When the temperature dips to freezing and the first sign of snowflakes sprinkle from the sky I can’t help but crave a glass of whiskey and an evening in with friends. And with the holidays just around the corner it is the perfect time to entertain with my favorite tipples and some sole warming food.
One of the great aspects of a quality whiskey is that it is the perfect accompaniment to a meal. Different whiskey flavors naturally compliment certain food types and flavors, although it can be even more fun to experiment and find your own food pairings to serve up!
When throwing a whiskey fete I like to have a number of different types of whiskies to make sure everyone’s taste buds are satisfied. Below is a guide to four whiskey taste profiles and the foods I enjoy with each.
These whiskies tend to have a slightly bitter undertone. I enjoy pairing them with less sweet foods like crumbly blue cheese or bite size Swedish meatballs. For a sweet fix serve a smoky Lagavulin 16YO neat alongside broken bits of dark chocolate (if you happen to be in New York City try out Jacques Torres Big Daddy Bar).
The undertones of a floral whiskey are delicate yet often complex. They pair well with lighter food options such as smoked salmon or goat’s cheese spread. As a sweet option a whiskey like Glenfiddich 12YO tastes great next to a homemade apple crisp!
Sweeter whiskies often offer undertones of vanilla and honey and pair well with bold, rich or sweet foods. Try a seasoned flank steak or soft creamy baked Brie. Adding a sweet bourbon like Makers Mark to old fashioned vanilla ice cream is the perfect end to a meal!
Oaky whiskies are naturally creamy and a touch sweet. They pair wonderfully with roasted meats and caramelized roasted vegetables. To intensify your dessert, pair The Balvenie PortWood 21YO with a tangy key lime pie.