Whiskey Is Your Secret For Deliciously Glazed Carrots

One of the easiest wholesome side dishes you can make to fill up your dinner table is glazed carrots: Tender roasted carrots with a sweet, flavorful glaze. With a handful of ingredients and about 15 or so minutes, you get a vibrantly-colored dish that tastes as amazing as it looks. But you can take the flavor and fragrance of your roasted carrots a touch further — by adding whiskey.

Whiskey is famous for its smoky and complex flavors underneath the strong hit of alcohol. Some of the more dominant tasting notes, like honey and vanilla, pair beautifully with the natural sweetness of carrots. The resulting whiskey-imbued glazed carrots can taste earthy and a little boozy as a result, although most of the actual alcohol will burn off during cooking.

To cook whiskey into your glazed carrot recipe, simply add a splash or two to the pan along with the other glaze ingredients, such as honey, butter, and garlic. After that, as the carrots roast in the oven, the alcohol will cook off, leaving behind a delightful depth of flavor that will have your dinner guests wondering about your culinary secret.

Great whiskeys to flavor your carrots

With that in mind, you're probably mentally sorting through the list of all the whiskies you know for a good fit. Here's a simple recommendation: For a lighter, smooth twist on the dish, go for Irish whiskeys. If you like something a bit more bold, you won't go wrong with smoky, classic all-American bourbons.

If it's the former that piques your interest, consider popular bottlings of Irish whiskey such as Jameson or Bushmills. Irish whiskeys tend to have a lighter, fruitier flavor profile due to their triple distillation process, which can add that fresh twist to your glazed carrots. The subtle notes of vanilla and citrus in these whiskeys can brighten up the dish and give it a more complex taste. Meanwhile, the smoky and oaky taste of American bourbons will pair well with the sweeteners in the dish, be it caramelized brown sugar or honey. 

For those who prefer a bolder, spicier flavor, a rye whiskey like Bulleit Rye or Templeton Rye is worth a shot. Rye whiskeys have a distinct peppery and strong taste that can add a nice kick to your glazed carrots. Just be sure to use a light hand when adding rye whiskey to your glaze, as its strong flavor can easily overpower the delicate taste of the veggie.

And if this has got you in the mood for adding whiskey to more dishes, have a look at our 12 ways to cook with whiskey for inspiration.