What Foods Pair Well With Bourbon?

Bourbon is America’s darling. The smoky, vanilla-scented brown spirit is among the world’s most exciting whiskies. And although there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to your favorite Bourbon on its own as an after-dinner drink, the golden spirit also has a place on the table.

How to pair Bourbon and food? Can it be done? Here’s all you need to know about Bourbon and food pairings. What foods pair well with Bourbon? Let’s find out! Pour yourself a glass of good-old Bourbon and let’s dig in.

What is Bourbon, anyway?

Before we discuss how to pair Bourbon with food, let’s talk about what makes Bourbon special. Bourbon is a grain-based spirit perfected in the late 18th century in Kentucky, and although the spirit did well for a while, it was nearly extinct in the early 20th century because of prohibition. Today, of course, Bourbon is the most popular brown spirit in America, and it has fans worldwide.

Bourbon must be made with at least 51% corn. It is distilled and aged in new, charred, American white oak barrels, where it gets its tanned color and spicy aromatics. Producers then bottle it at a maximum of 80 proof. No additives, but water, are allowed during the process, making Bourbon an exceptionally pure spirit!

How to Pair Bourbon with Food

Although many wine and food pairing rules apply to spirits, the most successful strategies involve Complementing and Contrasting your choice of food and drinks. Concisely, complement Bourbon with food with similar flavors and boldness, or contrast your meal with a spirit showing entirely different flavors.

Complement sweet and chocolaty bourbons with chocolate desserts, for example. Bold, coffee-scented bourbons pair nicely with, well, coffee-flavored sweets. Of course, this strategy goes beyond desserts. A thick steak rubbed with ground coffee is immediately compatible with a spicy Bourbon that spent extended time in oak.

Note: Highly charred oak barrels give spirits a roasted and smoky flavor not dissimilar to roasted cacao beans and coffee.

Example: VHW Port Cask Finished Whisky

Contrast the same thick steak with a honeyed, light-bodied Bourbon and let the spirit cleanse your palate after every bite. Light-bodied, low-alcohol Bourbon is better for contrasting pairings. This type of Bourbon is often fruity as well, so pair them with fruit-based sauces.

Example: Four Roses Small Batch Select Kentucky Bourbon

There Are No Universal Pairings

When it comes to food pairings, there are no right or wrong answers — we all like different things! If you enjoy your favorite Bourbon with a particular food, by all means, enjoy the winning combination and, most importantly, share it with others!

Having said that, the tips above might help you experiment with food and Bourbon pairings. Persist until you find a successful combination for your taste buds. Choose a bottle of Bourbon from our online liquor store in California and get cookin’. The perfect Bourbon and food pairings are out there — you just have to find them!

Stock Your Cabinet with Rare & Unique Bourbon

If you are a Bourbon lover, browse our online liquor store in California. Sam Liquor store is home to premium spirits and a rare & unique collection of finest spirits. And yes, we have more than one exciting Bourbon to satisfy your every need. Our California liquor store offers liquor store delivery, so have exclusive spirits delivered to your doorstep.

Looking for a particular Bourbon? We carry Elijah Craig, Buffalo Trace, Little Book, Four Roses, Maker’s Mark Limited Release and more. We love Bourbon as much as you do! Now, let’s pair it with food!


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