First came the ultimate vegan haggis, and now comes the vegan whisky cream sauce. This dairy-free version of the classic accompaniment is the perfect way to elevate the most sacred of Scottish meals – even if it does happen to be 100% plant-based.
Whether it be Burns Night or any other time of the year, you can't go far wrong with a sauce as good as this one. Featuring a creamy cashew base, subtle sweet whisky notes, and hints of mustard and lemon, I wouldn't blame you for ditching the main meal altogether and just grabbing a straw.
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Is whisky vegan?
Yes, whisky is vegan. The same goes for most other 'hard' distilled spirits such as vodka, gin, rum, schnapps, and tequila.
Exceptions to this are products that combine spirits with non-vegan ingredients. For example, cream-based liqueurs (such as Baileys) or beverages that include honey (such as Drambuie) are not suitable for vegans.
Which whisky should I use in this sauce?
Honestly, I'm not sure it matters much. I would offer up two simple suggestions:
- Use a Scottish whisky (makes it more Scottish, obviously).
- Don't use a prized single malt or other very expensive whisky (this frugality will make the dish even more Scottish than the whisky itself – for the best results, try stealing it from someone else).
I've seen one recipe that suggests a Speyside whisky is best, but I don't think you'll really be able to tell once it's part of the sauce. I should also point out that I'm from Scotland, so I'm allowed to make jokes about our infamously tight-fisted nature...
Which dairy-free cream should I use?
This vegan whisky cream sauce is based on my own basic recipe for cashew cream. Featuring just two ingredients, it's very easy to make and can be put to numerous uses in the kitchen (see these recipes for the ultimate vegan fish pie, creamy mushroom pasta, and vegan cream of mushroom soup).
If substituting the cashew cream for a shop-bought version (such as an oat-based or soya-based product), you'll probably want to tweak the amounts in this recipe.
I'd suggest trying a little more of the cream and a little less stock, which you may want to reduce for a few minutes before adding the cream. This is because other creams may not thicken the sauce as much as the homemade cashew cream.
How to make vegan whisky cream sauce
Melt the butter in a pan on low/medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and soften for 5-6 minutes, then turn up the heat and add the whisky.
Next, add the stock, cashew cream, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir well, bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the sauce from catching on the bottom of the pan.
It'll look quite thin at first, but will thicken as it cooks. If the sauce is looking too thick, simply add a little extra water or stock until you're happy with the consistency. Stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning before serving warm.
Serving suggestions for vegan whisky cream sauce
Of course, you can use this sauce with any dish you like. It's genuinely delicious and would go well with a lot of things. Balmoral tofu, anyone?
Variations/tips for vegan whisky sauce
- Cashew cream: My recipe for cashew cream can be used to make a thinner 'single' cream or thicker 'double' cream. This whisky cream sauce is based on the single cream, however you could use the double cream and simply add a little more stock.
- Whisky: You can use any whisky you want, however I'd save the fancy stuff for drinking. The amount in the recipe should result in a subtle whisky flavour that's not too overpowering. If you want more of a whisky flavour then feel free to add more in.
- Flambé: If you want to set the whisky alight in the pan, be my guest. In my experience, it doesn't make much difference to the flavour and you can spare yourself the risk of singed eyebrows.
- Gluten-free: To ensure this sauce is 100% gluten-free, use a vegan stock that is certified or labelled as such.
How to store vegan whisky cream sauce
Store this whisky cream sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. It'll thicken slightly when cooled, so you may need to give it a stir and/or add a little extra liquid when reheating.
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More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
- Leftover Vegan Haggis Fritters
- Vegan Cranachan (Scottish Dessert)
- Vegan Stovies (Scottish Potato Stew)
- Easy Vegan Scotch Broth
- Easy Vegan Dauphinoise Potatoes
- Vegan Cauliflower Cheese
- Mashed Vegan Leek & Potato Soup
- Vegan Mushroom & Tarragon Soup
Ultimate Vegan Whisky Cream Sauce
- 25 grams plant-based butter
- 1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
- 100 ml whisky
- 400 ml vegan stock
- 150 ml vegan cashew cream ('single' cream – see notes)
- 1 tablespoon vegan Dijon mustard or wholegrain mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Juice of half a lemon (optional)
- Melt the butter in a pan on low/medium heat. Once melted, add the finely chopped shallot and soften for 5-6 minutes or until starting to turn a light golden brown.
- Once the shallot has softened, increase the heat and add in the whisky. Simmer for a minute or so to cook off some of the liquid.
- Next, add the stock, cashew cream, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir well, bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the sauce from catching on the bottom of the pan. It'll look quite thin at first, but will thicken as it cooks. If the sauce is looking too thick, simply add a little extra water or stock until you're happy with the consistency.
- After 4-5 minutes, stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to taste. You may want to add extra mustard, salt, and/or pepper, and possibly a little more water or stock.
- Serve warm over vegan haggis, neeps, and tatties.
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