Jack Daniel's Mac & Cheese with Grand Cheddar — Week 11: Spirits

I love spirits, with their spicy, fruity, caramelized and often smoky flavours. Made to be sipped slowly, especially when sitting in a comfortable armchair by the fire.

Given this week’s Spirits theme, I decided to make a mac & cheese with a creamy Agropur Grand Cheddar aged 2 years and whisky sauce. The whisky adds a rich, smoky, lightly caramelized flavour to the sauce.

I then lacquered bacon with Jack Daniel’s and maple syrup and used it as a delicious topping.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).   
  2. In a small pot, heat the Jack Daniel’s and maple syrup until reduced by half.
  3. In a pan, cook the bacon until it starts to turn golden. Add the Jack Daniel’s reduction and continue cooking until bacon is golden and caramelized. Set aside.
  4. In a pot, melt the butter and soften the garlic.  
  5. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute, making sure the flour doesn’t brown.  
  6. Add the milk, beating with a whisk to obtain a smooth sauce.  
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until sauce thickens.

  8. Mix half the cheese, followed by the pasta and half of the chopped bacon into the sauce. Pour into a baking dish, cover with the remaining bacon, the rest of the cheese and breadcrumbs previously mixed with the melted butter.
  9. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Garnish with the Jack Daniel's-caramelized bacon.

Johanne Depelteau

Longueuil, Quebec

Johanne, a passionate lover of the culinary arts, has been working in television broadcasting, publishing, magazine writing and advertising for many years.

View profile