14 Best Snacks to Pair with All Types of Whiskey

Abbey Miller
Published on
by Abbey Miller

Whiskey’s savory nature is a treat in itself. Still, a little nibble with equally satisfying food can heighten the experience of every sip.

14 Best Snacks to Pair with All Types of Whiskey

Here’s our list of the fourteen best snacks with whiskey to satiate your cravings and perfect your drinking experience.

1. Nachos


This corn-based party snack is a classic go-to pair by many whiskey drinkers. Its tangy taste blends well with the drink’s bitter taste without overpowering it. You can also play around with the variety of toppings to put on it.

Try topping your pack of nachos with melted cheese, refried beans, sweet tomato, or pickled jalapeño for a fancy touch to your drinking experience.

2. Cheese


You can never go wrong with cheese and whiskey. With the range of flavors available for both, pairing them up to achieve your preferred taste is an experience in itself. Mild beverages like Tennessee and Irish whiskies do well with brie.

If you’re drinking smoky drinks like scotch and Japanese whiskey, gouda cheese’s sweet and creamy taste is your best pick.

Other popular pairings include camembert for bourbon, Roquefort for smoky scotch, and stilton for full-bodied scotch. To fully savor the taste of your whiskey, you’d also want to avoid strong-flavored cheese like gorgonzola as they tend to overpower the drink’s flavor.

3. Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Premium dark chocolates consist of 50 to 90% cocoa solids, giving it its bitter taste, perfect for adding depth to stronger whiskeys like bourbon. On the other hand, the drink’s earthy taste enhances the sweet’s chocolatey flavor without tasting too sugary.

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth craving with a full dessert cocktail, adding milk and hazelnut chocolates is an excellent alternative to pairing up with rye and single malt whiskey.

4. Dried Fruits and Nuts

Dried Fruits and Nuts

Dried fruits and nuts are snack staples for many reasons. First, they’re widely available. Second, their variety lets you create a unique blend of tastes, complementing any drink. Third, they have less calories than most snacks!

Finding the right mix to pair up with your glass of whiskey is all about balance. As a rule of thumb, choose bitter nuts like brazils and walnuts for sweet whiskeys and sweet nuts like pecans and Malcona almonds for stronger-tasting ones. If unsure, go with salted nuts, as they do well with everything.

Dried fruits like Fuji apples, Nashi pears, and Kyoho grapes are great additions for balancing out all the flavors of your whiskey.

5. Crackers


Whether you’re tasting wine or washing down the aftertaste of a late lunch, crackers are excellent snacks to help you cleanse your palate. They’re also snack favorites popular for complementing all types of whiskey consistencies without overpowering the drink’s taste.

Classic favorites include sweet chili crackers, salted pretzels, bread sticks, and saltines. Any crackers with a peppery, cheesy, or salty taste are an excellent whiskey side snack.

6. Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Fans of this comfort food will be delighted to know it pairs well with whiskey! This dessert’s sweet apple crisp blends well with salty caramel whiskey and vanilla-flavored drinks.

Flavored spirits with hints of vanilla, honey, raisins, and stone fruit are excellent matches for apple pies.

7. Finger Sandwiches

Finger Sandwiches

This tea time and bar snack favorite is excellent if you want something healthy and easy to make, with lots of room to mix and match. You can have a cheese or a beef and vegetable sandwich, whichever you prefer.

Finger sandwiches do well with all whiskey types and other snack favorites, so it’s a safe addition to the table, especially with guests.

8. Spanish Chorizo

Spanish Chorizo

Spanish chorizos are perfect with Scottish single malts. They can also be served together or alongside the other snacks on our list. Put it on a platter or stuff it in a sandwich, and that should do the trick. You can also ground it and put it atop your nachos or crackers.

This chorizo’s flavorful mix of paprika, garlic, chili pepper, oregano, and salt tickles the palate, which surprisingly doesn’t overwhelm the smooth tang of whiskey.

9. Crispy Corn

Crispy Corn

If you’re looking for a tangy, spicy, crunchy taste while snacking, crispy corn can be your instant favorite. You can add lemon drip or spice powders to enhance its flavor. One recipe can serve a lot, making this ideal if you drink whiskey with a larger group.

10. Peanut M&Ms

Peanut M&Ms

Candies are go-to essentials for everyone’s sweet tooth, and when it comes to top picks for pairing with whiskeys, peanut M&Ms are a fine addition. Their crunchy, colorful coatings look great in a bowl of dried fruits.

M&Ms are easy to munch and have a subtle sweet flavor, making them a light snack beside your favorite amber-colored spirit.

11. Potato Chips

Potato Chips

One of the best movie snacks is also a friendly whiskey company. Potato chips are available in groceries and supermarkets, so grabbing some packs is easy.

Its crunchy texture perfectly matches whiskey’s rich and smooth flavor. At the same time, its mild salt offers a delectable contrast to your drink’s fruity, floral taste profiles.

12. Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

If healthy seafood is your ideal snack, then smoked salmon should be on top of your list. It’s compatible with bourbon and rye whiskey, giving your drink a spicy, fruity taste derived from the salmon’s dark, bitter, smokey flavor.

Whiskey with creamy and citrusy notes also matches this snack, letting you enjoy the subtle, fragrant note of salmon as you sip.

13. Grilled Steak

Grilled Steak

Grilled steaks are party-ready food perfect for dinner and are exquisite snacks to pair with your whiskey. It’s almost impossible to have whiskey over dinner without grilled steaks present. The smoky taste of grilled meat complements whiskey’s bold flavor.

There are plenty of seasonings to enhance your grilled meat’s flavor, so you’ll have ample options to experiment and see which one fits your taste. Popular seasonings you can try include cinnamon, dark chilis, red pepper flakes, and mustard powder.

As a rule of thumb, don’t go hard in adding spices to your meat, as they often conflict with the whiskey’s flavor.

14. Sushi


Sushi’s an underrated snack companion for whiskeys, but one that’s been getting more popular in recent years. It’s perfect for lighter spirits like Irish whiskey as it balances out the drink’s subtle tang and sweetness with its fish and spicy flavor.

Blended variants like Japanese whiskey also pair well with this snack. Experiment with sushi sauce mixes or add a pinch of wasabi paste. Sushi soy sauce is known to bring out the tang in both the spirit and the raw fish, creating a palatable snacking experience you don’t want to miss.

Mistakes to Avoid When Pairing Snacks With Whiskey

While it looks like picking a snack to pair up with whiskey is easy with the options on our list, many still fall to these two mistakes that can ruin your experience.

Choosing Snacks With Overlapping Flavors

Having similarities and contrasts between your snack and whiskey is fine, but not when both of their tastes overlap too much to the point that they drown each other out. You want snacks that complement your spirit and elevate its flavor, not mirror it.

While drinks with a hint of spice do well with spicy foods, the spiciness needs to be kept to a minimum, with complementary flavors on the side. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bland taste in your mouth, even with the best whiskey brand.

Going Intense on Spices or Flavorings

It’s easy to get carried away with adding seasonings to your snacks, especially when thinking of grilled steak, smoked salmon, and sushi. But if you want to get the best taste out of your whiskey, you’d like to keep your seasonings low-key.

Strong flavorings like garlic, spicy cinnamon, curry powder, and red pepper flakes must be kept at minimum amounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Best Time to Snack with Whiskey?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to when you should snack with this drink, but experts agree that the best time to appreciate whiskey is when your olfactory sense is at its height. This falls between morning to midday, around 10 am. 
Your olfactory sense helps you perceive flavor and aroma, so snacking within this optimum timeframe can help you savor the drink better.

What Are the Worst Snacks to Eat With Whiskey?

Any food with intense flavor or seasoning doesn’t do well with whiskey. They can dilute and cancel out the drink’s subtle tastes, which is the last thing you’d want to enjoy the beverage.
Junk foods, frosted pastries, and garlic-heavy cuisines must be avoided.

Key Takeaways

Pairing whiskey with the best snack can take some trial and error, but it doesn’t have to be a headache.

Bring out the best flavor of your drink with our top fourteen snacks and see which works for you best. Don’t be afraid to experiment. At times, the best duo comes after several mix-and-match.

If everything fails, stick to the basics: No to intense flavors; go with the subtle tastes.

Sign Up For Free 2024 Drink Celebration Guide!

Join our 1 Million+ strong water defense community and get updated on the latest product news & gear reviews. Plus, get a FREE 21-page "2024 Drink Celebration Guide" with exclusive content NOT on this site!

We HATE spam. Your e-mail will never sold or shared!

Abbey Miller
Abbey Miller
Abbey grew up in a family with an appreciation for great beers, fine wines, and nuanced Scotch whiskeys. It's no surprise that she studied Hospitality Management and is now a professional working on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *