Cooking with Whisky – Five Simple Recipes to Try

When I’m not sampling some of the finest whisky in the UK (purely for professional reasons you understand, honest…) as I consider myself a bit of a foodie, there’s nothing I love more than tucking into a plate of the finest, locally produced dishes, I can find.

Now, don’t get me wrong, even though I’m a self-professed foodie, like the rest of the GreatDrams team, I do enjoy the odd beige petrol station meal deal now and then. What I would much rather be tucking into however, is any of the dishes I’m about to list below, made with a spirit near and dear to us here at GreatDrams – Whisky!

Not only can a fine single malt be enjoyed as a beverage, it also makes a great culinary ingredient. Whisky is massively versatile and is a spirit that can be used to give all manner of dishes an extra depth and layer of flavour.

Whether it’s a smoky, sweet, oaky bourbon, a smooth blended Irish whiskey, a harsh and peaty Islay single malt, or a fruity and creamy dram from Speyside, here are some popular dishes that wouldn’t be the same without a wee dram or two.

Bread and Butter Pudding with Whisky and Marmalade

This is one of my ultimate comfort foods. Not only is it rich, carby, and comforting, it’s also easy to make and you can really get generous with the whisky.

Slices of white bread are taken, placed into a suitable pan, and given a liberal buttering. Seriously, don’t be shy with the butter it’s not as if this is something you eat every day. Next, I give the bread a generous layer of marmalade, before combining cream, sugar, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a generous glug of whisky.

Now pour over the whisky cream mix and bake in the oven. This dish works great with an Irish whiskey, or our rare cask series English Whisky Co 7 Year Old PX Sherry Cask Single Malt. The sherry notes really compliment the marmalade and vanilla flavours beautifully.

Photo Credit:

Simple Whisky Cream Sauce

Perfect for pouring over your haggis, neeps, and tatties as part of your Burns Night supper, whisky cream sauce is a simple sauce to make that not only goes great with haggis, but also fantastically with chicken or pork.

Made with scotch, shallots, double cream, chicken stock, garlic, thyme, tarragon, and plenty of salt and pepper, you can knock this savoury sauce up in minutes, and really transform any dish. I like to use a smoky, peat-heavy single malt for mine as the smokiness helps cut through the richness and really elevates whichever dish you pour it over.

Photo Credit: Don't Go Bacon My Heart


If you love your traditional Scottish desserts, you can get more traditional than cranachan.

Perfect to serve after a Burns Night supper, ripe winter berries, toasted oats, whipping cream, and of course, a hearty glug of Scotch are combined together to make this classic dish. Like the Eton Mess, it isn’t the nicest thing to look at, but it tastes divine.

Photo Credit:Scottish Scran

Glazed BBQ Pork Belly Slices

When it isn’t blowing a gale outside, or lashing down with rain, I like to dust off my trusty barbeque and grill up some glazed BBQ pork belly chunks.

Simply take your pork belly slices, marinate them in ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, honey, maple syrup, star anise, and whisky/whiskey, and leave to infuse for as long as possible. When they’ve taken on those flavours, throw them on the barbie to get nice and sticky. Pour over any remaining glaze halfway through the cooking process, and grill on either side.

I’ve made this dish with bourbon before, and the results were very good. Feeling frugal one rare sunny afternoon however, I decided to use a drop of our GreatDrams BBQ Blend – The Taste of Summer, and I was blown away.

We released this whisky as a way of celebrating the art of BBQ, while complimenting it at the same time. There’s caramel and spicy notes like you’d find in a bourbon, along with sweet orchard fruit and smoky notes that complement the rich pork belly chunks perfectly.  

Photo Credit: Lord Byron's Kitchen

Whisky Ice Cream

After one too many in the sampling room, while browsing the web one evening, I stumbled upon an ice cream maker. Having fancied trying my hand at making my own ice cream for quite some time, I clicked ‘buy now’ and instantly regretted my life choices.

For nearly a year, that ice cream maker sat in our kitchen cupboard, gathering dust until one hot summer’s day, I decided to have a bash at making my own whisky ice cream. Using a simple online recipe I loaded up the machine with all the usual ingredients, I.E double cream, sugar, condensed milk, vanilla extract, along with more than a snifter of one of our whiskies. It was amazing!

I can’t remember exactly which dram it was, but I know it was a Speyside expression which was very similar to our Linkwood 8 Year Old Single Cask Single Malt whisky. Fairly heavy on the fruity notes and aromas, with a touch of honey and more than a suggestion of vanilla, it worked incredibly well in this ice cream. I’m not ashamed to admit that that particular batch did not last long, although I did have a bit of help finishing it off.

I haven’t been brave enough to try it with a smoky dram yet, but when I do, you’ll all be first to know the results.

Photo Credit: Well Plated
Tags: Cooking with Whisky
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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