Did you know that the word “whiskey” comes from the Celtic word, “usquebaugh?” And that “usquebaugh” is an adaptation of the Latin phrase, “aqua vitae” which means the “water of life?” What we’re trying to say is that whiskey is, in fact, the water of life!
But what is life without a little food, too?
Unlike water, whiskey doesn’t go well with everything. But it does go really well with some things!
Read on to find out what to eat with whiskey and get the most out of life!
What to Eat With Whiskey: Snacks
Is whiskey part of your happy hour? Are you having a little get-together and want to provide your guests with fun whiskey pairings but don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen?
Here are a few snacks that go well with whiskey!
Some of us live in a world where cheese goes well with everything. It’s a great world to live in.
Like whiskey, there is a huge variety of cheeses to choose from. Some are sharp, some are mild, some are stinky–and certain kinds of cheese go better with certain kinds of whiskey!
Do you prefer a smokier whiskey? Try pairing it with a sharp, aged cheddar. A good rule of thumb is that the longer a cheddar has been aged, the sharper it will be.
A lighter and sweeter whiskey will pair nicely with a soft, stinky cheese like brie. If you’re feeling fancy, include an apple or pear spread to accompany your soft cheese. Fruity flavors can go nicely with most whiskeys, as long as they aren’t too heavy on the citrus.
2. Nuts and Snack Mixes
Picture the bowl of salty, crunchy stuff sitting on your favorite dive’s bartop. The one no one wants to touch because of, well, germs. Now, upgrade what’s in that bowl and you’ll have a great whiskey pairing!
Look for snack mixes that include pretzels, sesame sticks, rye chips, and peanuts. Flavors like honey mustard and Worcestershire can spice your snack mix up!
Some mixes come with a variety of nuts, but if you’re making your own it’s worth thinking about the best nut pairings with different whiskeys.
Sweet nuts like pecans, pistachios, and Marcona almonds go well with peaty, strong whiskeys. A sweeter whiskey will pair better with a less sweet nut, like Brazil nuts or walnuts. If you’re looking for a companion for smokier whiskeys, try heavily roasted nuts.
When it comes to snack mixes, you can get fancy and come up with your own concoction, or go with one of many store-bought mixes on the market!
What to Eat With Whiskey: Entrees
Okay, so maybe you’re less interested in the snacks. You’re an adult and you want a full meal! We’ve got you covered.
Let’s talk a bit about what to eat with whiskey when you’re serving up entrees.
3. Light Whiskey and Sushi
Lighter whiskeys tend to have hints of sweetness and tang that pair nicely with spicy flavors and seafood.
We all know that sweet and spicy are the best of friends! If you want to bring those flavors together perfectly, try making a spicy sauce to accompany your sushi. Mixing mayonnaise with Sriracha and sesame oil is an easy way to add a dip with a kick to your sushi layout!
Seafood can be enhanced by the tang of a light whiskey, especially if you are using raw fish. Not sure you live in a great place to find high-quality seafood? Well, you’ve been looking for an excuse to go on that beach vacation, right?
Sushi is also a great option if you’re having vegetarian guests for dinner. They may not have quite the same experience as you without the raw fish, but they can still enjoy the spice and even the brininess of the seaweed wraps!
4. Medium-Bodied Whiskeys and Gamey Proteins
Pair a medium-bodied whiskey with gamey proteins like smoked venison or duck. To kick it up a notch, serve some roasted root vegetables on the side.
When you’re thinking about what goes well with whiskey, think about foods that won’t get overpowered by your whiskey–and whiskey that won’t get overpowered by your food.
Gamey meats tend to have a nice, smoky flavor that dances well with the smokiness of a medium-bodied whiskey. The savoriness of a rich meat can also help balance any fruity undertones in a medium-bodied whiskey.
A side of root vegetables can add the earthiness to create a full flavor profile. Plus, it makes for a healthier meal! Whiskey drinkers are nothing if not well-balanced, right?
(This one won’t work as well for your vegetarian guests, although you can make them some tender, juicy portabello mushrooms that will also go nicely with a medium-bodied whiskey!)
What to Eat With Whiskey: Dessert
A full-bodied whiskey is a whiskey with tons and tons of flavor. More time in the barrel results in more flavor from the wood, which can result in nutty or earthy flavors. Full-bodied whiskeys tend to pair marvelously with chocolate, making them the perfect contender for dessert.
You knew that chocolate paired well with red wine, but did you know it pairs well with a full-bodied whiskey? That’s right, and the darker the chocolate, the better the pairing!
Chocolate cake, brownies, ice cream–all of it will go nicely with full-bodied whiskey. However, keeping it simple with a good old fashioned dark chocolate bar can really hit the spot.
Even if you weren’t basing your entire meal off of what goes well with whiskey, there’s no better way to end your dinner than a neat glass of whiskey and a few pieces of chocolate!
Nothing’s Better Than Food With Whiskey
Is your mouth watering by now? Ours certainly is! Now that you know what to eat with whiskey, it’s time to start eating and drinking!
Don’t feel like cooking tonight, but still craving a good pairing? Our whole menu is stacked with creative and well-executed pairings!
And don’t just eat and drink with us. Let us take you behind the scenes so you can learn even more about how the water of life is made!