Tips for Pairing Whisky with Food

Most experts will advise you to drink whisky straight. This is the most appropriate way to enjoy whisky with a lightly sweet and smoky flavor. However, there are foods that can be used with whiskey to complement its flavor. So, what foods go with whiskey?

Smoked Salmon

When pairing salmon with high purity spirits, you must find the perfect balance. Smoked salmon has a creamy, delicate, smoky flavor similar to that of a strong whiskey product. It makes mixing smoked fish with a whisky with a strong peaty taste an unpleasant experience.


Sushi combines the flavors of seaweed, soy sauce, vinegared rice, ginger and wasabi, making it a great pairing for complex drinks like whiskey. Japanese whiskey is a top choice to pair with sushi because it brings out its background and subtle flavors.

Apple Crumble or Apple Pie

Apple pie is a comforting dessert to pair with rye whiskey. But the caramel sweetness of bourbon and the light licorice flavor of Tennessee whiskey bring out the rich cinnamon, vanilla, spice and caramel filling of apple pie. If apple pie is a bit too much for your taste buds, then you can substitute chopped apples.

Dried Fruits and Nuts

The low moisture content in dried fruits can result in a more complex flavor than fresh fruit. Dried figs and dates complement the licorice, cinnamon and five-spice caramel flavors of most American whiskeys. Some dried fruits give the whiskey bright candied orange or pineapple tones and strong floral notes.


There are several ways to combine and pair whiskey and dessert with sweets. The natural caramel flavor of high rye bourbon is a great combination for pumpkin pie. It is a creamy and sweet dessert that contains fewer calories than any other pie.

Dark Chocolate

Try pairing whiskey with plain dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. It further enhances the bitter dark chocolate flavor of the strong whiskey. Dark orange chocolate is also a good choice, as the orange flavor complements the citrus flavor of the scotch.


Whisky and cheese go well together because the fat in the cheese obscures your taste buds when you drink whisky . Whiskey and cheese are a classic pairing, offering different flavor combinations.

Grilled Steak

An outdoor dinner with a grilled steak and a bottle of whiskey seems like the perfect way to spend a weekend. You can make medium-bodied full-bodied whiskies because their rich, caramelized flavors pair well with leaner steaks.


Meatloaf is a great choice to pair with party whiskeys because it contains rich flavors along with other fatty dishes. The fat in these foods protects the palate and softens the heat and spiciness when served with higher alcoholic beverages such as rye whiskey and single malt whiskey.


The rule of thumb for whisky and food pairing is to find the right taste for you to better enjoy your whisky drinking experience. The best food pairings should complement the spirit rather than overwhelm its delicate and complex flavor profile. The whisky making process is complex and different countries have their own approach to whisky and food pairing due to the various factors involved, from the country of origin to the type of casks and malts used.