Perfect Pairings with Bourbon
Perfect Pairings are all the rage in foodie circles, from wine to craft beer lovers and beyond. Bourbon enthusiasts are no exception, but the “perfect” pairing is a little more of a challenge. That said there are a few brave and intrepid folks who have taken up the gauntlet and risen to the challenge.
On the Sweeter Side
Bourbon goes great with sweet treats. It’s just another wonderful fact about bourbon. As an aperitif, bourbon works best with pecan pie and chocolate, anything dressed with maple syrup. Banana bread and sweet corn work well also. Peaches or berries are another perfect contrast to complex smoky flavors of bourbon.
A great complement to the smoky flavor caused by the charred oak barrels in which bourbon is aged is the tang of smoky or grilled meats. Smoked ham, both tangy and sweet, is a perfect pairing as well as grilled steak.
Adding a little heat to the meal can make a spirit like J. Henry & Sons Bourbon really stand out. Try New Orleans Style Jambalaya or a Low Country Boil with plenty of Paprika.
The Other White Meat
White meats like pork, bacon, and heavy fishes like smoked catfish make delicate but delicious flavor combinations.
A classic, shepherd’s pie with grilled steak and tangy gravy is a stick-to-your-ribs combo for fall and early winter. Change it up by adding pork or bits of bacon; the salty flavor combination reacts beautifully with J. Henry & Sons Bourbon.
Pairing your bourbon with the perfect cigar is a challenge. As we all know, there are thousands of subtle variations in how people taste or perceive flavors, especially unique mixes like bourbon or tobacco. In the case of J. Henry & Sons Bourbon, a medium-bodied cigar (a Cohiba for example) brings the distinct flavors to the surface. The contrast becomes subtle and complex, but every moment should be savored. Of course, if you have the means, the Fuente Fuente Opus X (the mythical cigar) would be a great match as well.
The Lighter Side
Sometimes a full meal is too much, too heavy or just not what you or your guests are in the mood for. Here are a few perfect pairings from the lighter side of things – nuts, fruits and other appetizers.
The Classic Deviled Egg
The base of the yolk, the creamy topping and paprika are a wonderful contrast to bourbon. The dueling flavors seem to encourage one another, so be careful. Before you know it, the deviled eggs or the bourbon might be gone!
The much-loved pistachio seems to be made as the perfect partner for a glass of bourbon. It’s contrast and synthesis in condensed form.
Cheese and Crackers
Are you recognizing the theme? Anything salty works well with the complex flavor of J. Henry & Sons Bourbon. Specifically, gourmet crackers and light bodied cheeses are best, but for a truly bold flavor experience try the Nord Hollander cheese. This is a sweet and savory cheese with complex flavors including caramel and sea salt. Try smoked Gouda or dry aged Parmesan as well.
Wedge Salad and Creamy Dill Dressing
Rounding out the lighter fare is the romaine wedge salad with a generous helping of creamy dill dressing. Or try the traditional wedge with blue cheese crumble and bacon with your bourbon. It is as if it were made for J. Henry & Sons Bourbon.