Six Great Ways to Cook with Whisky

July 17, 2017

There are many ways to serve whisky: neat, on the rocks, or in a fancy cocktail like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.  The distilled spirit is increasing being used outside the glass and in the kitchen, adding flavour to sauces, stews and sweet confections like ice cream, puddings and brownies.

It only takes a small quantity to add a real kick and it’s important to not use the cheap stuff according to whisky expert, Chris Sikorsky, Manager of Co-op’s World of Whisky store in downtown Calgary.

“If you’re going to cook with whisky, always use a good quality bottle.  You won’t need to use much and it will make all the difference.”

Many chefs compare using whisky to using salt, as it brings out the flavor of the food. During cooking, the evaporation of the alcohol concentrates the barley malt and then caramelizes sugars in the spirit.

Here are six great ways to cook with whisky, whether it be scotch, bourbon, rye or Irish whiskey.

1. Cranachan

Canadians might not know what Cranachan is, but in Scotland it’s a well-know, traditional dessert that is typically served on Robbie Burns Day. This tasty treat looks like a parfait and is layered with oats, cream, whisky and raspberries. Depending on how you like it, the recipe calls for two to three tablespoons of whisky.

6 whisky cooking recipe 1Ingredients:
2 tbsp. medium oatmeal
300g fresh British raspberries
Pinch of caster sugar
350ml double cream (we used Jersey double cream)
2 tbsp. heather honey
2-3 tbsp. whisky

Click here for the full recipe

2. Whisky Cream

Whisky can be used in both sweet and savoury cream sauces. This whisky cream recipe is perfect with pie, a crumble or Christmas pudding.

Ingredients:
284ml carton double cream
1 tbsp. whisky
1 tsp icing sugar

 Pour the cream into a large bowl and the whisky and icing sugar. Whip until the cream just holds its shape.

 3. Slow Cooker Mississippi Ribs

These delicious fall-off-the-bone ribs have some serious kick with pepperoncini peppers, a tablespoon of hot sauce and a healthy dose of Jack Daniels bourbon.

6 whisky cooking recipe 2Ingredients:
4-5 lbs baby back or regular pork spare ribs
1 pkg au jus gravy mix
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
¼ cup butter
4-6 pepperoncini peppers

To make gravy:
2 tbs-1/4 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
1 tbsp. hot sauce
3 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup water
1 tsp Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (optional, just for color)

Click here for the full recipe

4. Whisky Cheese Fondue

This is a super easy savory appetizer that your guests will love! It has some intense flavour with extra sharp cheddar cheese, dry white wine and three tablespoons of your favourite whisky.

6 whisky cooking recipe 3Ingredients:
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, halved
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons whiskey
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Crusty bread, breadsticks and carrot sticks, for serving

Click here for the full recipe

5. Scotch Whisky Pork Stew

What would a pork stew be without a little whisky? This stew uses two pounds of pork shoulder and nearly a cup of Scotch whisky!  It’s cooked slowly for three to four hours in a Dutch oven and makes the perfect fall meal.

Click here for the full recipe

 6. Scotch Glazed Wild Mushrooms with Garlic Cheese Croustades

This recipe is a favourite of Co-op’s World of Whisky Manager, Chris Sikorsky. You know it must be good when it’s on the Scotch Whisky Association’s website!  The dish uses ingredients like Shitaki mushrooms, Juniper berries, watercress and two ounces of Scotch whisky.

Click here for full recipe.

- Leanne 

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