6 great Scottish recipes using whisky

Whisky is not only Scotland's national drink but the perfect ingredient for some of the best Scottish recipes.

Published 21st Apr 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The perfect starter...

Haggis Bon bons

(Submitted by Craig Hart of Sheraton Grand Hotel)

Picture: Sheraton

Haggis Bon bons make for a delicious starter. Picture: Sheraton

Craig says: "Small plates like this are perfect for entertaining and make delicious snacks to accompany drinks. They’re easy to make and can be prepared beforehand, giving you optimum time to concentrate on your guests."


  • 455g Macsween haggis
  • 2 eggs beaten with a little milk
  • 50g plain flour
  • 100g plain breadcrumbs
  • 500ml double cream
  • 2 tsp whisky (Talisker or whisky of your choice)
  • sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


1 For the haggis, prepare three bowls: one with flour, one with the egg mixture and one with breadcrumbs.

2 Divide the haggis into small pieces and roll into balls, then coat them in flour, dip in the egg mixture and roll in the breadcrumbs.

3 Refrigerate for an hour before cooking, then deep-fry in vegetable oil for 3 minutes – or until the balls have a crisp exterior. Drain on kitchen paper.

4 For the whisky brose, heat the double cream in a pan over a medium heat, then add the whisky and stir to combine.

5 Increase the heat so the mixture starts to simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with the salt and pepper.

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6 Add the freshly chopped chives and lemon juice, then pour the sauce into a ramekin and serve alongside the haggis bon bons.

The main event...

Hot smoked salmon with Glenturret Whisky and beetroot salad

(Submitted by Andrew Hamer of Wild Thyme)

Hot smoked salmon.

Hot smoked salmon is always a favourite. Picture: Wild Thyme


  • 340g George Campbell & Sons Smoked Salmon (85g per person)
  • 10ml Glenturret 10 Year Old Scotch Whisky
  • 1 regular beetroot
  • 1 candied beetroot
  • 1 golden beetroot
  • For the Pickling liquor
  • 150ml lemon vinegar
  • 150ml white wine vinegar
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 banana shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • To serve
  • 80g Katy Rodgers crème fraiche
  • 50g rocket leaves
  • 30g horseradish cream
  • 1 lime
  • Summer harvest lemon dressing


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1.Separate the hot smoked salmon into four portions and brush each one with the whisky and allow to infuse.

2.Meanwhile, make the pickling liquor. Place the lemon vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, chopped banana shallot, peppercorns and thyme into a pan and bring to a boil. Season well with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

3.Wash the regular beetroot. Place it in a pan with three quarters of the pickling liquor and bring to a simmer. Once the beetroot is tender, remove from the liquor, remove the skin and allow to cool. Put to one side.

4.Peel and shave the golden beetroot into slithers. Using the remaining quarter of the pickling liquor, pour it over the golden beetroot slithers, cover, leave to soften then cool. Put to one side.

5.Peel and shave the candied beetroot and put to one side.

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6.Mix the horseradish sauce, lime juice and the crème fraiche and put to one side.

7.Warm the smoked salmon in the oven for a few minutes.

8.To serve, cut the regular beetroot into wedges and arrange on a plate. Mix the washed rocket leaves in a bowl with shavings of the candied and golden beetroot. Drizzle some summer harvest lemon dressing and the crème fraiche mix over the plate and then pop the salmon on top.

A fun dessert...

Whisky Babas

(Submitted by Tom Kitchin)


Whisky babas can be a fun dessert. Picture: Tom Kitchin

Tom says: "Whisky is yet another example of the very best of Scotland's food and drink and when I was asked previously to come up with a dessert that really represented the country, I wanted to do something different.  So I started experimenting with the recipe for rum baba. This dish - also known as baba au rhum - is a traditional French dessert that is still seen on many menus across the country.

It's a small cake that is saturated in liquor - usually rum. But for my Scottish twist I added a Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky, aged 15 years, and it certainly went down well."

Makes 12


• 8g yeast

• 20ml of lukewarm water

• 250g flour

• 25g sugar

• 5g salt

• 4 eggs, beaten

• 75g melted butter

• Syrup

• 500ml water

• 250g sugar

• zest of 1 orange

• zest of 1 lemon

• whisky to your personal taste

• 12 x 2" dario moulds, greased


1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Dissolve the yeast in the 20ml of lukewarm water. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt and mix. Slowly add the eggs and yeast followed by the melted butter until smooth and elastic.

2 Half fill 12 dario moulds with the mix then cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm area until they rise to the top. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown, remove and leave to cool on a tray.

3 Meanwhile, to make the syrup, boil the water, sugar and orange and lemon zest, adding whisky to your taste. Place the babas in the whisky syrup and serve with whipped cream (and maybe a wee bit more whisky).

A more traditional dessert...

Whisky Panna Cotta with Caramel and Orange Syrup

(Submitted by Tom Kitchin)

Tom Kitchin Recipe: Panacotta

Tom Kitchin Recipe: Panacotta

Tom says: "I recently cooked for, and hosted, the launch of David Beckham’s Haig Club single grain whisky made at Cameronbridge Distillery – the oldest grain distillery in Scotland. One of the dishes I served was whisky panna cotta, using the new Haig Club blend. It was an honour and pretty nerve-racking for me, cooking for these familiar faces from sport, music and fashion, but what made me really proud was the spotlight it shone on Scotland – our wonderful landscape, produce and hospitality."

Makes 6-8


For the panna cotta

  • 125g milk
  • 125g cream
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 3 leaves of bronze gelatine
  • juice of ¼ lemon
  • 50ml whisky of your choice
  • 2 large oranges – segmented
  • handful of mint leaves
  • 2½ inch ring mould

For the caramel and orange syrup

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 100ml water


1 Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft. In a heavy-bottomed pan on a low heat warm the milk, cream and sugar until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove the gelatine sheets from the water and squeeze out any excess liquid.

2 Add to the milk, cream and sugar. Then add the lemon juice and whisky. Once cooled, pour into moulds or glasses and leave to set in the fridge for approximately two to three hours before serving with the caramel and orange syrup, segmented and sliced orange and a sprinkling of mint leaves.

3 In a heavy bottom pan gently caramelise the sugar until it is golden. Carefully add the orange juice and water taking care not to let the caramel split. Allow to boil for two to four minutes then remove from the heat. Add a little whisky if desired.

The after dinner sweet...

(Vegan) Whisky tablet

(Submitted by Vegan Lass aka Emily Wilkinson)


Delicious whisky tablet which vegans can enjoy too. Picture: Vegan Lass

Emily says: "I know a few purists who will curse me for daring to put whisky in my tablet, but I rather like it. If you’d prefer a more traditional tablet experience, feel free to omit the whisky; either way this recipe will get you a melt-in-the-mouth sweet treat much like the kind that’s been made for decades.

It’s a bit of a project (it takes a lot of standing and stirring), but in my opinion is well worth the effort."


  • 125g vegan butter (plus extra to grease the tin)
  • 1kg golden caster sugar
  • 400ml coconut milk (full-fat, tinned)
  • 250ml coconut cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml good-quality vegan whisky

1. Grease a 9-inch square baking tin with vegan butter and set aside.

2. Place the sugar, coconut milk, and coconut cream into a large cooking pot. Place over a low heat and stir occasionally till the sugar has dissolved. Add in the butter and stir till melted.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to boil. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until it reaches soft-ball stage (120 degrees Celsius or 248 Fahrenheit); if you know how to recognise this stage by sight, go for it, otherwise use a thermometer.

4. Add in the vanilla and the whisky (if using) and stir to combine.

5. Using an electric whisk, beat the mixture in the pot till it thickens up almost to setting point. When it’s pretty thick, but still liquid, pour the mixture out into your greased tin and set aside to cool.

6. After 25 minutes, score the tablet into roughly 1-inch squares.

7. Leave to set for another 2-3 hours, cut, then serve or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

The perfect home-made gift...

Dark chocolate and whisky truffles

(Submitted by Mark Greenaway)


Dark chocolate and whisky truffles are perfect for wowing your guests. Picture: TSPL

Mark says: "As chocolate desserts are always a firm favourite on my menus, I thought this week I should share one of my favourite chocolate recipes – dark chocolate and whisky truffles. These indulgent delights make a perfect after-dinner treat.

Often, quality wins out over quantity. This recipes contains few ingredients but it is worthwhile choosing carefully when it comes to the chocolate and whisky. For a dish where chocolate is centre stage it is always worth investing in good quality with at least 70 per cent cocoa. A weaker chocolate would simply be lost having to compete with the strong flavours of whisky and cinnamon."

Ingredients for the truffles:

• 675g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa minimum)

• 320g unsalted butter

• 0.5 tsp cinnamon

• 250ml double cream, warmed

• 75ml of good quality whisky

Ingredients for coating the truffles

• 150g white chocolate

• 20g cocoa powder

Method for making the truffles

1 Melt the chocolate, butter and cinnamon over a bain marie until the three ingredients melt together and remove from the heat.

2 Mix the warm double cream with the whisky.

3 Add both mixes together and stir until combined.

4 Chill for 1 hour in the fridge until the mix becomes set.

5 Roll the set mixture into rough truffle shapes with your hands.

6 Return to the fridge to chill.

Method for coating the truffles

7 Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie.

8 Spread a little on the palm of your hand and roughly roll a truffle in it and place on a tray.

9 Continue until all of the truffles are coated.

10 Dust each truffle with a little cocoa powder.

11 Set back in the fridge until ready to serve.

Please note these are meant to look rustic so don’t try and be too pretty with them, after all they are meant to look like a ‘truffle’. And be warned – they are very addictive!


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