Things seem to be shutting down again as we are in the thick of the holiday season, which is a bummer. While we can’t enjoy the usual holiday parties, one thing remains true: Whiskey will always be around to warm our hearts and bellies. She’s winter’s ultimate mate, and she never disappoints, even during a pandemic. To properly enjoy your holiday fare, pair your whiskey with carefully selected foods. It’s the best way to have yourself a merry little party, even if it’s a small one.
Don’t Agonize Over Appetizers
For your appetizer course, choose your favorite light whiskey (and perhaps add a splash of soda). You will need something that isn’t going to weigh you down before dinner. Pairing a light whiskey with a traditional cheese-and-cracker plate would be both elegant and delicious. This will give you a hint of what is to come without overwhelming you. Add dried or fresh fruits and nuts to your platter to please the palate even more. Brie and goat cheese go well with smooth, light whiskey.
Make the Most of the Main Dishes
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that bourbon and pork go beautifully together. If you are serving a ham over the holidays, the smoky sugary glaze will help sweeten the bourbon on your palate. Your guests will love the salty sweetness of the ham, and the smokey spice of your favorite dark bourbon will pick up these flavors finely.
For those choosing the exquisite duck as your main dish, try a whiskey with a port barrel finish. Your bourbon already features a vanilla and brown sugar taste, which will stand up nicely to the duck’s deep, fatty flavor. An ultimate dining pleasure for the holidays, this is sure to be a meal that your guests remember.
If you prefer a more traditional fowl like turkey, with its choice of white or dark meat, try a whiskey with a conventional, well-rounded flavor. You can choose your favorite everyday whiskey or even experiment with a Japanese or Irish whiskey.
Serving beef? Pick a bold bourbon or rye that can hold its own to the prime rib or standing rib roast in your oven. Nothing says decadent quite like beef and whiskey!
Scintillating Side Dishes
Most side dishes have one thing in common: high-fat content! Whether you are serving twice baked potatoes dripping with butter and cheese, a broccoli and cheese casserole, or a bacon-topped potato gratin, your fatty foods need a full-bodied whiskey.
You can also ditch the glass by adding whiskey directly to your recipes. Our favorite? The whiskey-glazed sweet potato and pecan casserole. If sweet potatoes are not your style, a plate of bourbon-glazed carrots is another fantastic option.
If your guests are stuffed, find a sweet whiskey with a kick of rye spiciness and nix dessert altogether. If you’d like to serve a dessert with your whiskey, a double-aged whiskey will make the dessert even sweeter. Focus on the all-American apple pie paired with bourbon or any dessert that features dark chocolate (dark chocolate stands up well to the whiskey’s vanilla hints).