In late November, I rather impulsively pre-ordered a limited batch release of The Sassenach, Sam Heughan’s new premium blended Scotch whisky. (Sam Heughan is the Scottish actor who plays Jamie Fraser on the mega-hit television series “Outlander.”) Reserve Bar was the only place from which to buy it here in the U.S. It’s a darn good thing I snagged it when I did because it is now completely sold out. It took a little over two months to ship and arrive from Scotland, but last week, arrive it did!
My mouth got jammed.
Jammed with ginger, that is!
Whisky. Uisga Beatha. Water of Life.
By law, Scotch (that is, whisky without the ‘e’) must be aged in oak barrels in Scotland for a minimum of three years. Most premium distillers, however, mature their whisky for much longer (8, 10, 12, 15 years, etc.). Many of the casks that are used to age Scotch are imported from America and Europe and have previously held wine, bourbon, port, and sherry. Each barrel lends its own distinctive flavors and color to the finished product. It is a long process, but believe me, for the distillers and those of us who reap the benefits of their labor…
…it is worth waiting for.
Halloween and all of its festivities are nearly upon us, so I thought it would be fun to find a Halloween-themed cocktail made with whisky. Notice, that’s whisky without the ‘e’ (Scotch). Because as much as I adore bourbon, I’m pretty much all about Scotland here!
I discovered this particular cocktail recipe on a site called Gastronom. The web site is hosted by an American couple named Jay and Leah, who love all things cocktails. Some of their recipes are pretty interesting! It’s a great resource if you are looking to try something a bit different. And that’s exactly what today’s recipe is. The “Professor’s Poisoned Apple” calls for Laphroaig, an Islay whisky that is made by drying malted barley over a peat fire, giving it its distinctive smoky taste of the island. The Scotch is combined with Amaretto, cranberry juice, apple cider, and bitters, creating a genuinely unique new flavor that isn’t dominated by any one of its ingredients. It is, for sure, an eclectic blend of tastes, but those tastes go surprisingly well together to create a flavor of fall.
Jay and Leah suggest the optional addition of dry ice as a way to really create a fun, atmospheric experience. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any on quick notice, but it would be neat to try it one day. You can see what it looks like by clicking the embedded link above. Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Whisky meets tequila. Yep, it was another serendipitous find for me and Mr. C. By the way, you can thank him for the silly title. 😉
Thanks to our mutual craving for margaritas one recent Saturday, we accidentally stumbled upon this latest offering from Don Julio while buying our tequila.
A little over a year ago, Don Julio released their first limited edition; a Reposado finished in barrels that had previously held Buchanan’s blended Scotch. I wrote about it here. Well, if I was excited about that one, then this year’s edition has me positively giddy. Why you ask? One word.
So tomorrow happens to be my 2 year blogging anniversary. Hooray me!! To celebrate, I am trying a new Scotch cocktail recipe called a Full Scottish. It seems rather appropriate, actually, given the focus of my blog.
I found this recipe on The Glenlivet’s web site; however, I imagine it would be good with any other Speyside (or perhaps Highland) single malt of your choice. The Glenlivet recommends using their 15-year-old Scotch for this recipe. Mr. C says that’s an awfully good Scotch to use in a cocktail recipe, but I told him we’re going to do it anyway! It’s a sacrifice I must make. 🙂
Full Scottish Recipe
50 ml The Glenlivet 15-year-old
20 ml/4 tsp lemon juice
15 ml/3 tsp white/ruby port ( I used Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Ruby Port)
5 ml/1 tsp simple syrup
15 ml/3 tsp orange marmalade
To make:Read more
Hi, friends. I’m giddy you stopped by! I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely weekend.
As promised a couple of weeks ago, I have a special guest blogger here today. Technically this was supposed to happen last weekend, but unfortunately, my guest was in a car accident that totaled his beautiful convertible. Ugh! No worries, though, because aside from a few cuts and a little soreness, he’s feeling A-OK. And that’s a very good thing because I happen to be in love with this guy!
Readers, today I’m turning things over to my sweet husband, Mr. C, who is going to share with you a little bit about the whisk(e)y education we received on our recent anniversary getaway. Enjoy.Read more
Last week I mentioned that I had a special 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 they gave us 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. That 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!Read more
This morning while Mr. C was at the liquor store buying tequila to make margaritas tonight, he stumbled upon a newly stocked item – Don Julio Tequila-Reposado, Double Cask.
Did you catch what the box says? “Finished in casks used in the making of Buchanan’s blended Scotch whisky.” Whisky meets tequila. Holy cow! “What’s that,” you ask? Why yes, of course, he bought a bottle, silly!
If 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), savoring, and appreciating all of their excellent qualities. In fact, Don Julio tequilas are so exceptional that you can enjoy them neat. No mixer required.Read more
The word ‘whisky’ is derived from the Gaelic term “uisge beatha” (“oosh-keh beh-ha) which means “water of life”.
The Scottish Gaels called it “uisge beatha.” In Latin, the phrase is “aqua vitae.” Both translate to “water of life.” What is this “water of life” to which they refer? It’s whisky, my friends.
The history of whisky is not 100% definitive but there seems to be a pretty solid consensus as to how this rich and complex liquid came to be. (Please keep in mind that there will always be slightly differing opinions on the matter. We are, after all, talking about a very long time ago!)
The national drink of the Scots, whisky likely originated over 1,000 years ago after traveling monks crossed into Scotland and Ireland from mainland Europe, bringing their knowledge of distillation with them. Whisky’s story begins long before that, however, in the world of the Mesopotamian ancients.Read more