Whisky has a complex flavour profile. It’s sweet, smooth and creamy. But also spiced and smoky, with hints of savoury freshness.
With so many subtle tasting notes, whisky is a delicious drink to pair with your favourite foods. Pick similar flavours or go for a contrast, pairing sweet and salty or fresh and floral.
Here we share our favourite whisky and food pairings as well as some recipes to try at home.
WHAT GOES WITH SCOTCH?
Whisky food pairing can be a fun and creative endeavour. All it takes is a little knowledge of complementary and contrasting flavours. And luckily, scotch whisky works well with so many foods, so you really have a smorgasbord of ingredients to choose from. From fruits and sweet treats to meats and cheeses, it’s easy to experiment with scotch-food pairings. However, if you’re not sure where to begin, use some of these ideas to springboard your menu.
- Chocolate: milk chocolate works well with nutty and fruity scotch such as The Glenlivet 15 Year Old Single Malt.
- Fruits: Match papaya, pineapple, and mango with The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve for a truly tropical hit.
- Seafood: Foods such as prawn, crayfish and crab pair nicely with The Glenlivet Distiller’s Reserve thanks to its subtle pear notes and smooth finish.
- Cheese: If creamy cheeses such as brie are your thing, you won’t go far wrong with The Glenlivet 21 Year Old Scotch as it’s fruity but with an intriguing spice that stands out against the mellow, creamy cheese.
- Ice cream: Vanilla, white chocolate, honeycomb and butterscotch all shine in The Glenlivet 22 Year Old Single Cask Barrel 2022, making it the perfect accompaniment to an indulgent ice cream sundae sprinkled with nuts and finished with caramel sauce.
Here’s more ideas to try at your next whisky pairing dinner party.
Whisky and food pairing recipes
If you’re craving something a little fancy, a little fun, and a little unexpected, we’ve got just the evening in mind. Become your own in-home mixologist by whipping up a few next-level whisky cocktail and recipe pairings.
Impress your friends (and let’s be honest, yourself) by serving inspired duos that let the notes in the whisky and the flavours of the food work in harmony. These combos are perfect for your next outdoor garden party, date night, or even just a low-key solo happy hour at home.
So, grab your cocktail shaker and get ready to make some great scotch whisky and food pairings.
START WITH A SNACK
Maple syrup and ham are a well-known combination. Whether that’s as cured meat that’s used in a sandwich or combined as bacon and syrup on a stack of pancakes. We’ve taken this winning flavour combo to new heights by pairing Crispy Prosciutto Toasts and a Maple-Red Wine Sour.
Perfect as a snack to start the night off right, crunchy baguette slices are brushed with olive oil (of course), topped with rich mascarpone, and finished off with crispy, crunchy baked prosciutto.
For the Maple-Red Wine Sour, The Glenlivet 12 Year Old‘s smooth taste along with wine, lemon juice, and just enough maple syrup to add a hint of sweetness, make for a tangy, unique sip that stands up to the richness of the toasts.
ADD AN APP
For an easy, but still totally fancy-seeming appetiser, rustle up some blue cheese salad bites. Pair your no-utensils-required bites with a Maraschino Cherry Manhattan. The ultra-smooth whisky in the cocktail has notes of pineapple, which cut through the tangy, creamy flavour of this appetiser, whilst the cherry flavour adds contrasting sweetness to the salt bacon.
If you want alternative drink options to pair with this dish, The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve might work well. Its honey and apricot aroma will complement the blue cheese, whilst cinnamon notes will provide a classic pairing to the fresh apple.
END WITH A (SPIKED) TREAT
Is your sweet tooth the driving force behind your food choices? If it is, then this is the combo for you. Our Salted Caramel Whisky Bread Pudding gets boozy with a big old splash of The Glenlivet 12 Year Old. For some double-whisky action, eat it alongside a sparkling apple cinnamon cocktail—its spiced effervescence is just right to balance the syrupy sweetness of the bread pudding.
Photographed by Jenny Huang. Prop styling by Beatrice Chastka. Food styling by Tyna Hoang, Recipe development by Laura Rege.