In honor of July 4th, a day when many folks will be eating a ton of food, I thought I should do a post of my favorite foods to drink bourbon with. Of course, bourbon is a big, flavorful spirit that is certainly not in need of a food pairing. However, it is July 4th, and bourbon whiskey is America’s native spirit, so why not try a few fingers of bourbon with some of good food?
Here are my favorite foods to pair with bourbon…
10. Peanuts – Of course peanuts are a beer companion. However, I think they go well with certain types of bourbon as well. I think peanuts go especially well with oaky bourbons, so maybe try a bottle of Rowan’s Creek next time you are shooting pool and munching on peanuts.
9. Apple pie (a la mode) – I find that the sweetness of an apple pie is bolstered well by a full-flavored bourbon with a lot of brown sugar and caramel flavors. If you’re up for it, try a finger or two of Booker’s with your apple pie this evening.
8. Pistachios – Pistachios are another great beer companion that also works well with bourbon. I like a big bourbon with my pistachios to compliment the big pistachio flavor. Take it slow, and enjoy a long evening with friends, pistachios, and a bottle of Eagle Rare 10 year.
7. Fresh Peaches – Fruits are a great bourbon companion, and I have found that peaches have a delicate enough flavor to compliment bourbon well. Peaches are a fantastic pairing with the subject of my most recent bourbon review, Jefferson’s.
6. Cheese and Crackers – Crackers are especially good for a bourbon tasting because they will clear the palate to ready you for more bourbon. However, a light-bodied cheese with some crackers is a fine snack for the next summer evening with friends. Like with peanuts, I usually like a big, oaky bourbon with my cheese and crackers. However, a flavorful, rye-forward bourbon like Wild Turkey 101 also makes for a great evening.
5. Banana Bread – Banana bread has a tempered enough flavor profile to make for a very good bourbon companion. I find that banana bread goes especially nice with a balanced, sweet bourbon. This is where I recommend a bottle of my favorite value bourbon, Buffalo Trace.
4. Dark Chocolate – A few bites of a bitter dark chocolate can really set off some amazing flavors in the palate of a bourbon. If you were to indulge in some Old Forester with some dark chocolate, you mind just find a whole new reason to love a great value buy like Old Forester.
3. Pecans – Of all the nuts that I have on my list, pecans are soundly my favorite to drink bourbon with. They have a natural ability to compliment sweet flavors very well, which is probably why they top so many desserts. Although I have only tried this pairing on one occasion, I was extremely pleased with the way pecans tasted as I was drinking William Larue Weller.
2. Cheesecake – Cheesecake is one of my favorite foods, with its soft, seductive flavors and texture. It goes great with bourbon because it will not overpower the palate. If you want to make your 4th of July a memorable one, I would highly recommend a slice of cheesecake and a glass of Woodford Reserve.
1. Steak – A nice cut of steak is my all-time favorite food to drink bourbon with. For some reason, the savory flavors of a steak always seem to go right along with a great summer bourbon. There are few things in life that I enjoy more than eating a good steak, and washing it down with a glass or two of Basil Hayden’s as the sun sets on a warm summer’s eve.
Of course, most of the time, I drink bourbon before or after a meal, not during. However, if you would like to try some bourbon and food pairing, I think these ten foods are a great place to start. Please comment and let me know which great bourbon foods I’ve left off my list. Let it ride!