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Cooking with whisky: more than just a flash in the pan

We all know that Scotch whisky is wonderful to sip and savour. You might even know that whisky pairs very well with certain types of food. But if you’ve never cooked with whisky, now is the perfect time to make the amber spirit your new favourite ingredient – it’s Whisky Month, after all!

The range of complex flavour profiles in Scotch whiskies means that they can be used in a multitude of dishes, both sweet and savoury, and can really enhance the taste of quality Scottish produce.


Whisky, when added in cooking, acts a bit like salt and brings out the characteristics of some ingredients; in seafood, it can be the taste of the sea, or in smoked products, the pungency of the smokiness. A whisky with strong honey notes, for example, can really bring out the sweet, rich characteristics in a dessert.

It might not be news to you that whisky is used in some traditional Scottish dishes. Haggis usually gets the whisky treatment – sometimes a dram is simply poured over the meaty dish, or it can be served with a creamy whisky sauce – and the delicious Cranachan combines oats, raspberries and cream with the golden liquid for a perfect sweet course.Whisky recipes

However, the range of ingredients which can be transformed by a good splash of whisky goes far beyond these longstanding Scottish menu staples; chefs have been adding whisky to dishes of salmon, chicken, mushrooms and classic French desserts – and much more besides!

Even if you are not partial to drinking whisky, the more classic of combinations, such as whisky and beef, and whisky and chocolate, may just convert you into a lifelong fan.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding, so don your apron and expand your culinary horizons as you get cooking with whisky. Take a look at the whisky recipes in our Scottish Recipe collection eBoook and discover delicious dishes with a whisky kick, perfect to serve to friends or fellow whisky lovers.

Want to know more about tasting whisky, exploring the distillery regions or visiting whisky bars in Scotland? Then be sure to check out our dedicated whisky section, and share your whisky experiences with us on social media using #tastescotland.


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