On the 25th of January Scotland will celebrate one of their finest assets, Robert Burns.The bard, and Scotland’s national poet, is generally celebrated with a fine supper and plenty of Whisky – this is a Scottish tradition after all. If you’re hosting your own Burns Night Supper we hope you’ll have plenty of the fine spirit to hand.
With such fine Whisky on offer we want to tackle a question of great debate; how do you drink Whisky?
This is just friendly advice and you are welcome to drink your Whisky however you like it. These methods are some little things we use to hopefully bring out the best in it.
The Whisky Glass
Don’t underestimate the importance of the right Whisky glass. For most Whisky occasions the classic tumbler is the glass of choice – sat by the fire with your hounds at your side? Reach for the tumbler. If, however, you’re sampling a Whisky for the first time you may want to opt for a tulip shaped glass. This allows some room for the whisky to be swirled without spilling and will concentrate the aromas around the neck of the glass.
To Add Water or Not to Add Water
This point may raise some arguments. Many people say that if they are drinking a fine Whisky that they do not want to dilute the taste, for others however they say that by adding a drop of water will open the Whisky and give you an altogether different experience – our advice is to try it both ways. Ultimately it’s down to your personal preference. It is worth noting that tap water can contain high levels of chlorine and will spoil the Whisky, so if you are adding water ensure that it is spring water.
Adding ice to your drinks is a familiar comfort. Again with Whisky it is a personal preference – your Whisky, your choice. One large chunk of ice made using frozen spring water will chill the liquid to a very low temperature, too low for some. But don’t be afraid to experiment; a fresh, vibrant and floral Whisky can be great as an aperitif over a chunk of ice with a drop of spring water.
For a fine supper it is worth getting the most out of each Whisky paired with each course. We would recommend simply adding spring water, ice or sparkling spring water in small amounts.
However Single Malts are now being mixed with as readily as Blended Scotch and Blended Malts. All these expressions can offer a vast amount of flavour to a mixed drink and in the case of a Single Malt very small amounts can be used to lend an extra dimension. A dash of peaty Islay malt with a blended Scotch and a good ginger beer for example is a warming, spicy delight!
How to Sup
Your Whisky is poured and you’re ready to sup but there’s one last tip that might change how your drink Whisky forever. Unlike a good wine, you do not bring in air to your mouth as you drink Whisky, instead take a sip and hold the Whisky in your mouth for a couple of seconds. Some people almost chew their whisky, the effect is that you actually taste the flavours rather than just getting the initial hit of alcohol- which is all you would get if you shot it down too quickly.
Whisky is very much a drink to be savoured and enjoyed, and we hope that with these tips you’ll enjoy your Burns Night Supper to the fullest!