Do Bourbon and Whiskey Pair Well with a Raw Bar?

More and more restaurants in Arizona are opening back up. After a long wait, it’s a great time to start trying new dining options again. Bourbon & Bones, located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale and San Tan Village, is back open for indoor dining. We’re especially famed for our steakhouse selections and classic American dishes. But we have a vast menu that also includes a raw bar. You may be wondering, would selecting the raw bar affect which of our many drink options you could get? Read on below to find out more.

Our Drinks

As our name suggests, you can trust that we have expertise when it comes to bourbon and whiskey. But you might be surprised by just how great our selection really is. We offer close to 600 options of bourbon, whiskey, and Scotch. We guarantee you won’t find a better bourbon and whiskey list in Old Town Scottsdale or San Tan Village. But that’s not all. Our expansive drink menu also includes a wine list and mixologist-crafted cocktails. So, if someone in your party isn’t a bourbon or whiskey drinker, don’t worry. There will surely be something for everyone.

Do Bourbon and Whiskey Pair Well with Raw Bar?

The short answer, to the surprise of many, is yes. With raw bar options like oysters, many people just automatically think to pair them with white wine or champagne. But if you decide to go for a more adventurous pairing, you will want to choose carefully. The best bourbon and whiskey for one menu item might not work as well with another. Some restaurants compromise, either with a slim bourbon and whiskey selection or a poor-quality raw bar. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here at Bourbon & Bones.

Our vast drink offerings mean no one has to compromise. And we also have a wide array of different raw bar menu items to try with our bourbon and whiskey. As with all of our menu options, you can be sure that we use the best quality, freshest ingredients.

What Bourbon or Whiskey Pairs Best with Raw Bar?

While it can vary, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind.

Because fish, and shellfish in general, are all pretty delicate, some recommend a lighter, lower-proof bourbon or whiskey. That being said, oysters and other raw bar foods can be more flexible than other seafood. That doesn’t mean springing for the heaviest choice that perfectly accentuates a steakhouse dish. Those might overwhelm the aroma, subtle flavors, and texture that make raw bars such a great indulgence. Many recommend going for an 80 to 90 proof, but saving the 100-proof for heavier dining. One example is the Four Roses Yellow, a Kentucky bourbon we offer here at Bourbon & Bones.

What about sauces?

Pairing raw bar with flavorful sauces gives the seafood enough of a kick to add to that flexibility. Each of our raw bar items has a few different options. These include horseradish, cocktail sauce, mustard sauce, and mignonette. When you include those with your raw bar, it allows you to explore some of the slightly bolder bourbons.

Does age matter?

Age also affects the heaviness of bourbon or whiskey. Usually, people assume older is best. But for the raw bar, younger is usually better. The very well-aged bourbons and whiskies on the list would be better paired with pork and red meat.

Exactly how old you should spring for, however, depends on how you like your raw bar. If you’d rather it be plainer, a three- to six-year will be more accommodating. But if you go for the flavorful, bold sauces, 10- to 12-year varieties come into play.

Narrowing down your options

Overwhelmed by the large list? It’s becoming more and more popular to pair raw bar with Scotch whiskey that’s on the lighter side. Single malt Scotch is a particularly favorite pairing. Here at Bourbon & Bones, we have a lengthy selection of Scottish whiskey. Some that are particularly recommended include Laphroig and Bruichladdich, which are both from Islay, Scotland. Another popular choice is the Talisker, from the Isle of Skye.

Some even like to mix a drop or two of the Scotch whiskey in the oyster. This can be a lot, so it might not be for everyone. But if you do try it, keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

Beyond Dinner

If you want to try our desserts with bourbon or whiskey for a nightcap, lighter and less aged is usually the way to go. We also have some specially marked dessert drinks if you want to try something different.

If you’d rather stick with the more usual pairing of wine and raw bar, remember that our wine list is very expansive as well.

If you’re still unsure of the best drink to pair with the menu items you choose, whether bourbon or whiskey or something else, don’t be afraid to ask our staff. We make sure our team has the expert knowledge to provide you with the best suggestions and recommendations. We want to make sure your dining experience with us is second to none.

Dining with Us

Bourbon & Bones is open for safe dine-in. And we go above and beyond to make sure to follow all the guidelines from the CDC. This includes regular employee screening, socially distanced seating, and numerous sanitation stations. We have two safe options for menus. You can have one that is sanitized after every use. Or if you’d feel safer, we offer disposable menus as well. For more specific information, we also have a thorough guide on our website.

You can find more information on our website. There you’ll see the expansive list of bourbon and whiskey, as well as the full raw bar menu. If you’re ready to check us now, reserve a table online. You can sign up to be a VIP on our website as well. This allows you to be the first to know about various updates, such as new menu items and special events.

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