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 cocktails such as 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.



Irish apple tartIrish apple tart

Plump for an Irish single-malt whiskey to use in Richard Corrigan’s traditional pie that makes the ideal pudding on St Patrick’s Day. The addition of ‘savoury sugar’ adds even more of a punch.

Irish apple tart


Grouse with blackcurrant sauceRoast grouse with blackcurrant sauce

Game birds can handle rich flavours and this grouse recipe pays testament to that. The deep purple berry sauce contains whisky and also crème de cassis, for two very boozy hits.

Roast grouse with blackcurrant & beetroot sauce


Bread and butter puddingMarmalade & 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. Try experimenting with different breads – Scottish fruit loaf Selkirk Bannock, hot cross buns or brioche work well.

Marmalade & whisky bread & butter pudding

Pork belly chunksBourbon-glazed pork belly chunks

The slightly sweet nature of bourbon whiskey means it works well in sticky glazes for meat. These crispy pork belly chunks are marinated in ketchup, soy, star anise, honey and bourbon- watch your guests snap them up in seconds.

Bourbon-glazed pork belly chunks

Muscovado and whisky marmaladeDark muscovado & whisky marmalade

The delicious pairing of oranges and whisky is celebrated in this marmalade recipe. Try to get your hands on Seville oranges and use any kind of whisky. 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.

Dark muscovado & whisky marmalade

Sticky ribsGlazed ribs

We have two pork ribs recipes that use bourbon whiskey, one that also uses teriyaki and soy sauce, and the other orange juice and marmalade. Serve either version with a fresh and crunchy coleslaw, fries and a cold beer.

Sticky glazed ribs
Oven-roasted aromatic ribs with a bourbon & orange glaze

Make and matureChristmas cake

Like brandy, rum or sherry, whisky can be used to ‘feed’ dense fruitcakes. Add a few tablespoons every fortnight in the lead-up to the festive season – then put the rest of the bottle to good use on those cold December evenings.

Make & mature Christmas cake


Caramel sauceCaramel & 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.

Caramel & whisky sauce


Whisky creamWhisky cream

Whisky can be used in both sweet and savoury cream sauces. Try it with sugar served alongside steamed pudding, such as this one with Guinness, or with salt and pepper poured on top of haggis.

Sweet whisky cream for desserts

Do you like to use whisky in cooking? What are your favourite recipes? Share your ideas with us below….



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