Whiskey-Scented Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Few things exemplify the warm and welcoming spirit of Ireland quite like a freshly baked soda bread. And if you’re looking to take your Irish soda bread game to the next level, then you won’t want to miss this recipe for Irish Whiskey Soda Bread.

This recipe is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or any occasion that calls for a hearty, flavorful bread. It’s easy to make, requires no yeast, and is loaded with plump raisins that have been soaked in – you guessed it – Irish whiskey.

In this recipe article, I’ll guide you through each step of the process for making this classic Irish bread with a twist. From selecting your ingredients to tips for perfect results, I’ve got you covered.

So break out your apron and get ready to embrace the warmth and comfort of Irish hospitality with this delicious whiskey-soaked soda bread recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Soda Bread (Irish Whiskey Soda)
Soda Bread (Irish Whiskey Soda)

Are you ready to take a trip to the Emerald Isle with this traditional Irish whiskey soda bread recipe? This delicious recipe will transport your taste buds to the rolling hills of Ireland, with its classic flavor and perfect texture. But why should you choose this recipe over all other bread recipes?

First and foremost, this bread is incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have freshly baked soda bread in under an hour! No need to wait for hours for dough to rise or fuss over complicated yeast recipes. This bread is quick, uncomplicated, and perfect for beginners.

But don’t be fooled by its simplicity – this bread is bursting with flavor. The addition of Irish whiskey-soaked raisins and honey give it a subtle sweetness that perfectly balances the tanginess of the buttermilk. It’s the perfect addition to any St. Patrick’s Day celebration or any day when you want a warm slice of freshly baked bread.

This recipe also allows for plenty of substitutions and variations. Don’t have buttermilk on hand? No problem! You can easily substitute regular milk with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to make your own buttermilk. You can also customize the recipe by adding in some caraway seeds or using whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose flour.

Finally, one of the best things about this bread is its versatility. Not only is it excellent on its own, but it also pairs perfectly with savory dishes like traditional Irish stew or as part of a hearty breakfast spread with butter and jam.

So whether you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or just indulge in a slice of comfort food, this Irish whiskey soda bread recipe is sure to become a household staple.

Ingredient List

 Whiskey soda bread fresh out of the oven; the perfect scent to fill your home
Whiskey soda bread fresh out of the oven; the perfect scent to fill your home

Here’s what you’ll need to make Irish Whiskey Soda Bread:

Dry ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 cups buttermilk*
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup raisins or currants
  • 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of butter, melted for brushing

*If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 2 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle before using.

Note: For best results and flavor, use Irish whiskey. If unavailable or prefer non-alcoholic baking, replace with an equal amount of milk.

This recipe yields a classic Irish Soda Bread with a delightful twist of whiskey-soaked raisins and butter mixture. The dough is soft, sweet and sticky with plump raisins that burst in your mouth with each bite. The whiskey adds depth and warmth to the bread, creating a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. Get ready to embrace St. Patrick’s Day or any occasion with this traditional Irish-American soda bread recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 A golden whiskey-infused crust graces the top of this delightful soda bread
A golden whiskey-infused crust graces the top of this delightful soda bread

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

Step 1: Begin by preheating your oven to 425°F.

Step 2: Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut 1 cup of chilled butter into 4 cups of purpose flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Step 3: Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the mixture and blend well.

Step 4: If desired, throw in a handful of caraway seeds, raisins, currants, or any other add-ins you like.

Adding the Wet Ingredients

Step 5: In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of buttermilk (Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, mix together 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar with enough milk to make 2 cups. Let sit for a few minutes before using.) and ½ cup of Irish whiskey-soaked raisins.

Step 6: Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey.

Step 7: Gradually fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Stir gently until just combined (Note: Be careful not to overmix, or your bread will be tough)

Baking the Bread

Step 8: On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough very briefly – just enough to bring it together into a smooth ball.

Step 9: Place the dough onto a greased baking sheet and flatten slightly into a round shape.

Step10: Use a sharp knife to score an “X” on top of the bread (this helps it cook evenly).

Step11: Pop it into the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes.

Checking for Doneness

To test if the bread is done, tap the bottom with your knuckles – it should sound hollow.

Take out from oven and let cool.

Serve sliced and spread with Irish whiskey butter. Enjoy the classic taste of Irish soda bread, made even more enjoyable with a delightful boozy kick!

Substitutions and Variations

 Simple ingredients come together to create a rustic loaf that's hard to resist
Simple ingredients come together to create a rustic loaf that’s hard to resist

If you want to mix things up a bit, there are several substitutions and variations you can make to the Irish Whiskey Soda Bread recipe.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of raisins or currants in your bread, you can omit them altogether. Alternatively, you can swap them out for other dried fruits such as chopped dates or figs.

Want to add some spice? Try mixing in a teaspoon of caraway seeds for a different flavor profile.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, switch out some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. This will give your bread a nuttier taste and increase its fiber content.

For the whiskey lovers out there, go ahead and add a little extra to the recipe. Instead of the 1/2 cup of Irish whiskey called for in the recipe, try 3/4 cup or even a full cup. Just be aware that too much whiskey can affect how well the bread rises.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use regular milk instead. Just add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per one cup of milk and let it sit for five minutes before using in the recipe.

Finally, if you want to make this recipe vegan-friendly, use non-dairy milk and substitute coconut oil or vegetable shortening for butter.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose, be sure to follow the rest of the recipe instructions carefully for best results.

Serving and Pairing

 Bite into a warm slice of soda bread and experience a hint of whiskey flavor in every bite
Bite into a warm slice of soda bread and experience a hint of whiskey flavor in every bite

Soda bread has a glorious versatility that allows it to pair perfectly with a variety of dishes. The classic Irish soda bread is often served as a side dish with butter and jam, but this whiskey soda bread recipe takes it one step further. The addition of Irish whiskey and soaked raisins results in a decadently rich flavor that pairs well with warm beverages such as coffee, tea or hot cocoa.

For breakfast or brunch, slice the bread into thick pieces and serve warm with whipped butter and honey. The sweetness from the honey works particularly well to balance out the slight bitterness from the whiskey.

If you are looking for something more savory, pair it with traditional Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage for a St. Patrick’s Day feast. The bread’s hearty texture complements the rich flavors of these classic dishes perfectly.

For an unconventional twist, serve slices of the whiskey soda bread alongside cheese and chutney for a delightful appetizer spread. The complexity of the flavors in the bread will complement sharp cheeses like cheddar or Stilton beautifully.

Whichever way you choose to serve this scrumptious soda bread, be sure to slice it thickly. There is nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a slice with its soft center and crispy crust!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 No kneading or proofing required; this quick bread is a game-changer in the kitchen
No kneading or proofing required; this quick bread is a game-changer in the kitchen

Making soda bread ahead of time is an excellent idea to save some precious minutes on a busy day. You can prepare the dough for Irish whiskey soda bread a day in advance and even store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Just cover the unbaked loaf with cling wrap or store it inside an airtight container, so that it does not dry out.

You can also bake the bread ahead and store it at room temperature or in the fridge for up to three days. However, keep in mind that freshly baked Irish soda bread tastes best while still warm from the oven. So, if you have decided to make ahead the soda bread, follow these tips to reheat it and enjoy its fresh taste:

To reheat at room temperature – Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Wrap the soda bread in foil and place it directly on the oven rack for 10-15 minutes. You can also slice it beforehand and spread some butter for added flavor.

To reheat in a microwave – Cut a slice of soda bread and place it on a microwave-safe dish. Heat it on high for 10-15 seconds, just until warm.

Remember that if you store soda bread at room temperature, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent air exposure that can cause it to spoil quickly. You can also freeze Irish whiskey soda bread for up to three months by wrapping it well with plastic wrap and then placing it inside a ziplock bag or airtight container. Thaw before reheating, using any of the methods explained earlier.

Whether you make this traditional Irish bread ahead of time for St Patrick’s Day or any other occasion, these reheating methods will help you bring its rustic flavors back to life.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Treat yourself to an authentic taste of Ireland with every slice you cut
Treat yourself to an authentic taste of Ireland with every slice you cut

To achieve perfect results when baking soda bread, you need to make sure that the ingredients are measured precisely and the ratio of wet to dry ingredients is correct. Here are some tips to help you achieve just that:

1. Use chilled butter: Make sure the butter you use is chilled to ensure it doesn’t melt too fast when combined with the dry ingredients. This will help create a flakier texture for your bread.

2. Don’t over-mix: Over-mixing the dough will result in a tough, dense loaf. Mix the dough until just combined and knead gently until it comes together.

3. Add raisins and currants at the end: If you’re using raisins or currants, add them last to ensure they’re evenly distributed throughout your bread.

4. Let it rest: Once you’ve kneaded your dough, let it rest for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier to shape and will give the baking soda time to activate.

5. Don’t open the oven door: Opening the oven door while baking can cause your bread to sink or lose its rise. Keep the door closed until it’s time to check if it’s done.

Follow these tips for perfectly moist, tender, and flavorful soda bread every time!


As with any recipe, there might be some questions or concerns that come to mind. Below are some of the most common FAQs about making a delicious Irish Whiskey Soda Bread. From ingredient alternatives to serving suggestions, we have got you covered, so read on for all the answers to your queries.

Is there a difference between soda bread and Irish soda bread?

To make a genuine Irish soda bread, it’s important to know what ingredients to exclude. In the US, soda bread recipes often incorporate caraway seeds and raisins, which are not typically used in traditional Irish soda bread recipes.

What is traditional Irish soda bread made of?

When making a classic Irish soda bread, flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk are the key components needed. The combination of acidic buttermilk and alkaline baking soda produces a chemical reaction that creates gas, which helps the bread rise. This particular chemical reaction is responsible for the bread’s name, “soda bread.”

What makes Irish soda bread Irish?

In modern times, Irish soda bread is commonly prepared using brown flour in Ireland and doesn’t include any sweeteners or additional ingredients. This version of the bread is frequently consumed as an accompaniment to meals rather than reserved solely for St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The sweet and cake-like loaf that is typically associated with this bread is actually an Irish American variation.

What is the key ingredient in Irish soda bread that makes it different from other breads?

Soda bread owes its distinctive texture to a chemical reaction between acidic sour milk and baking soda that produces tiny carbon dioxide bubbles in the dough. Additionally, the shape of soda bread is closely tied to its rich history and heritage.


Bottom Line

In conclusion, mastering the art of making Irish Whiskey Soda Bread should be a must for any chef specializing in British cuisine. This bread is not only delicious, but it’s also easy and quick to make, which makes it perfect for any occasion. Plus, with its unique blend of flavors that come from the Irish whiskey-soaked raisins and the buttery aroma, this bread is sure to impress whoever you serve it to.

With the help of the ingredient list and detailed recipe how-to in this article, you’ll be able to whip up a batch of this delicious bread in no time. And if you’re feeling creative, there are always substitutions and variations that you can try out to make it even more special.

So why not make St. Patrick’s Day or any Irish-American celebration even more authentic by serving up a classic Irish soda bread with a twist? Whether you pair it with traditional dishes like Irish stew or scones or enjoy it on its own, there’s no doubt that this bread will be the star of the show.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I highly recommend adding Irish Whiskey Soda Bread to your recipe collection. Trust me; once you taste it, you won’t be able to resist making it again and again.

Soda Bread (Irish Whiskey Soda)

Soda Bread (Irish Whiskey Soda) Recipe

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads, European, Healthy, Oven, St. Patrick's Day
Cook Time 40 minutes
Calories 363.9kcal



  • 4 cups flour, all purpose
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled
  • 1 cup raisins (optional) or 1 cup currants (optional)
  • 1/2 cup honey, liquid
  • 1/4 cup Irish whiskey or 1/4 cup buttermilk


  • 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons milk


  • BREAD: In large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
  • With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Stir in raisins or currants (if using).
  • In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, honey and whisky.
  • Add all at once to dry ingredients; stir just until no dry spots remain.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.
  • Knead lightly 1 minute (too much handling will toughen loaves, while too little will inhibit rising.) Divide dough in half and shape each half into an 8 in (20 cm) round.
  • Place in two greased 8 in (1.2 L) round cake pans.
  • With floured knife, cut a cross 1/2 in deep in each loaf.
  • GLAZE: In small bowl, combine whisky and milk.
  • Brush loaves with glaze.
  • Bake in 350F (180C) oven 35 to 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottoms.
  • Remove from pans; let cool on wire racks.
  • Cut into wedges.


Serving: 119g | Calories: 363.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.2g | Protein: 6.6g | Fat: 6.4g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Cholesterol: 15.4mg | Sodium: 491.6mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 17.6g

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