Marinade To Glazing, 7 Top Tips for Using Whiskey in Cooking
Image Credit: A chef cooking with alcohol, Shutterstock

Whiskey has a vast role in cooking, spreading its malty goodness in delicious, spicy, or sweet dishes. Many variations exist in distilled spirits, ranging from bourbons and ryes in the American style to peaty Scotches and Irish whiskey. The range of flavour profiles is limitless and subject to individual palatal preferences. Here are eight tips for using the malty goodness of whiskey to give your cooking that desired kick.

Choosing the proper whiskey

Whatever you may use whiskey for, the first step begins with determining the correct type of whiskey. Choose a whiskey that perfectly complements the desired flavours in your dish. Bourbon boasts a sweet and oaky flavour profile, whereas Scotch whisky presents smoky and earthy notes. Try out various varieties to discover the one that elevates your dish.

Whiskey as a marinade

The best way to use whiskey is to soak your meats in for a little kick when cooked. Combine whiskey with citrusy juices, herbs, spices, and more to add a flavourful punch to your dish. Let the meat soak overnight to let it absorb the flavours.

Using whiskey in sauces

Employing whiskey in sauce, Image Source:

Incorporating whiskey into sauces can enhance their depth and complexity. When preparing a luscious pasta sauce or a delectable glaze for grilled meat, include a dash of whiskey to improve the overall flavour profile. It is imperative to ensure that the alcohol has been cooked off before serving, as heat is known to dissipate the alcohol content.

Using whiskey in desserts

The addition of whiskey can elevate the flavour profile of various desserts. Incorporate a delicate drizzle of whiskey atop your ice cream, utilize it in a luscious caramel sauce, or integrate it into your cake batters and chocolate ganache for a truly indulgent experience. The warm and robust whiskey flavours can elevate desserts to a new level.

Pouring whiskey, Image Source: Pexels

Mix whiskey with butter

Incorporate the whiskey into the softened butter to produce a distinctive compound butter. This versatile condiment may be applied generously atop char-grilled cuts of meat or seafood, delicately melted onto a bed of roasted vegetables, or employed as a delectable final flourish to baked goods. It is recommended to refrigerate the butter until it solidifies before usage.

Adding whiskey to savoury dishes

Adding whiskey can impart a nuanced flavour to savoury preparations such as stews, chilis, and soups. Add a modest ingredient quantity while cooking to elevate the overall taste profile. It is recommended to commence with an amount conservative and fine-tune according to personal preference, as the robust notes of whiskey possess the potential to dominate other constituents.

Cooking mushrooms with whiskey, Image Source:

Glazing with whiskey

Whiskey glazes can impart a delectably caramelized finish to roasted meats or vegetables. Incorporate whiskey into your culinary creations by harmonizing it with complementary components such as brown sugar, honey, mustard, or soy sauce. Apply the glaze onto your dish towards the end of the cooking process to yield a delectable crust.

Pair whiskey with chocolate

Infuse whiskey's rich and complex flavours into decadent chocolate truffles or utilize it as a critical element in luscious chocolate-based sauces to create a genuinely indulgent culinary experience.


It is imperative to exercise restraint when incorporating whiskey into your culinary endeavours and tailor the measurements to your taste and the particular recipe. Indulge in exploring the intricate and robust notes that whiskey can impart to your culinary creations!