39 Creative Dishes to Pair with an Old Fashioned with Bonus Dishes

An old fashioned is a classic cocktail that has been around for centuries and is still enjoyed by many today. 

While there are many ways to enjoy an old fashioned, one of the best ways to experience it is when it’s paired with a delicious dish. When it comes to pairing drinks and food, not all combinations are created equal. 

So, what is the best food to pair with old fashioned? To help you out, here are some creative dishes that pair perfectly with an old fashioned. 

Whether you’re looking for a unique dish to pair with a nightcap or an inventive appetizer to pass around at your next gathering, this guide will help you select the best food to pair with old fashioned. 

35+ best food to pair with old fashioned

1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Nothing says comfort like a grilled cheese sandwich. But instead of just making your standard version, why not try something more unique

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

For example, why not add some roasted red peppers and fresh basil for a sweet and savory flavor profile? This combination will bring out the sweetness in your old fashioned while giving it an extra layer of flavor. 

Discover More: Best Side Dishes to Elevate Your Egg Salad Sandwich

2. Smoked Salmon Crostini

If you’re looking for something light and flavorful to pair with your old fashioned, smoked salmon crostini is the way to go. 

Toast some slices of baguette, top them with smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese or butter, and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

The salty fish combined with the citrusy notes from the lemon juice will complement the flavors of your drink nicely. 

3. Meatballs

Meatballs are another great option if you want something hearty that isn’t too heavy on the stomach. 


Make them however you like; just be sure to include some herbs, such as oregano or basil, for added flavor. The boldness of the meatballs will stand up nicely against the sweetness of your old fashioned. 

4. Sweet Ingredients 

Because old fashioned is sweet, salty, and bitter all at the same time, adding something sweet to the mix can enhance its flavor profile. 

Gorgonzola cheese is often used in old fashioned recipes because of its strong, creamy taste. 

But if you’re looking for something even sweeter than cheese, consider adding some fresh fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries or dried fruit, like dates or apricots. 

These fruits provide a natural sweetness that enhances the drink’s flavor without overpowering it. 

5. Savory Elements 

If you want to add some savory elements to your old-fashioned experience, consider adding some smoked meats such as bacon or prosciutto. 

The smoky flavors will complement the drink’s sweetness and bitterness while providing a nice contrast in texture. 

You could also try adding olives or pickles for a salty bite. If you want something a little more unusual, try adding some capers—the briny flavor will add a delightful kick! 

6. Spicy Additions 

Adding spicy ingredients can really liven up your old-fashioned experience. A few dashes of hot sauce can bring out the flavors of the drink while simultaneously cutting through its sweetness and bitterness. 

If you prefer something milder but still flavorful, try adding some cilantro or jalapeno peppers—their subtle heat will add just enough kick without overwhelming your palate. 

Or, if you really want to go all out, try making a chili-infused syrup using jalapenos and habaneros! 

7. Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

The smoky flavor of whiskey works well with fried chicken’s crispy crunch, creating a delicious and comforting flavor combination.

Explore More: Delicious Sides to Serve with Fried Chicken Sandwich with sauce

8. Charcuterie board

An array of cured meats and cheeses pairs nicely with the sweetness of the Old Fashioned. Add fresh fruits, nuts and jams to round out the flavors.

9. Caramelized onions

Caramelized Onions

The caramelized sweetness of onions pairs wonderfully with an Old Fashioned’s slight bitterness, creating an intriguing mix of flavors that tantalize the taste buds.

10. Grilled steak

If you are looking for something more savory than sweet, grilled steak provides an excellent accompaniment to an Old Fashioned’s smokiness and subtle sweetness.

11. Bacon-wrapped figs

Figs contain natural sugars that help bring out the unique flavors in whiskey; when paired with bacon, they create a salty yet sweet combination that amplifies the flavor of an Old Fashioned even further. (Recipe)

12. Baked brie

Baked brie

Preparing this dish requires no cooking skills; simply drizzle honey over the top of brie cheese before baking it until it becomes gooey and golden brown on top for a delightfully decadent palate pleaser when sipped alongside an Old Fashioned.

13. Bruschetta

This quick Italian appetizer pairs perfectly with an old fashioned due to its slightly spicy tomato sauce, which compliments both its smoky notes as well as its sweeter elements such as cloves or cinnamon sticks used in making some variations of this classic cocktail.

14. Beef carpaccio

Though light in texture, this elegant Italian dish has depth thanks to its robust beefy flavors, which will be complemented by a nice pour of old fashioned due to its floral tones mixed in with strong accents from orange peel & cherries infused into the glass!

15. Shrimp & grits

Shrimp & grits

Shrimp & grits is a southern classic that is sure to please any crowd & pair beautifully alongside old fashioned thanks to its creamy, cheesy base, which plays off any hints coming through from bitters used while making a drink!

16. Fried green tomatoes

The crispy light-bodied tomato slices work in tandem with the smoky tones of whiskey for an easy yet flavor-packed appetizer or side dish.

17. Salted caramel popcorn

Sweet & salty popcorn provides a delightful contrast to any old fashioned, as its chewy texture will pick up on some of the notes from bitters while also providing a sugary counterpoint that is sure to be pleasing!

18. Mushroom risotto

Risotto’s creaminess and earthiness pair perfectly with Old Fashioned’s smoky sweetness. 

Mushroom Risotto

Plus, mushrooms have their own special depth when it comes to flavor, which makes them even more ideal for pairing with this classic cocktail.

19. Macaroni & cheese

Macaroni & cheese is a quintessential comfort food and is an ideal match for the Old Fashioned due to its creamy texture, which will bring out the whiskey’s woodsy notes.

20. Ribs

The smokiness from both slow-cooked ribs, as well as an old fashioned, make this meal one that’s hard to beat!

21. Apple pie

The sweetness of apples and cinnamon brings a delightful contrast to the whiskey-based cocktail creating a beautiful balance between savory and sweet.

22. Chocolate cake

Chocolate Cake

Rich, dark chocolate cakes pair perfectly with an Old Fashioned as they bring out the hints of sweetness in the whiskey while also providing a delightful contrast to its smoky tones.

23. Caramel apples

The crunchy tartness of apple slices, along with sticky-sweet caramel, makes for a great combination when paired with an old fashioned cocktail due to the complexity of flavors that can be tasted in each bite!

24. Bacon-wrapped dates

Dates offer a unique sweetness that is complemented by salty bacon; this creates an intriguing flavor profile when combined with the nuances from whiskey found in an Old Fashioned.

25. Roasted nuts

roasted Peanuts

Nuts such as almonds and walnuts balance out the sweetness of whiskey while providing a hearty crunch that is sure to satisfy any craving.

26. Fried pickles

The tartness from pickles helps bring out the complexity in a whiskey-based cocktail, making it an ideal pairing for an Old Fashioned.

27. Stuffed mushrooms

Umami-rich mushrooms are complemented by the smoky notes of whiskey in an old fashioned, resulting in a delightful treat.

28. Pulled pork sandwiches

The juicy tenderness of pulled pork pairs wonderfully with the smokiness of a classic old fashioned cocktail! This savory combination will be sure to please your taste buds!

29. Chili con carne

Chili con Carne

Chili con carne is a hearty dish that will bring out the woody notes of an Old Fashioned while also providing a nice contrast to its sweetness. So, dig in and enjoy

30. Potato skins

The classic combination of cheese and bacon will bring out the notes from whiskey in an Old Fashioned, making for a tasty snack that everyone can enjoy.

Find Out More: 39 Delicious Pairs to Serve Potato Skins

31. Ham & Swiss sliders

A perfect blend of salty and sweet, these mini sandwiches make a great addition to any old fashioned-based gathering due to their flavor profile which works in tandem with the drink’s characteristics!

32. BBQ chicken

Sweet, smoky barbecue sauce combined with tender, juicy chicken makes for an unbeatable pairing when enjoyed alongside an Old Fashioned. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

33. Beef Stroganoff

Rich, creamy beef stroganoff brings out the smooth flavor of a whiskey old fashioned, making it a classic match.

34. Fish & chips

Beer-battered fish and fries make for an interesting combination when enjoyed alongside an Old Fashioned. 

The richness of the dish will bring out the hints of sweetness in the drink, creating a unique blend of flavors that is sure to tantalize your taste buds!

Bonus Dishes

 35. Tempura

Light and crisp tempura batter pairs nicely with the smoky notes of an old fashioned, creating a delicate balance between the sweetness of the whiskey-based cocktail and the savory tempura. 

This is a great way to add something light and crunchy to your evening!

36. Sushi


The punchy flavors from sushi will bring out the subtle nuances in an Old Fashioned, making for an enjoyable combination that everyone can enjoy! Pair it with some wasabi for an extra kick!

37. Spicy tuna tartare

The heat from spicy tuna tartare is balanced by the sweet notes from a classic Old Fashioned, providing a unique contrast of flavors that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy this flavorful pairing for a truly unforgettable experience!

Discover More: Amazing Side Dishes to Eat with Tuna Tartare

38. Caramel popcorn

Sweet, salty, and crunchy all at the same time, caramel popcorn is perfect for those who want to indulge in the sweet notes found in whiskey-based cocktails while also enjoying something a bit more savory. It’s sure to be a hit!

39. Chocolate truffles

These delectable treats pair perfectly with an old fashioned due to their rich chocolatey flavor, which complements the smoothness of the whiskey-based drink. Enjoy these two together as you relax after a long day!

Wrap Up

The right food can really enhance your enjoyment of an old fashioned cocktail. 

Sweet ingredients such as gorgonzola cheese and fresh fruit provide a natural sweetness that complements the drink’s flavor profile without overpowering it, while savory elements like smoked meats and olives add depth and complexity to each sip. 

Finally, spicy additions like hot sauce and jalapeno peppers bring out the flavors of the drink while also providing an interesting contrast in texture and taste. 

So next time you make an old fashioned for yourself or someone else, don’t forget about pairing it with delicious food!


What flavor doesn’t go well with old-fashioned?

When it comes to cocktails, the old-fashioned is a classic drink that has withstood the test of time. But there is one flavor that doesn’t quite mesh well with this beloved drink: fruity flavors. 

While it’s not necessarily a bad combination, the sweetness of fruits can overpower the subtle flavors of the old-fashioned, which is traditionally made with bourbon, bitters, sugar, and a hint of citrus. 

Some bartenders may try to incorporate fruity flavors by adding muddled fruit or fruit-flavored bitters, but the result can be a drink that’s too sweet and lacks the complexity that the old-fashioned is known for. 

Instead, stick to traditional garnishes like cherry or orange peel to complement the drink’s flavors without overpowering them.

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