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Issue 136 - Whisky Canapé Pairings

Whisky Magazine Issue 136
June 2016


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Whisky Canapé Pairings

The concentration of flavour

Pairing whisky and food should be fun. While pairing can elevate each of the foods and the spirit to new and heady heights, it does not need to be complicated.

The principle is the same as when you douse your fish and chips with lemon to cut through the fattiness, or when you dunk a biscuit in a cup of well brewed tea delighting in the contrast of tannins and sweetness. In my experience, pairing food with whisky is easier and more rewarding with small dishes or plates where there is a concentration of flavour. Whisky is a short drink by nature, an intense cluster of flavours that lends itself to pairing with small bites of food which are also intensely flavoured.

How to taste canapés and whiskey
I like to start with a drop of the whisky, and then try the canapé and then the whisky again. You will find the canapé changes the flavour of the whisky, amplifies some flavours, mutes others and creates some new flavours.


Pair with Talisker 10 Years Old or Scapa Skiren

I recently started making my own miso. While this is hugely rewarding, it has a very long lead time, taking up to seven months to ferment. I suggest buying an organic miso to use instead, or at least one that does not contain MSG. The iodine in the nori and the briny salt of the salmon work alongside the salty smoke in the whisky and the white pepper draws out the natural length of each whisky.

 1kg side of very fresh salmon, skin on
 200g Maldon sea salt
 50g brown miso

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