How to Pair Food and Whiskey in the Summer

Whiskey makes an ideal accompaniment for many foods. From warm charcuterie platters to decadent desserts, whiskey offers endless opportunities for discovery!

Finding a harmonious combination between whisky and food pairing requires finding harmony among their different flavors – this can be challenging but always proves an enjoyable experiment!


Wine and beer have long dominated pairing discussions when it comes to cheese, but whiskey offers another excellent way of creating perfect combinations with cheese. From delicate Speyside to spicy Rye or unabashedly peaty Islay whiskies – each offers subtleties to enhance any variety of cheese.

As a general guideline, lighter cheeses should be consumed first while more robust varieties should be saved for last (for instance starting with brie, goat cheese and blue). This allows your guests to experience each cheese’s full range of flavors.

Grilled or smoked cheeses make a fantastic pairing with whiskies for the more adventurous eater, showcasing their distinct smokiness while the complex savory notes can reveal flavors like bacon or cinnamon in some bottles.

Darlington suggests that whiskey goes well with unexpected foods like chicken wings or pasta, for instance. Chicken especially stands out, since its texture helps balance out the richness of whisky’s creamy profile; and honey glaze adds an unexpected sweet touch that enhances and complements bourbon’s smokiness.

Murphy recommends serving Scotch alongside anything that’s fatty and salty; his favorite pairing is pairing Macallan with some delicious pork chops, while shortbread cookies typically made from Scotch can benefit from having a bit of vanilla added in for flavoring purposes.


Whisky may get more attention than it deserves when it comes to food and beverage pairing, but its unique flavour notes make it just as flexible when combined with other alcoholic beverages or used in cocktails.

One can pair multiple types of fruit with whisky, including dried fruits like dates, prunes and apricots that provide sweet balance to spice-heavy whiskies, adding a pleasing sweet note to their pairing. Tangy fruits such as oranges, pears and apples also work very well – their sweetness helps balance alcohol consumption in cocktails or whiskies, and can reveal hidden flavours otherwise hidden by its nose.

Dried nuts pair perfectly with whisky, particularly those with nuttier profiles, making for an irresistibly delicious pairing experience. A bowl of mixed nuts at a bar often appears alongside Scotch, Bourbon or Japanese whiskies; its pistachios pair well with peaty Scotch whiskies while walnuts and hazelnuts pair better with heavier whiskey varieties like Rye or Bourbon.

Desserts make an ideal match with whisky, with most desserts pairing perfectly with different spirits. A classic example is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches paired with spicy malt whiskey or rye whiskies; other desserts which pair nicely include banana bread, pound cake and even chocolate!


There’s an array of snacking options that pair well with whiskey, from cheese to something different like grilled vegetable sandwiches or adding dried fruits for additional flavor and chewiness – such as dates.

One thing to keep in mind when pairing food and whiskey is to avoid foods with strong flavors that can overwhelm the whiskey and compete for your taste buds’ attention. Instead, focus on pairing items that offer complementary or contrasting tastes; for instance a sweet bourbon could pair nicely with an indulgent chocolate dessert.

Whiskey milkshakes offer an enjoyable way to experience whiskey combined with ice cream and chocolate in an unique, enjoyable manner. Ideal for warm summer evenings, dark, high-quality whisky is recommended to get the maximum experience out of this pairing.

Add a dash of texture with nuts as an easy whiskey pairing! Peanuts and pistachios pair nicely with heavier peaty whiskeys while sweeter varieties such as Marcona almonds go perfectly with lighter versions. Try serving these nuts on rye bread to enhance their unique nutty flavors!


Combine the aroma of delicious bacon with a smooth seaside whisky for an irresistibly delectable experience! The whisky’s smoke helps cut through its fattiness while its salty flavors complement it perfectly.

Making summer cocktails using whisky is another fun way to enjoy it with food. A frozen whiskey sour combining bourbon, ginger ale and Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery maple-flavored whisky makes an excellent summer beverage, and garnishing it with strips of bacon is easy as well!

One surprising pairing between whiskey and food is ramen. Although its deep flavors of noodle broth and pork fat may be difficult to overcome, a smooth corn bourbon like Basil Hayden’s brings an inherently vanilla profile which balances them out nicely.

Lee takes a more whimsical approach when pairing whisky. “Whiskey is an ideal accompaniment for contemporary American food,” says Lee, noting its versatility as an accompaniment for anything with either smoky or spice-y notes; even cheeseburgers can pair nicely. Anything too spicy would likely overwhelm its flavors while amplifying alcohol’s flavour – not ideal when drinking whisky!


Chocolate is one of the most versatile food and whisky pairing options available, as its many different flavours and textures allow for pairings that complement many whiskey varieties.

Milk and white chocolate pair well with mild, smooth whiskeys while dark chocolate goes great with bolder, spicy whiskies. When choosing chocolate varieties to pair with whiskies, also take into consideration their overall flavour profile – for instance fruity or floral whiskies can pair nicely with chocolates that exhibit these same traits so as not to compete for attention between themselves.

Whisky pairs wonderfully with dessert, but it can also make for an incredible dining experience when served alongside charcuterie boards or other appetizers. When served alongside such food items, whisky’s exquisite flavor enhances their unique attributes to create an incredible culinary journey for guests!

This summer, explore new ways of enjoying your favorite spirits by pairing them with delicious chocolate! It is an enjoyable and tasty way to discover and compare various whiskies and chocolates and find something perfect. Make it more enjoyable by inviting friends over and setting out small pours of whiskies and whisky cocktails in tasting glasses so everyone can sample.


Desserts that contain high fat contents – such as creme brulee, bread pudding or even ice cream – typically pair well with almost any whisky. The key is finding one with a flavor profile similar to your dessert – for instance a Highland or Speyside Scotch could pair nicely with sticky toffee desserts while smooth Canadian whiskies work particularly well when serving maple-infused treats.

Cheese and whiskey make for a satisfying combination, and Ireland is known for their farmhouse cheese movement, which pairs wonderfully with many whiskies. Lighter-bodied whiskies work particularly well when pairing lighter cheeses while full-bodied varieties pair better with heartier varieties.

Foods that feature strong salty or umami flavors, like mussels, are ideal accompaniments for whiskey. The saltiness in the dish is balanced out by its smokier character while providing additional depth of flavor in your meal.

Bleifer recommends adding raisins, dates, dried cranberries and figs for their depth of flavor and pleasant chew. They pair perfectly with sherry notes found in many single malt scotches as well as mature Irish whiskeys aged with sherry. He also suggests including nuts such as walnuts and almonds to give texture to the plate.