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9 ways to pair your whisky cocktails with food

ballantines 17 year old sazerac twist drink

You can’t go wrong when pairing whisky with food. It’s a smooth, sweet spirit with hints of spice, sourness and savoury notes. Take Ballantine’s Finest for example. Our signature bottle of blended scotch balances subtle sweetness with a fresh, floral finish. Perfect for pairing with sweet or salty dishes.

But when it comes to serving cocktails, it doesn’t hurt to find complimentary flavours. Choose a drink that brings out a dish’s sweet side. Or contrast a sour serve with salty ingredients. However you pair it, pair it your way and Stay True to your liking.

Here are some of our favourite food pairings with whisky cocktails to get you started.

Iced Sweet Tea

Pair with: BBQ chicken wings

This iced tea cocktail recipe was made for sunny backyard sessions. So get the barbie on and turn up the tunes to set the scene for this summer serve.  Sweet, fresh and easy to make, it’s a pitcher perfect drink to whip up whilst the food’s cooking. We like ours with sticky chicken wings that compliment that sweetness.

Old Fashioned

Pair with: grilled steak

When it comes to whisky and food pairings, this one’s a classic. An Old Fashioned is a timeless drink. And a rich juicy steak is a can’t-go-wrong order. Pair the two and you get an epic combo of good ingredients served well. Make it your own way with an orange twist or peppery steak sauce. Trust us, this cocktail will be on repeat. 

Iced Sweet Tea

This sweet and refreshing pick-me-up is guaranteed to make you MVP of the BBQ. If it doesn’t rain, that is.


Whisky Milkshake

Rich and creamy with a kick. If you can’t decide between dessert or whisky, this shake is for you. Strictly for over 18’s.


Whisky Shake

Pair with: iced ring doughnuts

Call it a pairing, call it a dessert. We don’t care – just make sure to try it. This Whisky Milkshake recipe mixes ice cream, cream and liquid chocolate with a kick of scotch. But that’s not all. Really, it’s all about the toppings. And what’s more extra than an iced ring doughnut? Sweetness on top of sweetness. That’s what this pairing’s all about.

Honey and Cinnamon Highball

Pair with: ginger shortbread cookies

If you like a hot toddy you’ll love this cocktail. Poured on the rocks, it’s a perfect serve for summer evenings and winter nights by the fire. The Honey and Cinnamon Highball has two main flavours in its name. But a pour of spiced ginger beer is what gives it extra kick. Serve with sugary, spiced shortbread for a sweet snack on the side.

Whisky, Honey & Cinnamon Highball

Fresh, sweet and super zesty. It’s got all the deliciously satisfying flavours of a Hot Toddy, but this time, we’ve poured it on the rocks.


Sweet Vestige

With notes of fig and honey, Sweet Vestige is an aromatic cocktail that delights the senses.


Sweet Vestige

Pair with: a cheese board

Fruit and cheese have been a classic pairing for centuries. As have fruit and whisky. This pairing is what happens when we combine the three. Sweet Vestige is a sweet whisky cocktail with notes of fig, ginger and honey. So it’s an obvious choice to go alongside your next cheese night. Take sips between slices of Manchego or creamy Brie topped with fig.

Berry Beer

Pair with: takeaway pizza

Up your pizza and beer nights with Berry Beer. The sweet, tangy combo of lager, berries and Ballantine’s Finest whisky makes a satisfying sip between slices. Whether you’re pro pineapple or anti. What’ll be your order?

Berry Beer

Ballantine’s, Beer & Blueberries? There’s no wrong way.


Cherry Whisky Sour

Pair with: rich chocolate cake

If you like Black Forest you’ll love this whisky cocktail food pairing. Our take on a classic dessert sees a cherry twist on a whisky sour. AKA the Cherry Sour. Sweet, tart fruit blends with smooth scotch for an easy sipper. Flavours that go perfectly with your best chocolate cake recipe, the richer the better.

Sazerac Twist

Pair with: smoked salmon bagels

A smoky twist on a classic cocktail. Our version of a Sazerac contains a simple mix of scotch, bitters and absinthe. Freshened with a twist of lemon. The richness and complexity of Ballantine’s 17 year old whisky pairs wonderfully with a lighter dish that lets the drink take centre stage. A classic duo; smoked salmon and cream cheese is just the ticket.

Discover more ways to mix up your cocktail hour with our collection of whisky drinks. There’s everything from dessert cocktails to whisky mixers. A recipe for every occasion.

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You already know we’ve nailed the Finest Whisky to ever grace a glass. But that’s just a little drop of what we’re about. Scroll on for the latest news and features from across the world of Ballantine’s whisky, True Music and much, much more.