Summer Whiskey Cookouts

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By Richard Thomas

Summer and barbecue go hand in hand, and standing right next to Mr. Barbecue ought to be a bottle of whiskey. As BBQ maestro Adam Perry Lang told me earlier this year, the flavors found in whiskey make it both a natural ingredient and accompaniment for barbecue sauce and many cookout dishes.

Of course, you can just pair your cookouts with a nice bottle of whiskey (although in summer a jar of ice might have to go with it), but you should try cooking with it as well. With that in mind, this is The Whiskey Reviewer‘s guide to eating some of that whiskey, instead of drinking it.

Starters And Sides
Smoked salmon often appears as an appetizer, so one way to be very Scottish and at the same time whisky-up your starter platter is to cure some salmon with blended scotch. This is a very low labor dish, requiring only enough forethought to prepare the salmon at least 12 hours before the meal.

If you have bourbon on hand in place of blended scotch, then bourbon barbecue meatballs make for a good sticker snack. This involves more labor than the whisky-cured salmon, but is more in tune with the flavors of a beef and pork cookout at the same time.

As for side items, the classic is bourbon baked beans. That said, what devotee of Southern cooking could refuse a helping of bourbon mashed sweet potatoes?

BBQ Sauce And Marinades
For the main event, whiskey is one of the seasonings going into the barbecue sauce and/or marinades used to flavor your cookout meat. The simplest thing to do is to take your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce, put it in a bowl and stir in some of your favorite cheap whiskey, but there are ways to put a lot more love into your cooking.

Deserts
Finally, if someone wants a solid desert instead of the liquid wash-down of a good tumbler of whiskey, offer them one of these two whiskey-spiked dishes:

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