I made a quick batch of mince pies yesterday, using up the last of the mince meat I made this year. While they were in the oven I thought I’d knock up a quick batch of brandy butter to serve with them, but the horror we were out of brandy!
Not to worry, while brandy is the traditional drink for making Christmasy flavoured butters, that doesn’t mean it can’t be well subsituted. In fact I’ve used rum, cointreau, whisky, amaretto and many other drinks for flavoured butters over the years, but checking the drinks cupboard it was a bottle of Jameson’s whisky that caught my eye last night, so that’s what I used!
The big debate in “boozy butter” is what sort of sugar to use. Do you use icing sugar for a silky smooth paste, or a dark muscavado for a richer, grainier butter?
Well it all comes down to personal taste, and for me I like a mixture of castor sugar and dark muscavado when using a dark spirit like whisky. I think it gives a more developed flavour, a nicer colour, and a slightly more interesting texture. I also tend not to weigh my ingredients and do it all by sight, adjusting to taste and consistency as necessary, but here’s the essentials of the recipe (feel free to adjust it to your own liking!)
Wicked Whisky Butter
1 pack butter at room temperature
Approx 250g/8oz sugar (about 2 thirds castor to one third dark muscavado works well!)
Approx 5 tbsp whisky
Start by creaming the butter and the sugar together. When pale and fluffy, beat in the whisky (or whatever booze you’re using) a little at a time.
Keep tasting and adjust the quantities as necessary. If the mixture is too wet, add a little icing sugar.
Don’t worry if it seems too loose, it will firm up even if left at room temperature, and a lot more if placed in the fridge.
Perfect on mince pies, served with Christmas pudding, or just spread thickly on digestive biscuits! Also makes excellent gifts, presented in small jars!