Summer means barbecues, and while outdoor cooking often brings to mind beer and wine, the somewhat unexpected combination of meat and brown spirits is an obvious choice for those who demand as much flavor from their drinks as their seared meats. Justin Preston – co-owner of one of England’s oldest butchers, Allen’s of Mayfair – understands that the flavor profiles of lamb, beef and chicken pair well with whisky. After trying a Whisky Smash last summer – a long drink made with fresh lemon juice and mint – he recognized the various ways of pairing whisky to what’s cooking on the grill. While a new season lamb will match a lighter whisky or blend, a 30-day aged beef with immense flavor will stand up to a stronger, full-bodied whisky. Other meats such as venison and chicken also lend themselves to being marinated in the versatile brown spirit.

Alexander & James, the luxury online store for spirits connoisseurs, suggests going for a classic Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky and soda, served on the rocks, or a Bulleit Rye Whiskey Julep. For seafood, a fruity whisky like The Singleton of Dufftown can be mixed with summer berries, fresh ginger, soda and ice for a refreshing punch. Even salads can benefit from a hint of whisky in the dressing to liven them up a little. Once the barbecue is over, a neat whisky can emulate the light smoke and full flavors on its own. This summer forget the old rules and feel confident in experimenting, and give your barbecue a distinct edge with the right whisky pairing. To find out more, head over to Alexander & James.

What To Read Next