair better with more intense-tasting food. Full-bodied whiskies will go well with meat, coffee, and chocolate-based desserts. Meanwhile, lighter whisky can be served with lighter meats and less intense flavors. As you can see, it helps to pair in congruence when it comes to whisky.
Pairing suggestions based on types of whisky
Pairing food with whisky also greatly depends on the type of whisky you have. Here are some sets of whisky and dinner you can try out for yourself.
Full of flavors of vanilla, caramel, and hints of spice and baked fruits, grain whisky goes bell with desserts. The sweetness of the liquor will complement flavors in desserts the likes of apple crumble and crème brûlée.
Grain whisky available at Red & White:
Single malt whisky
This type of whisky contains fruity flavors. Pineapple, raisins, mango, figs, and citrus are all present in the taste. It’s light and easy on the palate, so go for food that is either the same lightness to complement, or slightly richer to contrast.
A complementary single malt whisky and food pairing would be roasted nuts, focaccia bread, or ginger biscuits.
Meanwhile, pair in contrast with a cheeseboard. Pick richer cheeses like a creamy camembert, or strong cheeses like a sharp mature cheddar.
Single malt whisky available at Red & White:
- Teeling Single Malt Whiskey
- Bushmills 10 Years Single Malt Whiskey
- Aberfeldy 16 Years Single Malt Whisky
Blended whisky has a punch of spices, with light sweetness in the background. What pairs well with blended whiskies? Its intensity pairs well with creamy sauces. Try serving this liquor with a creamy chicken dish, or an alfredo pasta.
You can also pair blended whisky with richer food items such as quiche, vanilla cake, or dark chocolate.
Blended whisky available at Red & White:
- Sterling Reserve B10 Premium Blended Whisky
- Mr Dowell’s No. 1 Blended Whisky
- Nikka 12 Years Blended Whisky
Its smooth texture and the sweetness of maple, vanilla, honey, caramel, and butterscotch, makes bourbon the perfect pair for something savory. Try serving this type of whisky with chips, scotch eggs, or salmon.
If you want to complement the whisky’s sweetness with something equally as sweet, try a shot with chocolate ice cream, lemon cake, or apple pie.
Bourbon available in Red & White: