The Best Appetizers for Whiskey Tasting

Nuts and olives are some of the best appetizers for whiskey tastings

To have an amazing experience of whiskey tasting, having food on the table is a must-do. Here’s our guide to the best appetizers for whiskey tasting.

This guide is strictly related to appetizers for americam whiskey, such as bourbon or tennessee. Scotch or other types of whisky are not featured on this article, but we have guides just for that. If you’re interested in knowing more about about those, check out the article about Scotch Whisky Pairings.


Table of Contents – Sip this Article!

  1. American Whiskey vs Scotch Whisky
  2. What food goes with whiskey tasting?
    1. Appetizers for Whiskey Tastings

Wood board with a glass of whiskey and some of the best appetizers for whiskey tastings


American Whiskey vs Scotch Whisky

Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey, which are made in the United States, is made from at least 51% corn, as against malted barley that is the primary composition of scotch whisky. The American whiskey can also be also have rye and wheat in its composition, as it varies from one brand to another.

In terms of Bourbon Whiskey, it must contain more than 50% corn for itself to be classified as such. The rest can be malted barley, rye, wheat or a mash of all three. There are other specifics pertaining to proofing, distillation and filtration that define bourbon and also draw the distinction between the popular Tennessee whiskey. Like scotch whisky, american whiskey must also be aged and marked appropriately. Obviously then there is a difference in taste, not just from one brand to another but also one year to another.

There are a ton of differences between Bourbon and Whisky, especially scotch whisky. Not only the ingredients are different, but the origins, the aging barrels and even the AVB are completely distinct from one another.


What food goes with whiskey tasting?

Unlike scotch, the bourbon or tenessee whiskey has a stronger taste and the flavor too is less subtle. Nevertheless, the choice of appetizers for whiskey tasting will have to be largely neutral.

The foods or snacks must be able to cleanse the palate and it should not interfere with the taste or flavor of the whiskey. More importantly, it should not unnecessarily make one feel heavy or bloated.


Get to know what food go specifically with Jack Daniel’s Tenneessee Whiskey!


The Best Appetizers for Whiskey Tastings

Go nuts!

You can always go with some of the simplest options: peanuts, cashews and almonds.

Salted peanuts are a really simple but appropriate snack. Cashews are great as an appetizer but the size of the serving should be limited. Almonds must be served sparsely. You can go for a nuts platter. It looks interesting and is inviting enough.

Also, these are among the best healthy snacks to go with whiskey.

Nuts are among the best appetizers for whiskey tastings
Nuts are among the best appetizers for whiskey tastings


Some desserts to pair with whiskey

You can bake if you want. Cookies and brownies are complementing appetizers for whiskey tasting. Besides these options, dark chocolate is always a favorite, as it pairs perfectly with almost every whiskey expression.


Pair whiskey with fruit

Fruit is always a good choice, specially dry fruits. Apricot is the best option, followed by common fig, prune, blueberry and cherry. Papaya is healthy choice, so is persimmon.

You should go for date palm if your whiskey has a bold and smoky flavor. Date palm is sweet and it pairs really well with whiskeys that are a tad bitter when you have a neat peg.

If you are really interested in fruit that in its true form, then slice some apples. Many people also like grapes but limit the serving as they tend have an aftertaste that can alter the experience of whiskey tasting.

In terms of healthy options, you may safely opt for some green and black olives. You can also bet on carrots, especially smoked carrots, as well as celery.

Decanter with whiskey near two tasting glasses and grapes

Salty options are safe choices

In terms of salty options, we know that they will create a nice contrast regarding the sweet flavours of bourbon or tennessee whiskey. Bagels are a nice option, as well as cheese and crackers. If you have time to cook, then smoked salmon goes really well with bourbons and even rye whiskeys made in America.

If cooking isn’t really working for you, then you may go for cream cheese, nachos and other crisps. Try to avoid potato chips. Instead, go for veggie sticks.


What not to do

Fried foods are not suitable appetizers for whiskey tasting. Do not prepare any food that is too spicy or rich in flavor. It will adversely affect the taste of whiskey. Any recipe that is too rich in cheese should also be avoided. Try to avoid dishes that include curb or yogurt, milk or butter. Honey coated munchies are a better alternative. If you must serve protein, choose fish over pork, lamb and beef.

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