GUEST POST by Jessica Smith, November 2019 – The idea of pairing food and whiskey is gaining immense popularity. Earlier consuming whiskey with food was weird, and consumption of whiskey took place on its own. With time, the gastronomers have started pairing food with this alcoholic beverage. There are many types of whiskey for you to choose from, like Irish, scotch, bourbon, rye, and single malt. You can create an exciting pairing of aromatic whiskey flavor with a sweet or savory dish that compliments. The standard rule of pairing food with whiskey is to keep in mind that you must match a light whiskey with spicy food, medium with meals high in protein, and full-body whiskeys with dishes with high-fat content. Here are five ways to make a good whiskey and food combination for a day trip.
While day-tripping between the stunning parks and charming towns, it might remind you of the flavor of aged cheese melting in your mouth and pairing it with wine. Just like wine and cheese, whiskey and cheese are the new trends. Just like cheese, whiskey too tastes better with age. Pair an aged cheddar cheese or a strong blue cheese with spicy scotch whiskey like Laphroaig. If you are a lover of soft, sweeter whiskeys, then pair it with goat cheese or brie. It is a satisfying feeling when both these flavors come together. Remember not to order more than three types of whiskey and cheese.
Mostly everyone loves chocolate, but dark chocolate is not a favorite among all. Apart from its health benefits, instant energy, and antioxidant properties, dark chocolate also makes a good pairing with whiskey. Instead of the sweet chocolate opt for the dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa. Scotch pairs well with orange-flavored dark chocolate as the citrus flavor of scotch intensifies the orange flavor of chocolate. You can take strong whiskeys with plain dark chocolate and milk chocolates. Best chocolates that complement rye whiskeys are chili or ginger flavored chocolate. Single malt scotch whiskey goes well with salted hazelnut chocolate. To enjoy this food pairing, first, take a few sips of the whiskey and get comfortable. Then, take a bite of the chocolate, move it around in the mouth and allow it to melt to enjoy the blend of chocolate and whiskey.
We all carry fruits and dry fruits while on the road. They are good snack options that are not messy, either. While pairing whiskey with fruits, make sure that you don’t take it with citrus fruits as it can take away all the whiskey flavor. Instead, pair whiskey with tangy fruits like a pear or an apple. When it comes to having dry fruits with whiskey, you can never go wrong. They are the perfect snack that goes well with any drink. While sipping on whiskey, munch on some salted peanuts, honey-roasted cashews, or some almonds. Remember not to overpower the flavor of nuts by adding too much sugar or salt as it can mask the taste of the whiskey. Go for sweeter nuts if you are into strong peaty whiskeys, but if you are into sweet whiskeys, they pair well with bitter nuts like bitter red berries. Chips are also a delightful and favorite choice of snacking. Carry a container full of a mix of chips like honey-roasted sesame chips, rye chips, rice crackers, mustard-seasoned twisted pretzels, and pretzel sticks. These are an excellent pairing of whiskey.
A day trip lunch would be incomplete without some savory steaks. When pairing whiskey with steak, the steak should not be heavily spicy that overwhelms the taste buds. A simple steak marinated and cooked in onion, curry powder, garlic powder, and little bit brown sugar can never go wrong to pair with whiskey. Grilled steaks taste divine with classic picks like rye and bourbon. Whiskey, like Michter’s bourbon, brings out the flavors of a lean cut steak. Enjoy a fatty steak along with some veggies and a whiskey, like Lock Stock and Barrel Rye, that will support the caramelized fat. Next time when you host a party at your place, serve three kinds of steak so that everyone can make their combinations.
The Irish love to take their whiskeys with smoked salmon. If you are trying this combination for the first time, then start with a lighter, fragrant whiskey like a grain whiskey. The oak flavored salmon pairs well with Auchentoshan American Oak whiskey, which has a slight vanilla flavor and gives a mild spiciness to it. The whiskey with high rye content also complements the smoked salmon, which intensifies the smoky flavor. Marine, peaty whiskeys though they overwhelm the taste of smoked salmon, they do complement a firm and flavourful fish. If you are a lover for seafood, then pair it with a glass of Louis xiii cognac. Tasting the cognac is a sensational experience, especially with a mild pairing like lobster.
The above are the five food and whiskey combination that is a must-try. Make sure while serving whiskey and food, they both should not dominate each other flavor but compliment and elevate the experience. Remember to match the characteristics of whiskey and dish, which brings out harmony and balance. This way, the subtle elements of both the whiskey and dish get highlighted. While hosting a party, never have wine and whiskey together, as the characteristics of wine will spoil the flavor of the whiskey. Everyone’s taste bud behaves differently. So, take your time and experiment with different foods and whiskeys to know which is your favorite.