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The best sweet’n’savoury snacks to serve with whisky

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Did someone say snacks? Whether you’re cosying up with a casual dram or going for the full tasting experience, a little nibble of something sweet or savoury is the ultimate wingman to your whisky.

Everything’s made better with food. Even a bottle of your favourite Ballantine’s blend. So without further ado, here we present the best snacks to serve with whisky,

What snacks pair with whisky?

Snacks and scotch are a match made in heaven. You’ll struggle to go wrong. From pretzels and peanuts to chocolate and cheese; there’s plenty of great options to graze on with a glass of whisky.

But depending on how you enjoy your spirit, you might want to consider different flavours. For example, a rich blend like Ballantine’s 30 year old shouldn’t be outshone – pair it with plainer snacks such as crackers and mild cheddar. Whereas the vibrant profile of Ballantine’s Brazil can handle the harshness of salty, tangy titbits.  

You’ll also want to plan complimentary snacks for whisky tasting experiences at home; you’re the host after all. Pick out the flavour profile of each dram and pair with associated flavours. Getting notes of red apple? Cinnamon, pork and pear are a good bet. 

SNACKS FOR WHISKY TASTING

If you’re planning a whisky tasting get together with friends and family, adding some of the best snacks that pair with whisky to the table is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

No matter your serve, here are some of the best snacks for whisky tasting. Our top tip? Chuck them all on one big grazing platter and nibble to your heart’s content.

1. Cheese

When isn’t cheese a good idea? Beats us, especially when it comes to the world of whisky. The reason these two exceptional things go together so well is their range of flavours and aged creation. So whether it’s nutty, hard, stinky or soft, most cheeses will pair pretty well with whisky.

If you’re not sure which block to choose, have a sip of your scotch and pick out the most pungent flavours. A smoky whisky will go well with a sharp blue like a Stilton or Roquefort. Whereas a whisky with hints of vanilla will blend beautifully with a melty block of camembert, drizzled in honey and topped with fruit. Tuck in next to an open fire with a glass of hot toddy for serious cosiness.

Or if you like getting your hands dirty in the kitchen, have a go at whipping up our Air Fried Broccoli & Cheese Balls to munch on with your whisky. 

They’re full of strong savoury flavours with sharp cheddar cheese, peppery spring onions and our tangy Ballantine’s inspired sriracha sauce. We recommend pairing with a Whisky Apple Mule to quench your thirst – apple and cheese are a great sweet and savoury duo after all.

Find out more about how to pair cheese and whisky in our guide.

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Hot Toddy

Curl up by the fire and stir some spice into the cold evenings this winter with this warming classic.

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2. Meat

Whether on a platter, atop a cracker or shoved in a sandwich, meat is a great snack to enjoy with scotch. Strong, rich flavours found in whisky go perfectly with beef cuts, whilst smoky whisky blends work great with meats on the grill.

Cured, salty cuts such as salami and chorizo match nicely with Scottish single malts that mix sweet and savoury notes from start to finish. We love ours with Glentauchers 15 year old or a refreshing whisky tonic to quench your thirst after a salty bite.

The best way to serve meaty snacks with whisky is a grab and go charcuterie board. You can arrange a selection of your favourite cuts around other complimentary nibbles Instagram style, or just plop them all on a plate and get picking – no judgement here.

3. Crackers and crisps

Salty, meaty, cheesy, peppery… even prawn cocktail-y. Just like our range of whiskies, crackers and crisps come in all shapes and flavours, which means there’s plenty of packets that’ll compliment your drink.

Whether you’re planning a snack fest or looking to satisfy a hunger pang, these cupboard staples are an easy win. So what’ll it be? Classic salted pretzels? Cheesy puffs? Sweet chilli crackers? Whatever your go to, there’s a whisky to wash it down with. We love our crisps with a cocktail for a fancy Friday night in. Try yours with a Whisky Sour or sweet summer whisky pitcher next time you’re in the mood.

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Whisky Sour

This cocktail is 150 years old, yet you’ll still find it in the trendiest bars. Give it a go with your favourite Ballantine’s!

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Summer Pitcher

Summer time, and the living’s pitchin’. Add lemon slices and halved green grapes, Ballantine’s Finest, fresh lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and top with Lemonade. Give it a good stir and pour out a round.

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4. Chocolate

Got a sweet tooth? Same. Our whisky collection is beloved for its treasure trove of sugary notes from honey and vanilla to cherry and toffee apple. So knock yourself out with those chocolatey snacks next time you pour a glass. 

Dark or milk chocolate is a fine accompaniment to whisky with its layers of creamy caramel and vanilla. Notes of spice bring out the richness and cut through the creamy chocolate. Or if you’re feeling extra, pop in some rich chocolate truffles between sips of whisky on the rocks. Hint: bugsy the salted caramel, it’ll go down a storm.

5. Nuts

There’s a reason nuts are a bar snack staple. Salted, honey roasted or covered in chocolate, we can’t help but crave a bowl anytime a drink lands in our hands. Most nuts pair well with a glass of whisky but if you want to make a conscious choice, consider the flavours of your chosen blend.

Bitter brazils and walnuts bring out the sweet tones of a vanilla finish, whilst pistachios and pecans compliment a stronger whisky. And those salted mixes? They go well with anything. Go nuts with a spicy scotch with a twist or sweet whisky cider.

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Whisky Apple Cider Punch

This whisky cider punch is the perfect centre piece for any drinks table. Just multiply the recipe by the number of guests so everyone can grab a glass and get involved!

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6. Fruits

Fruit is a healthy snack to serve with whisky if you’re looking for something less calorific. But it by no means has to be boring. Feel free to grab an apple from the fruit basket, but if you want to pimp up your snack bowl next time you pour a dram, there’s plenty of ways to go about it. 

Mix up a bowl of dried fruit with chocolate chips, nuts and anything that takes your fancy alongside an aromatic spiced sip of Ballantine’s 21 year old. Or head down the savoury route with fruity chutney and cheese or slices of apple. However you get your fruit on, keep it classic with a scotch old fashioned, our go-to cocktail for a sophisticated snackathon.

7. Vegan snacks

Those who don’t include animal products in their diet will be pleased to know that there’s plenty of vegan snacks to eat alongside whisky. If the flavours are there, that’s all that matters. 

And there’s bags of flavour in our RZA Presents: Ballantine’s X Flying Goose Whisky inspired sriracha sauce. This moreish hot sauce takes inspiration from Ballantine’s 7 American Barrel and its fruity flavours to create a sriracha you won’t be able to get enough of.

Two of our favourite vegan dishes are Vegan Cauliflower Tacos and Crispy Tofu Nuggets. Both speedy snacks that are taken to the next level of deliciousness with our whisky inspired hot sauce.

And when they’re paired with a dram of Ballantine’s 7 American Barrel, it’s like a holy trinity of perfection – tasty vegan savoury snacks, sweet and sour hot sauce, and creamy scotch.

8. Smoked salmon 

Seafood might not be the first thing you think of when deciding on what snacks to add to your whisky tasting night, but it can make a delish accompaniment and is seriously versatile for party snacks. Like smoked salmon and cream cheese which works brilliantly with equally creamy whisky.

Smoked salmon is one of those foods that’s delicate yet punchy all at the same time, not unlike good scotch. 

The rich, salty smokiness of smoked salmon is amplified when paired with whisky, like our Ballantine’s Barrel Smooth. This super silky scotch is finished in caramelised oak barrels to give it a gently smokey and tangy flavour, which pairs incredibly well with smoked salmon. Or elevate this whisky snack with refreshing lemon flavours by enjoying it alongside a simple but delicious Scotch & Lemonade cocktail. Lime flavoured whisky, lemon soda and fresh lemon makes an invigorating drink to sip alongside this fishy favourite.

9. Olives

Olives make a perfect party or barside nibble to graze while sampling some whisky. And they have the added bonus of being a little sophisticated, too.

But it’s not all about appearances, as the briny flavour of olives actually helps to cleanse the palate between sips of scotch. This means you can be sure to get the most from each scotch you sip as every flavour layer and aroma will be in sharp focus.

Grab some ramekins and fill them with a variety of green and black olives, such as fruity Kalamata and buttery Nocellara, plus some stuffed olive varieties for a little something extra.

We recommend pairing with a dram of Ballantine’s 12 Year Old Whisky. The irresistibly sweet and vanilla-y notes of this scotch make an iconic contrast for this salty whisky snack.

10. Popcorn

Popcorn is a nostalgic snack that’s incredibly moreish – once you start it’s hard to stop. And it doesn’t just belong at the cinema, it’s also an ideal snack to enjoy with whisky.

The beauty of popcorn is that it can take on pretty much whatever flavour you like. So when sipping some of our iconic Ballantine’s Finest, try your popcorn dusted with some cinnamon sugar to hone in on the subtle milk chocolate and red apple flavours in the whisky.

Or a decadent Whisky Milkshake Cocktail would pair deliciously with simple salted popcorn to cut through the sweetness and make the entire experience even more extra.

From sweet ‘n’ savoury to sweet and sour, if you’ve worked up an appetite or just looking for more whisky drinks to pair with your favourite snacks, we have all the information you need to help make those nights at home even better.

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