A bottle and glass of whiskey with various seafood on the side

5 Delicious Seafoods That Go Perfectly With Whiskey

A bottle and glass of whiskey with various seafood on the side

Like wine, finding harmony is the key to successfully pairing whiskey with food. However, harmonious coupling often depends on visual or visceral augmentation. If you can find a whiskey that goes particularly well with your meal, you've found the perfect match.

Recently seafood has been gaining some attention among whiskey lovers worldwide for a very compelling reason. Continue reading to learn how and why seafood and whiskey work so well.

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1. Lobster

A lobster dish served with lemon slices on a plate

Lobster, a classic seafood delicacy, is an exquisite treat for any occasion. It is the perfect dish to go with your favorite whiskey, whether you're having a fancy meal to celebrate a special occasion or just want to treat yourself.

With its richness and complex layers of flavor, lobster's taste is perfect for pairing with whiskey, as the smoky oak flavors in the liquor match well with the salty taste of the seafood. The smoke also adds a deeper flavor to the meaty texture of the lobster meat, giving it more depth.

The flavors in whiskey also complement the sweet taste of lobster. Bourbon, aged up to 10 years, has hints of vanilla sweetness that make drinking it with food even more enjoyable. A touch of this flavor will enhance the sweetness of the lobster meat, creating a rich and delicious dish.

2. Shrimps

Shrimp dish on a plate with spoon and knife

Whiskey's layers of flavor make it a perfect match for many shrimp recipes. The drink's smokiness pairs well with the meat's saltiness, and its mild sweetness complement the savory bite of shrimp.

When paired correctly, whiskey can also cut through the oiliness of shrimp without overpowering the dish's other flavors. Scotch, bourbon, and rye all work well with this combination, so don't be afraid to experiment and find what best suits your taste buds.

3. Scallops

Scallops served with lemon seared in a pan

Scallops are delicious and versatile seafood that can be prepared in many ways, from being served on the half shell to seared in a pan. However, one of the best ways to enjoy scallops is by pairing them with a good old-fashioned glass of whiskey. This combination is so popular that multiple restaurants are dedicated to this flavor combination alone.

From creating sauces and marinades to serving as a base for desserts and cocktails, whiskey may seem like an unconventional choice for cooking, but its strong taste can make a bold contrast with lighter meals like seafood. 

This is especially true when it's paired with scallops—the whiskey's caramel sweetness complements the scallop's soft texture and brings out the flavors of the sea that are inherent in all seafood. So if you're looking for new ways to prepare your scallops or seeking a good whiskey for your next meal, keep this pair in mind!

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4. Salmon

Salmon dish with lemon slices on top

Whiskey has long been a popular accompaniment to seafood, enjoyed separately or mixed into a cocktail. The smoky, peaty notes of a good whiskey are particularly complimentary to the salty flavor of grilled and smoked salmon, which is a natural choice for warm days or indoor barbecues.

This savory, tender fish is also a perfect pairing for the bold taste of Cabernet Sauvignon, which has firm tannins that can often overpower other flavors. A cocktail blend of American and Canadian whiskeys with a hint of honey complements the wine's subtler flavors and allows both to shine on their merits.

5. Oysters

Oysters served on a wooden tray

Both whiskey and seafood are enjoyed in their own right, but they can also make for incredible complements to other things.

Take oysters, for instance. They're delicious on their own, but they can also be baked with spices and herbs or served with a mignonette sauce—and then you've got a whole new take on the popular classic dish.

Even without any other additions, the salty flavor of oysters pairs great with whiskey's upfront smokiness. In that same regard, the smoky taste of whiskey can bring out some of the natural richness of the oysters, and the sweetness in both goes well together, making whisky and oysters a match in heaven.


Pouring whiskey into a rocks glass with ice

Whiskey pairs well with many types of cuisine, but seafood is a fascinating option. There are many types of seafood, each with unique flavor and texture to complement your favorite glass of whiskey or bourbon. Furthermore, most seafood plates can complement the taste of whiskey in remarkable ways, such as adding umami richness or sweetness to the mix. 

Enjoying a sip of your favorite whiskey while eating delicious seafood feels like the ideal hedonistic experience, so why not treat yourself from time to time and enjoy this pairing with your friends or family? Bon appetit!

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