Recipe: Whisky Balls

Hi, Friends!  Welcome back.

Last week I mentioned to you that I had a guest blogger lined up for this week, but due to unforeseen circumstances (tell you about it later), I had to mix things up a bit.  So…we are going to cook today instead!

If you stopped by last week, then you know that Mr. C and I recently took a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to celebrate our anniversary.  During our visit, we toured three different bourbon distilleries (Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, and Woodford Reserve).  Each of the tours concluded with a tasting and we were offered a bourbon ball made with whiskey from that particular distillery.  All were delicious but Mr. C and I both agreed that the bourbon balls at Buffalo Trace were AH-MAZING.  I did a little poking around on the internet when we got back and found a recipe that is supposed to be very similar to the candies invented in 1938 by Ruth Booe, the founder of Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory in Frankfort, KY.  This is the candy company that today makes the bourbon balls for purchase at Buffalo Trace.  Perfect!

Because I write a blog about Scotland and not about Kentucky, I decided to give these a try using Scotch rather than bourbon (whisky with a “y” as opposed to whiskey with an “ey”).  Mr. C suggested that I use BenRiach 10 year old (a Speyside Scotch) which I discovered was an excellent choice given that it is aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, lending it the perfect sweet flavor.

Who’s ready to cook?  Let’s give it a go!

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Kentucky or Scotland?

Hello Friends.  I hope this day finds you well.  It’s Friday!  Or as some say, FriYay.

Mr. C and I just spent a really fun week vacationing in Lexington, Kentucky in celebration of our 24th wedding anniversary.  Bourbon (whiskey with an ‘e’) is what drew us to explore the area as well as the fact that neither of us had ever before visited the state.  Lexington – if you are not aware – is known as the horse capital of the world and Kentucky is where bourbon began.

Over the week, we took in-depth tours of three of the most famous distilleries in the country (Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, and Woodford Reserve), ate some delicious meals, drank (and purchased) a little a lot of phenomenal bourbon, and put a WHOLE lot of miles on the convertible driving down some of the prettiest country roads in America.

I knew Kentucky was going to be pretty but I think what took me most by surprise on this trip was the way that central Kentucky reminded me so much of Scotland!  The beautiful, rolling green hills called to mind scenic drives we took through East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

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Dunnottar Castle

Welcome back, everyone.  Hope you’re having a lovely week.

If you like castles, then you’ll want to stick around for today’s post.  It’s a biggie!

Castles are amazing, don’t you think?  It doesn’t matter to me if it has been renovated and now serves as a five-star luxury hotel, if it’s a well-preserved ruin, or if all that remains is a crumbling mess, a mere shadow of what once had been.  Every castle has a tale to tell and I love them all.

Today I would like to take you to Dunnottar Castle which sits on the North Sea, about two miles from the town of Stonehaven, Scotland.  I can still remember my reaction the firstfullsizeoutput_296 time I rounded the path and Dunnottar came into full view.  Hmmm, how do I describe it?   Okay, got it.  Do you remember the romcom “Notting Hill” starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts?  (Where have all the romantic comedies gone, by the way?)  Do you remember the scene where William (Grant) takes the famous actress Anna Scott (Roberts) as his date to his sister Honey’s birthday party?  And do you remember Honey’s reaction at meeting Anna for the first time?  Hahaha!  Yeah.  That pretty much sums it up.

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Perched atop a massive flat rock with sheer cliffs on three sides and connected to the mainland by only a narrow stretch of earth, Dunnottar Castle and its surrounding landscape is an extraordinary sight to behold.  Truly, photos cannot do justice to the magnitude of the rock upon which the castle resides.

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Whisky Meets Tequila

Hey all!

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.  At present, I am sitting here in my den, windows open, sipping a wee dram, and enjoying the sound of a quiet, steady rain.  Bliss.

So this morning while Mr. C was at the liquor store buying tequila to make margaritas, he stumbled upon a newly stocked item – Don Julio Tequila-Reposado, Double Cask.

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Did you catch what the box says?  “Finished in casks used in the making of Buchanan’s blended Scotch whisky”.  Holy cow!  What’s that you ask?  Why yes, of course he bought a bottle, silly!

If any of you are familiar with the Don Julio brand, you know that their tequilas are top shelf. Definitely not the stuff of college drinking games.  No.  Don Julio tequilas are like a fine wine or a premium Scotch.  They are meant for sipping (emphasis on sipping-for the love of Pete, please don’t shoot it), savoring, and appreciating all of their fine qualities.  In fact, Don Julio tequilas are so exceptional that they are best enjoyed neat.  No mixer required.

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Cheers to One Year!

 

 

 

Hi everyone and welcome back!

I’ve had a short break and today I am back and celebrating my one year blogging anniversary!!

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To mark the occasion, I have given my site a makeover.  I hope you like it!

Boy, do I remember well taking those scary first steps into the world of WordPress a year ago when I published my first blog called, ‘Why Scotland?’  I experienced all sorts of fears and doubts that day! Can you relate?  I worried about whether or not I would get any views. I wondered if anyone would be remotely interested in what I had to say.  I questioned myself, “Do I have the sticktoitiveness to see this thing through?” I feared that people (especially those who know me personally) would think I was…well… weird. In the end, though, I decided none of that mattered.  It was enough for me that I was interested in my subject matter and I knew my sense of pride and accomplishment would mean more than what others may or may not think.  So, I took the leap.

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Recipe: Prince Charlie’s Coffee

The year was 1746 and a young man by the name of…wait for it…Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart was on the run.  We know him better as Bonnie Prince Charlie (and thank goodness because that was a mouthful).

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Photo:  Public Domain

Following a crushing defeat at the Battle of Culloden – the short, bloody battle in which Prince Charlie led his Jacobite supporters in an attempt to restore his family (the Stuarts) to the English and Scottish thrones – Charlie found himself fleeing for his life from an aggressive pursuit by the king’s men.  With assistance from loyal Scottish clansmen along the way, Charlie’s escape took him through the Highlands and into the western islands of Scotland, finally landing him on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides.

It was on Skye that John MacKinnon, the chief of Clan MacKinnon, helped Prince Charlie escape Scotland for France.  As a token of his gratitude, the Prince gave John the secret recipe to his personal liqueur that had been created for him when he was at the French court.

Many generations later, in 1873, that secret recipe passed into the hands of John Ross of the Broadford Hotel on Skye and John’s son James went on to register “an dram buidheach” (in Gaelic, “the drink that satisfies”) as a trademark.  In 1914, Malcolm MacKinnon obtained the recipe and trademark and established what we know today as the Drambuie Liqueur Company.

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