Top 10 ways to cook with whisky
This malty spirit can be used to great effect in both sweet and savoury dishes. Add a splash to one of our favourite whisky recipes.
The world of whisky (or whiskey, depending on your location) is vast and complex. The variations are numerous, from American-style bourbons and ryes, to peaty Scotches and Irish whiskey. Flavour profiles are infinite and also vary by personal palates. Single-malt whisky can taste stronger and more ‘roasted’ than grain whisky, which is sometimes lighter due to lesser quantities of malt.
When it comes to serving whisky, some people like to add a small amount of water or a few ice cubes, while others prefer it at room temperature in a traditional dram. It can also be used in our elegant whisky cocktails, such as a Manhattan or old fashioned, but also in sweet and savoury recipes – and it only takes a small quantity to add a real kick.
Our top 10 ways with whisky
This traditional Scottish dessert made with cream, fruit and oatmeal is one to serve at a Burns Night supper. Add whisky to taste – for traditionalists nothing other than Scotch will do. Try our easy, classic cranachan, our fruity orange cranachan for a summery twist or our showstopping raspberry cranachan trifle for a crowd.
2. Irish apple tart
Plump for an Irish single-malt whiskey to use in Richard Corrigan’s traditional Irish apple tart, that makes the ideal pudding on St Patrick’s Day. The addition of ‘savoury sugar’ adds even more of a punch. Check out our Irish recipe collection for more sweet treats and comforting dinners.
3. Roast grouse with blackcurrant sauce
Game birds can handle rich flavours and this roast grouse with blackcurrant sauce pays testament to that. The deep purple berry sauce contains whisky and also crème de cassis, for two very boozy hits. For more punch flavours and stunning dinner party dishes, take a look at our best ever game recipes.
4. Marmalade & whisky bread & butter pudding
Add a splash of whisky alongside cream, vanilla and sugar then bake with bread and Seville orange marmalade for a pudding with bite. Our marmalade & whisky bread & butter pudding is comfort in a bowl. Try experimenting with different breads – Scottish fruit loaf Selkirk Bannock, hot cross buns or brioche work well. Find even more family desserts, from cheesecakes to tarts and simple traybakes.
5. Bourbon-glazed pork belly chunks
The slightly sweet nature of bourbon whiskey means it works well in sticky glazes for meat. These crispy bourbon-glazed pork belly chunks are marinated in ketchup, soy, star anise, honey and bourbon – watch your guests snap them up in seconds.
6. Dark muscovado & whisky marmalade
The delicious pairing of oranges and whisky is celebrated in our whisky & pink peppercorn marmalade recipe. Put together this attractive kit for a special homemade gift. Spread it on toast with lots of butter at breakfast time and you’re sure to leave the house with a smile on your face. For a dose of dark treacle flavours, try our dark muscovado & whisky marmalade.
7. Whisky & nut baked camembert
Serve our deliciously gooey whisky & nut baked camembert as a sharing starter that guests can help themselves to. It's best eaten with toasted chunks of sourdough bread or soda bread.
8. Christmas cake
Like brandy, rum or sherry, whisky can be used to ‘feed’ dense fruitcakes. Add a few tablespoons every fortnight to our make & mature Christmas cake in the lead-up to the festive season – then put the rest of the bottle to good use on those cold December evenings.
9. Caramel & whisky sauce
This thick and boozy toffee sauce is delicious served warm on ice cream, with steamed sponges, soufflés, or sweet pies. It also works well poured into jars and given as a present. Upgrade your desserts with a dollop of our caramel & whisky sauce.
10. Whisky cream sauce
Whisky can be used in both sweet and savoury cream sauces. Try our savoury whisky cream sauce with haggis, steak or creamy mashed potatoes. Serve our sweet whisky cream alongside steamed pudding, such as this one with Guinness.
Discover more advice on boozy food pairings...
Do you like to use whisky in cooking? Share your ideas with us below…