With its delicious and distinct flavour, and the wide range of varieties available, it’s no surprise that whisky is one of the nation’s most popular spirits. And not only is it perfect for drinking neat or adding to a cocktail, but it can really elevate the taste of some of your favourite dishes.
It does a great job of intensifying the flavours of both sweet and savoury recipes, and it adds its own distinct taste as well to make the dish truly unique.
To help us celebrate International Whisky Day on 27th March, House of Malt are here to explain how you can use this versatile spirit in the kitchen to create some fun, mouth-watering whisky recipes.
Unusual Ways To Cook With Whisky – Whisky truffles
Whether you’re looking to gift a homemade sweet treat to a loved one, or you just want to enjoy them for yourself, whisky truffles are the perfect dish to try out. They’re rich, full of flavour, and can be made using just four ingredients.
All you need to do for this recipe is heat up 225g of heavy cream, then gradually add 200g of chopped chocolate and stir until the mixture is completely smooth. When it comes to choosing the type of chocolate to add, that’s completely up to your personal preference. And you don’t have to stop at one — try mixing it up and adding different types. If you’re looking for a richer flavour, add a little bit of dark chocolate to the recipe.
Once this combination is smooth, stir in a couple of tablespoons of your favourite whisky and leave it to cool in the fridge for around half an hour, before getting them out and rolling into balls. Once this is done, leave them in the fridge for another half an hour, and coat the truffles with the ingredient of your choice. If you want to make a classic variety, simply roll them around in cocoa powder. But for something a little different, you could try coating them in dehydrated raspberries, coconut flakes, or chopped nuts like almonds or hazelnuts.
Unusual Ways To Cook With Whisky – Whisky pasta sauce
If you’re a fan of Italian food, you’ll love this delicious and creamy whisky sauce. It works perfectly with pasta, gnocchi, and risotto, so you can add it to whichever dish you fancy. Start this sauce off by adding a glug of olive oil and a small diced shallot or onion to a pan, and cook until brown. Then add three to four tablespoons of whisky (depending on how strong you’d like the sauce to taste), cook it off, and pour in 150ml of heavy cream. Whisk this until smooth, and it’s ready to add to your pasta, risotto, or gnocchi.
If you prefer tomato-based sauces for your Italian dishes, there’s an incredibly simple whisky red sauce recipe for you to make too. Simply cook 400g of chopped tomatoes over a medium heat, and add 40 ml of whisky, a dash of salt and pepper, and whichever herbs you usually use in a red pasta sauce.
Unusual Ways To Cook With Whisky – Sweet whisky popcorn
Upgrade your cinema snack by making a delicious, whisky-flavoured popcorn. Not only is whisky popcorn incredibly tasty, but it’s a quick and simple recipe so you can easily whip it up for a last-minute movie night.
To make this snack, simply add 110g of butter to 170g of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons of your favourite whisky to a saucepan. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir the mixture until it combines and is completely smooth. Once the sauce is smooth, pour it over 100g of popped popcorn on a baking tray, toss the popcorn until it’s all coated, and cook it at 175°C for ten minutes. Let it cool and enjoy it alongside a glass of your favourite whisky.
Unusual Ways To Cook With Whisky – Whisky butter onions
This side dish can be used to boost the flavour of a variety of meals. Use it as a burger or hot dog topper, eat them alongside a steak, or even add them to a pizza or flatbread. To make this delicious side, all you need is a large onion, salt, and a couple of tablespoons of butter and whisky.
Start off by melting the butter in a large pan, and then adding the chopped onion and a generous shake of salt. Cook the onions on a medium heat until brown, and add the whisky. Once the whisky has cooked off, this dish is ready to serve. The great thing about this side is that you can add your own unique spin on it: for example, if you’d like a sweeter flavour, try adding a teaspoon of honey before the whisky. Or if you want a bit of a kick, add a teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce instead.
- Ben Turnbull, Director and Head Wine Buyer at House of Malt comments:
“If you’re a whisky lover, the good news is that this delicious spirit isn’t just for drinking. Adding whisky to recipes can really boost the flavours of some delicious dishes and give the food a unique taste. So why not see for yourself and give these unusual whisky recipe ideas a try?
“When it comes to choosing a whisky to cook or bake with, pay attention to the tasting notes to see which one will work best. For example, a smoky whisky will work very well with the creamy pasta sauce, especially if paired with smoked salmon. For the sweet dishes like the popcorn and the truffles, malt and honey or spiced fruit whiskies are ideal.”