We served this whiskey cheese fondue recipe at a little get-together to welcome home a friend we hadn't seen in a year, but this would be great St. Patrick's Day party meal. Set your fondue pot up in the middle of the table and everyone will come together to enjoy good food and friends.
So since we started working on this website two years ago, our Beer Cheese Fondue Recipe has been by far our most popular page. For a lot of you, Beer Cheese Fondue has been your introduction to The Tabletop Cook, and maybe tabletop cooking.
While we're grateful for all the traffic that page gets, it's always been a mystery to us. We don’t feel like we did anything very remarkable in preparing that recipe or writing it up, besides putting beer in melted cheese and eating it with bread and sausage. We're pretty ambitious, though, so if Beer Cheese Fondue is our most popular page, we wanted to make something you'd like even better. And what could be better than beer and cheese?
Whiskey and cheese, y'all.
So here is our recipe for Whiskey Cheese fondue. I have high hopes for it because it was very popular with my friends when we served it. So popular, in fact, that we finished the first batch while we were waiting for the latecomers. Not wanting anyone to miss out, we immediately made the second batch--and ate that before the last person had arrived. By then, though, shame had kicked in and we were able to salvage the crust for her. The crust is the best part, anyway, if you don't count smoked sausage covered in melted cheese.
Most of the whiskey cheese fondue recipes that I found online were variations on the same theme. I wanted to do something big and interesting. Whiskey pairs well with cheddar, but also Gruyere, so I decided to mod Epicurious' Gruyere Fondue with Caramelized Shallots. I also liked the addition of nutmeg, which is a traditional ingredient anyway, but with the whiskey is reminiscent of eggnog. You could make an easy cheese fondue by omitting the caramelized shallots, but I think they were pretty tasty and worth the extra trouble.
The first whiskey cheese fondue we made was made with the Gruyere and the cheddar, per the recipe, and it was really wonderful. The second pot was made with what cheese we had left in the fridge, which was only cheddar, and I feel like it was not nearly as good as the Gruyere-cheddar mix. Get the Gruyere if you can.
Both our fondues ended up separating. I'm just letting you know so I can let you know how to avoid that: don't let the cheese get too hot.
(Also, don't drink two glasses of wine before you start cooking, lose track of time, and finish making the fondue before your SO has chopped up any of the dippers.)
(Pssst...If whiskey and cheese sounds good to you, you'll want to check our our whiskey chocolate fondue recipe, too!)
Because we left our very awesome enameled cast-iron fondue pot in the States when we moved to Taiwan, we were experimenting with making the fondue in a cast iron skillet on our gas burner. I could never get the heat low enough, though. In the future, I will use my Japanese donabe, which is a Japanese ceramic pot quite similar to the traditional ceramic Swiss fondue pot called a caquelon. You can see that our beer cheese fondue turned out very nice and creamy in our Le Creuset pot.
A cheese fondue that is has separated and become oily and stringy cannot be restored to its original creamy state, but if you catch it immediately and drop the heat or add a little bit of cornstarch and wine, you might be able to keep it from turning into a total mess. Our whiskey cheese fondue started to get ugly, but there were six of us eating like it was a race, so it didn't have a chance to become yucky. It never stopped being delicious for a minute!
Suggestions for dippers
Please look at our cheese fondue dippers page for more ideas!
Or check our full recipe index for even more ideas!
Some of my favorite online stores might have just what you need for your next tabletop meal!
Asian Food Grocer has a great selection of essential ingredients and many hard-to-find items.
Cilantro Cook Shop has a great selection of quality raclette and fondue sets.
For The Gourmet has an amazing selection of cheeses and chocolates.
Sephra specializes in chocolate, caramel and fruit fondues... and fountains.