The Best Food to Pair with Irish Whiskey According to Experts

Spoiler: It's not corned beef.



Photo by: Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

Irish whiskey is as much a St. Patrick’s Day staple as Guinness or corned beef and cabbage in America. This year, sip the spirit along with a meal that it was meant for. Not sure what dish pairs best? We asked the experts for their favorite pairings just in time for Paddy’s Day.

Hawaiian Pizza (pictured above)

When most people think of Irish whiskey, Jameson immediately comes to mind. Distillers at the legacy brand take their whiskey seriously, but are always open to trying new things. Their Caskmates IPA blend is Irish whiskey aged in craft IPA barrels for a crisp hoppy note recognizable in most IPA-style beers. “The citrus flavors from the Jameson Caskmates IPA complemented by the sweet pineapple and salty ham from the Hawaiian pizza is exceptional,” says Jillian Prior, Jameson Brand Manager. This Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza from Food Network Kitchen is ready in just 40 minutes.

Redbreast whiskey got its start in London, but was truly born in Dublin in 1887. The brand was officially sold to Irish distillers in 1986, and while it may not have started on the Emrald Isle, it’s still considered some of the best Irish whiskey around. “Since Redbreast’s iconic flavor profile is dominated by rich dried fruit and baking spice, quite often I find proteins served with slightly sweetened sauces like a classic Irish favorite — lamb with mint jelly — are well-received,” says Jessamine McLellan, National Brand Ambassador, The Distiller’s Selection. Try a glass with Sandra Lee’s Rack of Lamb with Mint Pesto.



Chunky dip in a yellow dish on a plate alongside plain potato chips

©prop stylist: Marina Malchin

prop stylist: Marina Malchin

“Single Malt has a huge amount of tropical fruit notes, a full body and a very long finish, so it pairs amazingly with a complex, creamy, well-balanced blue cheese,” says Stephen Teeling, Sales and Marketing Director for Teeling Irish Whiskey. We like this Blue Cheese Dip from Food Network Kitchen. It’s a perfect bar snack to help you channel the atmosphere of slow sipping and easy conversation in a traditional Irish pub.

FILET OF BEEFIna GartenBarefoot Contessa/Birthday PartiesFood NetworkWhole Filet, Unsalted Butter, Kosher Salt, Pepper,FILET OF BEEF Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa/Birthday Parties Food Network Whole Filet, Unsalted Butter, Kosher Salt, Pepper

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Whiskey and steak have a long history of getting along, so it’s no surprise to find filet on this list of experts’ favorites. “The smooth, peppery spice flavor of Knappogue pairs perfectly with the savory meat,” says Tony Carroll, Global Brand Ambassador for Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey. Ina Garten’s five-star recipe for Filet of Beef won't disappoint.

SMOKED SALMON SPREAD, Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa/Sunshine Food, Food Network,Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Lemon Juice, Dill, Horseradish, Smoke Salmon,SMOKED SALMON SPREAD, Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa/Sunshine Food, Food Network, Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Lemon Juice, Dill, Horseradish, Smoke Salmon

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ireland is one of the biggest producers of wild salmon and you'll find the fish on restaurant menus throughout the country. “Tullamore D.E.W. Original and smoked salmon is my favorite pairing; both are bright fresh and have complementary citrus notes. This Irish combo is a luxurious pairing that brings out the best in both; perfect for brunch or lunch for St. Patrick’s Day,” says Tim Herlihy, U.S. Brand Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W. Try a glass paired with Ina's Smoked Salmon Spread.   

FNM - Openers_ Cookmarks_ Name This Dish_ Etc

FNM - Openers_ Cookmarks_ Name This Dish_ Etc

Photo by: Cory Dawson

Cory Dawson

We couldn’t forget about dessert. Dark chocolate highlights the dark fruity notes found in Irish whiskies according to Jack Ferris, educator at Bushmills. “This pairing also draws out the soft, warming nutmeg and cinnamon spice in the Black Bush,” he says. This Dark Chocolate-Coconut Fondue is on the sweet side and pairs perfectly with a final drink after dinner.

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