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3 Tips For A Perfect Food and Bourbon Pairing

Bourbon is the liquified gold drink, sweet on the tongue and loved by many. Experiencing a rising demand in the market, this American classic drink has a wide range of flavour and quality.

Available in many flavour characteristics like nutmeg and cinnamon, Bourbon’s core characteristic is caramelized sweetness which comes from its aging in charred oak new barrels.

You can pair it with food which have a caramelized element be it meat or dessert. Being a southern drink, Bourbon pairs extremely well with southern dishes. It classes up your meal but ensure that none overpowers the other in terms of flavour. To begin with, you can try pairing it with fruits, nuts, sweet potatoes, maple syrup and chocolates.

Tips to pair food with Bourbon are given below-

1.  Proof

The lowest at which Bourbon can be bottled is 80 Proof which would taste smooth. High alcohol content in the drink would make it difficult for you to experience the delicateness of aroma and flavor. It is advisable to pair lower Proof spirits with delicate foods.

While pairing remember that more robust the food, higher Proof of the Bourbon. You may try pairing poultry or pork with W. L. Weller Special Reserve, which is a 90 Proof Bourbon and a 100 Proof like Henry McKenna with steak and other meat. High Proof Bourbon will do justice to the richness of the sauce and proteins.

On the other hand, try low Proof Bourbons with desserts and cheese.

2. Age

Flavours highly depend on the time the spirit remains in a charred new oak barrel. More time it remains in the barrel, more precisely you can taste the fruit, flowers and grains. Lesser time will make it taste subtler.

Old Bourbons are high on Proof while younger ones are low on it. You can pair vegetarian dishes with seven to nine-year-old Bourbons while meat and other meat with ten with twelve-year-old Bourbons like Elijah Craig.

3. Mash Bill

The mixture of the grains in your Bourbon or the Mash Bill also determine to flavour. A Bourbon Mash Bill has at least 51% corn.

A typical Bourbon may have 65- 70% corn and approximately equal parts of malted barley and rye. Being on the sweeter side, it pairs perfectly with desserts and creamy appetizers. It tastes great with chocolate cheesecake.

Mostly corn, some malted barley and a high 30- 35% rye has a sweet and spicy flavour like a Four Rouses.

A wheated Bourbon like a Maker’s Mark is a low Proof and a wheat Mash Bill, perfect with spicy food.

While you keep these in mind, you can also experiment a little and discover your own favourite flavor combination. You can invent your own pairing and enjoy this classic drink to the fullest.

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