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Holiday Whisky Pairing

Holiday Whisky Pairing

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Gentlemen, listen up: Chivas Regal wants you to think about scotch whisky as more than just an apéritif or part of an after-dinner cocktail. They want you to bring scotch to the main course. Working with the chef at Mews of Mayfair in London, Chivas has paired three scotch-based cocktails with three modern British dishes to excite and intrigue the palate.

To check out the recipes and learn more about enjoying whisky for the holidays, we chatted with Chivas to get the scoop on how to make your holiday a perfect match.

Can you tell us more about how to enjoy this three-piece flight?

There is a growing trend for people enjoying cocktails with their food, which is an exciting way to bring out the flavors in a specific dish and excite the palate. We worked closely with the talented chef at Mews of Mayfair to design dishes that would complement the smooth Chivas taste with seasonal flavors.

Can you tell us more about the food pairings?

Chivas 18-year is full of rich flavors, like chocolate, toffee, and dried fruits, so the food pairings harmonize these flavors along with the other unique flavors used in each dish. The Scarlet Pimpernel brings out the beetroot from the starter to emphasize the nuttiness and warmth of our Scotch whisky; the Aberdeen Flip features subtle flavors so as not to overpower the beef in the main, and The Orchard Sour combines almonds and orchard fruits to bring out the best of Christmas spices in the dessert.

What makes it perfect for the holidays?

The food and drink recipes are both full of seasonal flavors. There is rich beetroot, nuttiness, honey, cinnamon, and oranges throughout which epitomize the flavors of this time of year. The Aberdeen Flip is actually inspired by the traditional classic eggnog, which is popular during the festive season.

What are some more ways to make whisky accessible to a slightly whisky-wary crowd?

Chivas has multi-layered characteristics and flavors both with the 12-year, which is softer with mild vanilla spices and rich honey, or the 18-year, which offers more indulgent intensity along with deeper sherried aromas and Christmas spice undertones. These platforms allow the confident drinks maker to be creative in a number of ways, either by simply adding water to open up the aromas further and softening the alcohol or by adding some fresh citrus juice and peel along with cinnamon and cloves before warming to make a comforting seasonal concoction.

What is the best toast to give while holding a whisky drink?

Chivas is best enjoyed when shared. Across the world, making a toast is a tradition which remains constant, despite local variations. The thing that remains common is a celebration of life and all those people who make it special, especially at Christmas time when families and friends come together, so the best toasts are the ones that celebrate the company of those around you.

A Simple Guide To Pairing Wine With Christmas Dinner – With Recipes

Fortunately, the holiday season kinda takes care of itself. Just kidding, it can actually be a shopping/cooking/rum-punch-swilling nightmare. Which is why we went ahead and earned our place on the “Nice” list (at least, got off the “Persona Non Grata”) list by creating a handy guide to pairing your holiday meal with the right wine.


It’s a good idea to keep Christmas or holiday dinner appetizers light. For one, you’re going to be drinking something lighter (since you don’t wanna start your guests off with 15% ABV red powerhouse) and since you also kinda wanna save room for the main event. Oh, and you also don’t wanna be cooking everything from scratch when you’re also supposed to be enjoying a Christmas party. So a few simple app recommendations, and some easy pairing options:

Smoked Salmon Canapes – Chenin Blanc or Bubbly

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

You can skip the cream cheese (or sub in some whipped tofu cream cheese—though we recommend adding a bit of acid there) to keep this dairy-free. Salmon, obviously, is a must. Something moderately dry and lower alcohol like Chenin Blanc or Gewurztraminer would work, though Champagne or Cremant (ahem) is almost always a winner with something like this.

Cheese Platter – Check out our app

A super easy way to keep guests’ tummies full—and keep Uncle Geoffrey from getting too loaded on his pre-dinner cocktails—plus, we’ve got an illustrated guide to wine pairings for most any delightful cheese you choose.

Pigs in a Blanket – Rose Champagne

Don’t hate, these are a buttery, meaty Christmas classic. A good time for some rose champagne, to cut through the richness but also play up the smoky-sweet porkitude.

Main Dishes

Main dishes at holiday time tend to mean meat, though it’s actually a huge variety of meats. We’ve also included a vegetarian option, because hippies deserve to eat well, too.

Prime Rib – Bordeaux

Many a holiday table will be decked out with the ultimate show-stopper prime rib. (For some reason, around this time of year, we all become like, primal level carnivores). This recipe from Food & Wine brings in some unexpected flavors with a coffee and vanilla-spike drub. Something rich, dark, and bold would pair just fine, like a nice California Cab or (it’s the holidays) Bordeaux.

Spiral Ham – Zinfandel or Lambrusco

Nothing says holiday like some rye-spiked honey-glazed ham. But everyone’s favorite massive pork dish can present a couple of problems for pairing: it can be over-salty (if you get that cured Virginia ham and forget to soak it) or, more often, a little sweet. Unless you’ve got a massive sugar tooth, you’ll wanna pair something that cuts through the fatty sweetness of the meat and glaze, but still has good fruit, like a Zinfandel or even Lambrusco.

Roast Goose – Red Burgundy

Not many of us cook goose at Christmastime, maybe because we’re not as brave or reckless as the peoples of Britain and Germany. Or maybe we’re just reasonably terrified of taking on poultry that has an incredible amount of fat. The trick, per this recipe, is removing any fat pads (yeah, that’s a thing) and scoring the breast to encourage more fat to seep out during cooking. Though save that fat. In Germany, they actually just eat it on bread. It’s good stuff. As for the goose itself, since you’re splurging, why not splurge again on a nice red Burgundy?

Vegetarian Main: Spinach and Gruyere Souffle – Gamay

Leave it to Martha to make sure the vegetarians aren’t just left with mashed potatoes this holiday season. Sure, there’s a bit of soufflé terror involved, but just follow Martha’s (no doubt meticulous) instructions and your reward is a dish that even soulless carnivores will want (but veg folk get first dibs). Because it’s both rich and light, a nice Gamay pairing will keep omnivores and herbavores alike happy.


Ah, the sides. Everyone’s secret (or not so secret) favorite. This is a small sampling, since there are as many side dish options as personalities, cravings, and perfunctory holiday traditions (“I’m not coming home for Christmas unless you make my favorite Loaded Holiday ‘Tater Skins!”). Best bet with sides, keep flavor profiles fairly simple, since you don’t want too much competition on the holiday table. At least nothing to overshadow the competition between your left- and right-wing uncles to see who can shout the loudest about Donald Trump.

Maple and Bacon-roasted Brussels Sprouts – Pinot Noir or Chardonnay

Despite their bad rep, Brussels sprouts tend to find their way onto the holiday dinner table almost every year. Fortunately most recipes have the sense to add bacon, and this one goes a step or two above with a maple glaze and toasted hazelnuts for extra texture. Some things to consider: quality bacon, not to mention the smokiness you’ll have to pair with—alongside that je ne sais quoi brussels sprouts flavor. Best pairing idea: Pinot Noir. If you eliminate the bacon here, go for a Chardonnay instead.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes – Merlot

The one time a year we allow ourselves a recipe that involves two sticks of butter and 8 ounces of cream cheese. And boy does it feel so right. A richer side, so pairing with something not too buttery (e.g. a lightly oaked or unoaked Chardonnay) is your best bet, say maybe a bottle of merlot. Anything too acidic might clash with the delicate, dreamily creamy flavor profile going on here.

Vegan Side Dish: Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Cashew Cheese and Cranberries – Riesling

If Caitlin of wants to make her non-vegan friends jealous, this recipe should do the trick. A lot of flavors and textures are at play here, not always an easy recipe (so to speak) for pairing, but the flavors, naturally, make sense as a whole. Walnuts and cranberries lend great texture and a finishing flourish of holiday flavor, while breadcrumbs and cashew cheese (don’t be frightened, it’s just requires a food processor or spice grinder) flesh out the filling. Butternut squash being both slightly sweet and a bit fruity, a good pairing option might be something like a dry Riesling.


If you actually made it this far, and are still hungry, then give yourself a pat on the back, and maybe a Zantac.

Traditional Croquembouche – Sauternes or Ice Wine

Croquembouche is actually a traditional French wedding cake, but it’s become a part of the (hugely ambitious) holiday repertoire. In truth, you only need to know how to make a simple pate a choux—not nearly as hard or terrifying as it sounds, just have an electric mixer—and be able to stack a bunch of delicious balls into a nice tower. Even if they fall, you’ll have a delicious pile. Same recipe they make eclairs with, so you can imagine the tastiness. For pairing purposes, go with a Sauternes or Ice Wine .

Buche de Noel – Port

This one is undeniably a pain the tuchus, but if you roll it up just right, you’ll get something that looks like an actual Christmas yule log, decorated with berries and sprigs of holly (if they’re actual sprigs of really holly, just remind your guests not to eat them). If you go for a chocolate recipe, like this one, a nice tawny port would work well.

Gingerbread House – Bourbon or Scotch

OK, by now the kids are asleep, Christmas is (almost) officially over. Can we dig into the gingerbread house? Depending on how crazy you went with the decorations for our gingerbread house (or gingerbread stadium, or gingerbread latop), it may be more or less sweet—and we’re not sure what, if anything, pairs with Necco Wafer roof tiles. The ginger and royal icing are the key players here, so you’ll have spice and sweetness, best to pair with Bourbon or Scotch.

25 Holiday Cocktail Recipes On TikTok That Are Super Festive

Let's raise a glass to the beginning of the holiday season and to the end of this hellscape of a year. If you're looking to level up your holiday cocktail menu this year or just need some inspiration for easy seasonal drinks, there are plenty of TikTok holiday drinks ideas to get you through the winter. Some are best served cold and fizzy. Some are most tasty hot and topped with whipped cream. All are a delicious way to enjoy your socially distanced holiday season.

If you've yet to make it to Boozy TikTok, welcome. We've got enough spiked nogs and hard ciders to have you feeling merry and bright until January. Pair these drinks with some TikTok holiday recipes. Sip on them during your holiday Zoom gatherings. Turn on your Netflix "fireplace" and cozy up with a mug and your most weighted blanket. Pour yourself a glass and scroll through TikTok until you fall asleep. There is really no wrong way to enjoy these cocktails.

Whether you’re a fan of egg nog, Team Peppermint, or gaga for gingerbread, there is something for you on this list. Here are 25 holiday cocktail recipes from TikTok to enjoy all throughout December. Happy sipping!

Easy Whiskey and Food Pairings for Your Holiday Dinner

We make serving perfectly paired drinks simple by separating a typical holiday dinner into courses, and offering suggestions on the whiskey to serve with each course.

First tip: pairing booze with a feast should run in courses much as wine would in tandem with the food itself, and a simple format to follow is aperitif, main course, and digestif (before, during, and after the meal).

Pairing with Aperitif

One of the ironclad rules about a before-dinner drink is that it should be light and relatively low alcohol to avoid blowing the taste buds before the meal, so put the barrel proof stuff away for later. My enthusiastic choice for an aperitif sipping whisky is Compass Box’s Hedonism, a combination of many Scotch grain whiskies that are brought together and then given up to two extra years of aging. It’s light, elegant, and balanced. Hedonism is the sort of thing I imagine seeing Emily Mortimer (attired in a black evening dress, of course) sipping on across the room.

Some think straight whiskey is too strong to serve as an aperitif, and at the same time, the hosts of a big meal have enough to do without having to whip up sophisticated cocktails for all their guests. If you find yourself without someone to delegate bartending tasks to, and straightforward alternative to starting the evening and stimulating appetites is to serve Wild Turkey American Honey on the rocks, with a splash of soda and dressed up with a dash of bitters. Angostura bitters are fine lavender bitters also work well.

Pairing with Main Course

The main headache of pairing anything with a Holiday season feast is the sheer variety of what might be served at the center of the table. Below are eight common choices paired with a particular whiskey.

Duck and Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Duck and Angel’s Envy Bourbon: The plum-sweetness imparted by the Port barrel finish blends into the natural brown sugar and vanilla flavors of bourbon to make an ideal counterpart for duck.

Goose and Glendronach Peated Portwood Finish Scotch: A roast Christmas goose will put plenty of rich dark meat on the table, and the smoky, fruity, and full-bodied profile of this Glendronach single malt will stand up to helping after helping.

Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon

Ham and Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon: As any barbecue-whiskey enthusiast will tell you, pork and bourbon were made for each other. The honey or sugary glazing that goes onto a roast ham demands that bourbon is even sweeter, however, and that is where Woodford Doubled Oak steps in. The two rounds of new oak aging give it the barrel-forward vanilla flavor a roast holiday ham calls for.

Lamb and Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey: If anything on the list has a stronger, more particular, and richer flavor than the goose mentioned above, it is roast lamb. Dad’s Hat makes its whiskey in the revived Pennsylvania style: all rye or malted rye, no corn. Brawny and spicy, it will complement lamb in much the same way that curry does.

George Dickel 13 Year Old Bottled in Bond

Sweet Potato Latkes and George Dickel 13 Year Old Bottled in Bond: Dickel’s middle-aged, bonded expression was the first at-bat for new Master Distiller Nicole Austin, and has earned high marks for its mellow, sophisticated character. An interesting, very Tennessee twist on latkes is making them with sweet potatoes and pair them with this whiskey.

Tofurkey and Basil Hayden: I’ve found the main risk in pairing whiskey with vegetarian staple, tofurkey, is that the “flesh” is often more substantial in its texture, but also lighter in flavor than real turkey. Those characteristics require a little contrast as well as complementing, so light, dry, and spicy is the way to go. When I think of those elements, I reach for Basil Hayden.

Turkey and Maker’s Mark: The classic roast turkey, with its mix of moist white and rich dark meat, calls for the well-rounded, softened flavor profile of Maker’s Mark.

Pairing with Dessert, Digestif

Michter’s Barrel Strength Toasted Barrel Rye

We live in informal times, and after a big meal, guests are as likely to skip dessert as to anticipate it eagerly, so your after-dinner whiskey pairing should serve both roles. Dessert whiskeys need to be sweet and full-bodied, while digestifs should have high alcohol content. Michter’s Barrel Strength Toasted Barrel Rye checks both boxes. This fan-favorite whiskey has picked up plenty of sweet vanilla flavor from its two rounds of new oak barrel aging (much as Woodford Double Oaked, listed above) while retaining some robust rye spiciness. Moreover, it ranges from 108- to 112-proof, enough to help with digestion while remaining an approachable sipper to most anyone who enjoys neat spirits.

Blue Sherry Boom

Now we are getting into the strong stuff. Blue cheese tends to be loved or hated but no quality cheeseboard will be without it. They are real melt-in-the-mouth cheeses with a distinct and lasting flavor that screams out for a strong full-bodied Scotch. Roquefort for example is a rich sheep milk cheese with tangy, sharp flavors that would overpower a lot of Scotch Whisky. For that reason, we’d highly recommend full-bodied Scotch that has benefitted from long periods of Sherry Cask maturation.

The GlenDronach Allardice has been matured exclusively in Oloroso Sherry Casks for all 18 years of its maturation and is as richly flavored as any Scotch on the market. With dark notes of red cherries and even chocolate this is one of the finer Sherry boom Whiskies out there and will stand up against the strength of any quality Roquefort you can get your hands on.

Here are top foods that go along well with different types of Whisky:

Grilled Steaks: If it’s a dinner party and you are unsure what to serve with Whisky go for grilled steaks. This pairing can never go wrong. Steaks go very well with medium bodied rich whiskies. Whiskies having rich deep and smoky flavor really works well with beef. Though you need to experiment a bit according to the flavors that you are putting in your steak and it’s fat content. For instance, if you are going in for a leaner steak a meduim bodied whisky goes well with that.

Meatloaf: Meatloaf goes well with strong peaty whiskies. The high alcohol content and spiciness of full-bodied whiskies, like a flavorful single malt whisky goes well with rich, fatty dishes like meatloaf. Healthy meatloaf served with barbecue sauce goes well with strong whiskeys.

Smoked Salmon: Smoked Salmon marries well with Light fragrant whiskies with a touch of sweetness – e.g. Dalwhinnie, Glenkinchie. whiskies. The smokey flavor of the Salmon gives the whisky a spicy fruity taste. These two flavors complement each other really well.

Apple Crumble or Apple pie: This dessert goes amazingly well with light fragrant whiskies having a touch of sweetness. The caramel flavors in the Whisky complement the apple pie exceptionally well.

There is an excellent desert menu on our site, Cranachan which can be made with blackberries also.

Top pairings

Following my trip to Islay a while ago I drew up some pairings for its extraordinary peaty whiskies. I&rsquom not a great one for whisky dinners but I like the idea of serving tapa-sized dishes with a dram.

Many of these are untried but here are some of the flavours and ingredients I think would work with whiskies such as Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig.

1. Roquefort
Must kick off with a classic. Read this match of the week for the reason why

2. Mutton or rare breed lamb
A pairing that&rsquos closer to home. Islay almost certainly has more sheep than people and the lamb has the same sort of rich, aromatic flavour as salt marsh lamb. In miniaturised terms I&rsquod be thinking of mutton pies or a not-too-spicy lamb samosa.

3. Middle eastern style lamb meatballs or kofte
Similar thinking with a touch of spice

4. Char siu, barbecued or pulled pork
It would heighten the smokey barbecued effect deliciously, I think, and could deal with the sweetness of a marinade

5. Smoked reindeer or venison
Scandinavians are great fans of Islay whiskies, I hear, and I&rsquom sure would love smoked meats like reindeer or venison with them - maybe as a part of a tailormade smorgasbord selection

6. Teriyaki salmon
Again a speculative pairing but I reckon cubes or skewers of teriyaki salmon would work really well

7. Kipper quiche or paté
You&rsquore not going to want to drink whisky with your kippers (I would hope) but in a tartlet or mixed with cream or cream cheese in a paté I&rsquom sure it would work.

8. Charred or roast aubergines
There&rsquos got to be a veggie pairing for peaty whisky and my money&rsquos on aubergine - most likely in the form of the middle eastern spread baba ganoush.

9. Kitcheree
The authentic Indian version with lentils rather than the anglicised one with smoked haddock. Served as a rice bowl.

10. Plain, dark chocolate - at least 70%
Pretty good with blended whisky - bound to be good with a peaty one.

And one for luck: Maltesers! I was originally tipped off by someone who works at Lagavulin and then tried it for myself. It's weirdly moreish - you have to try it for yourself!

Photo by Scott Jessiman Photo at

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Holidays almost always guarantee one thing: a great feast. It’s the American way. But whether you’re hosting your own Christmas dinner or crashing someone else’s New Year’s brunch, one important question remains: Which Rebel Bourbon is the right one to serve?

To get to the bottom of this food-and-bourbon pairing puzzle, we’ve partnered all of your traditional holiday spreads with precisely the right member of the Rebel family.

If all else fails, there’s always the backup plan: Bring along the entire Rebel lineup and be welcomed like the hero you are.

Roast turkey with dressing: Rebel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
For many, turkey is the quintessential holiday meal, so go for the quintessential Rebel KSBW. Its notes of raisin and warm spice mesh nicely with the autumn spices of the dressing.

Prime rib with horseradish sauce: Rebel 100 Proof Bourbon
Roast beef is a Christmas Day favorite, both simple yet assertive. It needs a bold offering like the Rebel 100 Proof, a wheated bourbon with a like-minded intensity. Big roast beef deserves a big bourbon.

Glazed ham: Rebel Straight Rye Whiskey
With its sassy, smoky tang and sweet crust, glazed ham is a solid choice for holiday eats. In a scenario such as this, rebels know exactly where to turn for bourbon: Rebel Yell Straight Rye, baby. Its sweet, spicy flavor and sheer fearlessness is just what you need.

Vegetarian holiday buffet: Rebel Ginger Whiskey
Odds are good that at least one of your dinner invites will be of the no-meat type. Pro tip: Offer Rebel Ginger Whiskey. Whether poured over ice or mixed into a cocktail, its zesty flavor is guaranteed to make that tofurky taste mighty good.

Dessert party: Rebel Root Beer Whiskey
You know what they say about a big holiday meal: Leave some room for pie. We say, forget the pie. Rebel Root Beer Whiskey is all the dessert you need. However, this is a dessert party, so do as the occasion requires: Grab a slice of pie, and pour everyone a shot. They’ll be glad you did.

After-dinner event: Rebel 10-Year Single Barrel Bourbon
After the eating’s done, it’s time to sum it all up in a post-meal session, to contemplate everything that has come before. Close it out rebel-style with the Rebel 10-Year Single Barrel Bourbon, rich with hints of caramel, citrus, and oak.

5 Great Cigars and the Perfect Bourbon, Whisky and Cognac to Sip With Them

Matthias Jordan/Unsplash

No matter what the world throws at us—pandemics, social unrest, in-laws—at the end of the day we can find sanctuary in a lovely little cocoon of spirits and smoke. We’ve gone in pursuit of the perfect pairing of spirit and cigar to enjoy, perhaps next to a crackling fire, this holiday season.

In some cases, the bourbon in question is tailored specifically to enjoying it with a great cigar. In other instances, we’ve tasted a myriad of single malts, ryes, cognac and more to tease out the subtle tasting notes of the spirit—imparted by the distilled grain itself or by some time finishing in sherry casks—to understand how it could match up the flavor profile of the tobacco in our favorite cigars. Here, five pairings in which the distiller’s skill perfectly (and sometimes purposefully) complements the cigar maker’s art.

Watch the video: S03 - E05 Νάξος, η βασίλισσα των Κυκλάδων Μέρος 1. Naxos Island, Part 1 English Subs (August 2022).