Guide To Perfectly Pairing Whiskey And Food

Did it ever cross your mind you could pair whisky with food? It’s not something people typically do like they do with wine, and it may even sound strange at first. However, whisky pairings are a thing, and if you’ve never done it, this is your sign to try it. You have to choose a drink from the best whiskey selection and grab a bite with it, simple as that.

Many will say it’s blasphemy to do a whisky food pairing, but we disagree. We can settle that it’s something new for us in the US, while people in Europe and Asia have been doing it for ages. 

Before trying whisky pairings, you need to know a few things. Prepare yourself to enter a new universe that you’ll absolutely love – the whisky food pairing universe – where you’ll learn what to eat with whiskey. 

Food Pairing with Whisky – The Basic Rules

A common misconception is that you need a lot of experience and knowledge about food and spirits to do simple pairings. But that’s not the case. Yes, professionals and food and drink connoisseurs have dedicated their lives to learning, exploring, and finding a perfect match between foods and alcoholic beverages. And if that’s not your path, you can still enjoy food pairing with whisky if you take some time to learn the basics. 

Know Your Whisky

The one thing you need to understand before you know what to eat with whiskey is what kind of beverage you are currently dealing with. It’s the same as when you pair food with wine; you want to achieve the perfect balance between notes and taste. And you can do that by deciphering the notes and the whisky flavor. 

This can be done easily by tasting the drink and asking yourself what notes and flavors you can recognize. Another way of profiling is by the style of the drink or by the barrel.

An exceptional way to do food pairing with whisky is to use your common sense. Okay, we know it may sound too obvious, but hear us out. Think logically about what flavors go well together, and apply that reasoning when pairing whisky with food. Whiskeys with a subtle sweetness and a hint of vanilla will go ideally with foods of similar tastes, like desserts. On the other hand, whiskeys that are more decadent, powerful, and acidic will go better with dishes that bring matching flavors to the table.

Strive for Balance

Like with anything else, you should strive for balance when doing whisky pairings with food. By that, we mean that you should try and combine flavors that complement each other and won’t overpower one another. The ultimate goal is to make a pairing that will enhance the taste of the whisky and food you are eating. 

It’s always good to have a slight contrast between the flavors you combine so that you can enjoy both the drink and the dish. 

What to Eat With Whiskey

It is okay if you are still confused, think you are not ready, or don’t know how to properly do a food pairing with whisky. We will share foods you can eat while sipping good quality whiskies, so prepare to take notes. 

As mentioned, you don’t want to eat or drink anything that will dominate your experience. You are striving for balance and a whisky food pairing that will satisfy your taste buds. 

That said, you should remember that light whiskies combine perfectly with seafood, salmon, and oysters, while drinks with robust bodies are best combined with meaty and fatty dishes. And for the medium-bodied whiskies, you can never go wrong with a good quality steak with medium fat content. You want to be sure that you are using premium quality meat and know how to prepare it properly. 

Charcuterie boards are a perfect solution if you are doing a whisky food pairing for the first time. You can’t make a mistake if you know exactly what to put on them. 

If you’re into throwing a party, thinking of a charcuterie board, and bored with wine, whisky is the answer. 


Of course, the first thing we will suggest to put on your charcuterie board is cheese. It’s a versatile food item that comes in many variations and can be combined with many alcoholic beverages and spirits. Don’t be fooled and think cheese should only be paired with wine. 

Think of cheese and whisky as two best friends, and pack your board with these delicious dairy products. Depending on the type of whisky, you will want to go with Brie or Camembert for the whisky with a lighter flavor or aged cheddar for the ones with a more robust and smoky flavor. 

If you have a favorite type of cheese, you can try and pair it with a drink of your choice and see where it leads you. Don’t be afraid and embrace your adventurous side because you can never go wrong with cheese. 

Dried Fruits and Nuts

You can always see dried fruits and nuts on charcuterie boards, and there’s a reason for it. These things are great for snacking; they are tasty and filling and go well with many alcoholic drinks. 

Regarding whisky pairings, follow this general rule: combine sweet with bitter. If your nuts are on the bitter side, pair them with sweeter whisky, and vice versa. 

A heavy whisky can be combined with dried fruits. Also, roasted nuts go nicely with smoky bourbon notes.

Dark Chocolate

Who doesn’t like chocolate? It’s a no-brainer, especially when it’s dark and high-quality. When it comes to chocolate and adding it to your charcuterie board, please stay away from milk chocolates high in sugar and other additives. Always opt for chocolate that’s made out of quality ingredients and not high in sugar. You should also stay away from the ones that have artificial and alternative sweeteners in them, as they can interfere with the taste of the drink and ruin your overall experience. 

If you are not a big fan of plain dark chocolate, try the flavored ones. Great options are orange or chili-flavored. 

Visit the Best Place for Whisky and Food

Now you can confidently organize a party and serve people your favorite spirit alongside food that perfectly balances out all the flavors. Or you can enjoy yourself at the end of a hard workday by sipping your preferred bourbon and nibbling on a piece of cheese you picked. You must agree that there’s nothing better than unwinding after a hard day at work. And if you don’t want to relax alone at home, we know where you can go.  

Stubborn Seed restaurant is a proud bearer of a Michelin Star and can offer you an impeccable fine dining experience. There’s no better place to get a flawless pairing of the best-quality spirits and cocktails with delicious food. If you are intrigued and would like to experience this by yourself, don’t hesitate and call us today to book your reservation.