Cocktail & Cheese Pairing Guide

Explore the world of cocktail and cheese pairings and elevate your tasting experience with Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey paired with artisan cheeses.
April 24, 2024

Elevate Your Tasting Experience: Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey Cocktails Paired with Artisan Cheese

A Spirited Pairing

In the world of culinary indulgence, few combinations are as delightful as carefully handcrafted spirits paired with a range of artisanal cheeses. Enter Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey, two innovative spirits that take the concept of a pairing experience to new heights to tell an encompassing food story. We’re exploring the versatile combination of these unique libations with an array of artisan cheeses, ranging from the pungent allure of blue cheese to the creamy decadence of brie, and beyond.

Handcrafted Spirits Made from Whey

Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey are revolutionary Specialty spirits distilled from upcycled whey, a coproduct of cheese production. Crafted with ingenuity and passion, these spirits offer a unique, versatile, and velvety smooth drinking experience unlike any other. Wheyward Spirit boasts a smooth profile with hints of vanilla, oak, and a subtle fruit sweetness, while Wheyward Wheyskey offers a bold aged spirit character with notes of toffee, oak, and spice.

Tablescape with a bottle of Wheyward Spirit in the background and a small cheese plate in the foreground with cheese wedges, cranberries, and almonds

Why Whey?

The goal with Wheyward Spirit was to create spirits where you can taste a difference and make a difference®, and we took that to heart in every step of building our brand and handcrafting our  farm-to-flask products.

As much as we all love cheese, its production comes with a cost – an estimated 110 billion pounds of excess whey are left over after making all of our favorite cheeses each year, and much of that heads right down the drain or to the field. For every ten pounds of milk, only one pound of cheese curds is created, which leaves behind nine pounds of whey, a mild, slightly sweet, nutrient-dense liquid. This excess creates logistical and ecological burdens for producers and the local communities as about half of this remaining whey leaves the human food chain.

But our Founder, Emily Darchuk, realized that what many see as this wasted co-product is not truly waste but an opportunity to bridge a gap in the supply chain and handcraft a product that adds value to both cheese producers and spirit customers. Rather than letting this ingredient be discarded, Wheyward Spirit is tapping into this liquid gold by upcycling whey to create our specialty spirits that reduce gallons of waste with every bottle, have a lower carbon and water footprint than traditional spirits, and support the domestic food system and producers.

Bringing together two industries is no simple feat. But with unique sourcing and a different approach to handcrafting our spirits, Wheyward Spirit is building a bridge between the alcohol and dairy industries to add value and improve the sustainability of both. Our spirits help to tell a whole food story, connecting you to where your food comes from and bringing a new, unique experience to your cocktail and food choices.

Learn more about our Sustainability efforts here.

How to Make a Cheeseboard

Just like a cocktail, creating a cheeseboard is an artful combination of flavors, textures, and presentation.

Begin by selecting a variety of cheeses, aiming for a mix of styles such as creamy, soft, and hard cheeses. Accompany the cheeses with complementary elements such as fresh and dried fruits, nuts, olives, and spreads like honey or jam. Arrange everything on a large platter or board, varying the colors, shapes, and sizes of the ingredients. Add finishing touches like crackers, bread, or crostinis for serving. Your cheeseboard will delights both the palate and the eye, offering a tantalizing array of flavors and textures to enjoy alongside your favorite cocktails.

Blue Cheese

The intense flavors of blue cheese demand a drink companion with depth and complexity, making spirit-forward cocktails an ideal partner.

With the Wheyward Martini, an elevated take on the classic cocktail, the velvety texture complements the sharpness of a blue cheese, while the spirit’s subtle sweetness enhances the cheese’s savory, salty notes. Or savor Wheyward Wheyskey, neat or on the rocks, as the spirit’s notes of toffee and warm oak accentuate the creamy richness of a classic blue cheese.

The Drinks

The Cheese

A bottle of Wheyward Wheyskey, a Spiced Apple Old Fashioned, and a small wheel of brie cheese sits on a wooden board with crackers and herbs with a dark gray background

Brie Cheese

Brie, with its creamy texture and delicate flavor, deserves a cocktail that elevates its subtle nuances.

Whether you’re leaning towards a light and bubbly cocktail or a more spirit-forward creation, these drinks are crafted to enhance the indulgent experience of brie. Try a fruity Porch Swing Spritz, a celebratory Wheyward 75, or a warm Spiced Apple Old Fashioned for harmonious pairings that celebrate the elegance of both cheese and spirits.

The Drinks

The Cheese


Gouda has a distinct flavor profile, ranging from smooth and buttery to bold and nutty depending on age, that pairs beautifully with the rich, oaky notes of Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey.

Gouda typically has a slightly sweet and fruity nutty flavor that gets more pronounced with aging. Create dynamic flavor combinations by paring gouda with the fruity notes of our batch Ruby Milk Punch or the bitter edge of a La Mucca Negroni. Or pair with the light and sippable Golden Wheyskey, allowing the nuttiness of the cheese to mingle with with the sweetness of the honey syrup, the burst of fresh lemon, and the oakiness of Wheyward Wheyskey for a truly unforgettable experience.

The Drinks

The Cheese

Washed Rind Cheese

Washed rind cheeses, known for their pungent aroma and complex flavors, require a cocktail companion that can stand up to their intensity.

Enter Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey, with their smooth and subtly sweet profiles, offering a perfect balance to the boldness of washed rind cheeses. Enjoy a Liquid Gold Rush with bright notes of ginger and lemon, or opt for the ginger-forward effervescence of a Wheyward Spirit Mule or Wheyskey Highball, allowing each sip to enhance the cheese's earthy and savory characteristics.

The Drinks

The Cheese

Flavor-Infused Cheese

Flavor-infused cheeses present an exciting opportunity to explore new dimensions of flavor and culinary creativity by pairing them with Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey cocktails.

As we delve deeper into the world of artisan cheese, we encounter a tantalizing array of flavor-infused varieties, each offering a unique twist on traditional favorites and delightful flavor combinations that tantalize the taste buds.

Truffle-infused cheeses shine with their earthy aroma and rich, umami flavor. Pair with a simple, yet bold, Wheyward Martini for a symphony of indulgence that delights the senses and a drink that exudes sophistication with every sip.

Herb-infused cheeses bring a burst of freshness to the palate, with each bite revealing layers of aromatic complexity. Pair with our elevated versions of the classic Paper Plane cocktail, the Fly A-Whey and Magnificent’s Paper Plane for a delightful contrast, as the herbal notes of the cheese mingle with the notes of rhubarb and honey in the cocktails.

For those who crave a bit of heat, spicy cheeses offer a fiery kick that tantalizes the taste buds. Pair with a tropical-inspired drink like the Wheyward Paloma or the Smokey N Salted for a cocktail that packs a refreshing punch and perfectly complements the fiery intensity of the cheese.

The Drinks

The Cheese

Elevate Your Tasting Experience

In the world of culinary exploration, the combination of artisan cheese and innovative whey spirits opens doors to a realm of endless possibilities. Wheyward Spirit and Wheyward Wheyskey offer an exciting new dimension to traditional pairings, so whether you're indulging in the creamy decadence of brie or the bold allure of blue cheese, these spirits elevate the tasting experience, inviting you to savor every moment of flavor in a more sustainable way and be connected to where your food comes from. Cheers to cheese and cocktails!