With Saint Patrick’s Day, it’s the time of year when we all celebrate everything Irish.
So naturally, you’ll often see articles about Irish whiskey this time of year. For so many of us, whiskey or scotch are drinks that we don’t necessarily gravitate towards, but darlings, I do.
Actually, I am a scotch drinker. It’s often a point of discussion that I am a scotch drinker because it’s so often perceived as a man’s drink. I’m here to tell you, the men should not have all the fun when it comes to drinking scotch whiskey! Today I’d like to celebrate one of my favorite drinks which is also steeped in history, culture, and yes, moxie.
Setting the Scene
If you’re not a scotch drinker, you may at first, find yourself reluctant to try. Especially during the cooler months, there is nothing quite so comforting as a cozy evening on the couch with the Ultimate Concierge, perhaps a fire in the fireplace. There is something so civilized about pouring several sips into a beautiful glass, with or without ice, you’re choice. The golden hue and aroma only hint at the warmth to come.
Might I suggest you begin with putting scotch in a glass that’s shaped like a small wine glass, this allows the aromas to drift upwards and just like wine, inhaling deeply with your nose over the glass will give you a hint of things to come. Treat yourself to some beautiful glasses for scotch. The drink is so steeped in history; it deserves a beautiful glass. Crystal is certainly my favorite. Also, much like wine, you may wish to get acquainted with the scotch by tilting to the glass gently one way or another, to watch the scotch’s “legs” drip down the side of the glass. There’s no need to “swirl,” just gently tip the glass from side to side. Actually, swirling the glass releases the alcohol, which will mask all the delicate flavors of the scotch. Once you have become acquainted with the scotch, it’s time for your first delicious sip.
This is my favorite moment. The anticipation has been building and I have already started feeling the warmth of the scotch. At this moment I cozy in, get very comfortable and take my first sip, as it coats the inside of my mouth and tongue, I like to close my eyes for a moment and think of the generations of families who have been making this traditional drink from malted barley in Scotland since 1494.
Every Sip: Warm and Inviting
The first sip, if I close my eyes, is an exploration. Much like wine, there is a combination of earthy flavors which reveal themselves. As I breathe in and sip, I like to notice where the flavors hit my tongue, is it salty in one place and sweet in another? There may be honeysuckle, smoke, wood, maybe even apple or nutmeg. But my favorite moment is the warm sensation that follows the scotch into my belly. It’s impossible to feel cold at this moment.
Perhaps drinking straight alcohol just isn’t an approachable way for you to explore scotch. Well, darlings, I have good news for you! Water actually compliments scotch. From bar keeps in the know I have learned that water actually suppresses the taste of alcohol and the wood flavors which make scotch unapproachable for so many while elevating the natural distilled flavors. Apparently, in some scotch distilleries in Scotland, a few drops of water are added to all the tastings. So if you add water, do so knowing that it’s a perfectly sophisticated way to drink your scotch.
I personally prefer my scotch without ice, but there’s nothing wrong with ice in scotch. Over the years, I have learned from scotch drinkers the importance of using clean ice from filtered water in scotch so as not to interrupt the aromas and flavors in the scotch. Adding ice will mask some flavors, but if you’re someone who prefers a slight chill to your beverage, the contrast of cool (not cold) scotch warming your belly is a delight.
It might be fun for you to explore scotch in a mixed drink. The Rob Roy, which is basically a Manhattan made with scotch was first served in the elegant Waldorf-Astoria in the 1900s. Few eras and locations conjure up more elegance than the early 20th century New York City. Another mixed drink favorite is using scotch instead of whiskey in an old fashioned or for a fun twist, use scotch in a mint julep for a cool but sophisticated drink.
Don’t Forget The Moxie
Since scotch is so often considered a man’s drink, having a glass of scotch will always be a conversation starter. I find women often ask me about my choice, and often with curiosity. So many of us grew up watching our fathers or other older men drink scotch, but it’s time we reclaim one of the most celebrated beverages in the world. After all, why should we let the boys have all the fun?
Cheers ladies! I’d love to hear more about your first experience with scotch – or maybe you’re already a fan of scotch, so share your personal story with how you fell in love!