What Not to Eat With Whiskey: 7 Foods To Avoid (2023)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

From simple snacks to fancy foods, food pairings with whiskey make your drinking experience remarkably extra special.

But before you plan your next food to pair with whiskey, there are foods you need to avoid that are unfit and might not complement the divine flavor of the whiskey. 

Here’s what not to eat with whiskey and why you should avoid it. Read on.

Top 7 Foods You Shouldn’t Eat With Whiskey

1. Strong In Garlic 

You shouldn’t pair your favorite whiskey with any foods that are strong in garlic because it might overpower the taste of the whiskey. 

Garlic’s taste goes beyond the usual palate, and the intense flavor of garlic might stick to your tongue and lessen your ability to savor the full-tasting profile of whiskey.

In a worst-case scenario, garlic’s pungent and spicy profile might kill the flavor of your favorite whiskey.

2. High-Sodium Foods 

hand full of salt

Pairing your whiskey with salty food can enhance the taste of whiskey, but a little goes a long way, so you need to avoid eating high-sodium foods while drinking your whiskey.

Eating high-sodium foods alone can be alarming as excess sodium can raise your blood pressure, and worst, it can be linked with hypertension.

Sodium is commonly found in table salts, and pairing high-sodium foods with whiskey can destroy and ruin the complex profile of the drink. 

3. Smarties 

pack of Smarties Candy Roll

Although sweets are a great pairing with whiskey, sugary colorful candy wafers like Smarties don’t go well with a bottle of whiskey, especially with bourbon or rye whiskey.

The saccharinity of the candy overpowers the whiskey’s sweetness, ruining your drink’s taste.

Also, even though it is a perfect treat for some, the fruitiness of each colorful fruity candy roll from Smarties doesn’t complement the taste of whiskey.

4. Buttery Cakes & Frosted Things 

Some pastries go well with whiskey, but not all the buttery baked cakes and frosted pastries. Although it is tasty, butter works as a flavor carrier, especially for spices.

Also, buttery cakes and other frosted pastries have a lot of fat and sugar. These buttery pastries might outshine the classic vanilla notes of a bourbon whiskey.

5. Big Red, Minty Flavored Gums

Hand Holding Wrigley's Big Red Chewing Gum

You shouldn’t pair Big Red minty-flavored gums while having your favorite whiskey.

These flavored gums have bold and intense mint and cinnamony flavors that linger inside your mouth.

“My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.”

William Faulkner, Novelist

The lingering minty flavors might go overboard and ruin the full-tasting profile of the whiskey you are drinking.

6. Overly Spicy 

Avoid overly spicy foods and snacks because the spicy sensation in our tongues can mask out the flavors and makes it harder for us to detect and appreciate the delicate taste of the whiskey.

Did you know? Spicy is not a taste detected by the tongue but a sensation of pain and heat. [1]

So, all the excessive spiciness in the food can trigger irritation to the tongue, and although it won’t damage your taste buds, it will result in numbness.

7. Fruits That Contain Too Much Citrus

orange,lemon and lime on a table

Citrus fruits are good to pair with liquors. But whiskey is already acidic, and although it is not as acidic as other liquors, you shouldn’t pair your favorite bottle of whiskey with too much citrus.

All citrus fruit, like lemon, orange, lime, and grapefruit, are rich in citric acid. [2] If you put too many citrusy fruits, the whiskey might lose its original alcoholic taste.

The extreme amount of citrus juices can also conceal and mask the aroma and flavors of the whiskey.


What is good to eat while drinking whiskey?

Sweets like desserts, pastries, dark chocolates, and dried fruit and nuts are good to eat while drinking whiskey. Also, cheese with whiskey can make a great pairing.

Is it okay to drink whiskey after milk?

Yes, it is okay to drink whiskey after milk, but it may not keep you sober or prevent you from getting drunk, and your body can still absorb the alcohol from the whiskey.

What can you not mix with whiskey?

Although whiskey is a versatile liquor, you can avoid mixing anything too sweet or too fruity in your whiskey because it might mask out and overpower the delicate flavors of the spirit.

Key Takeaways

Although there are many food pairings you can take with whiskey, some foods you still need to stay away from that won’t complement the whiskey’s complex flavor profile.

In your next whiskey-drinking experience, avoid eating fruits with too much citrus or strongly flavored food, especially those high-sodium and overly spicy snacks.

The food list above won’t pair well with whiskey. You can explore other food pairings until you find the perfect match to complement and let you enjoy your favorite bottle of whiskey.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

One thought on “What Not to Eat With Whiskey: 7 Foods To Avoid (2023)

  • February 18, 2023 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm

    To the admin, Thanks for the well-presented post!


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