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 cask lends its own distinctive flavors and color to the finished product. It is indeed 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.
To be a part of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here. Thank you, Amy, for this week’s challenge!
Halloween and all of its festivities are nearly upon us, so I thought it would be fun to find a Halloween-themed cocktail that is 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 recipe on a site called Gastronom. The web site is run 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 truly distinctive 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!
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 whisky cocktail called a Full Scottish. 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. 🙂
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)
As I begin to write this post, I have Eileen Barton’s cute 1950 hit song stuck in my head – “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake”. Go ahead. YouTube it. I dare you. 😀
Today I want to share a recipe for Honey and Whisky Cake. I got the recipe from a little book I purchased a few weeks ago in Scotland. This cake is quick and easy to make and really delicious. It’s moist, not overly sweet, and the grated orange rind is a wonderful addition.
Hi guys! I hope you have had a great weekend. I have been nursing a crappy ear infection myself. But alas, it’s been a good excuse to catch some extra z’s, lay around the house in my bathrobe, binge some television, and sip a little whisk(e)y. Always look on the sunny side of life, my friends!
In keeping with said whisk(e)y, today we are going to make a Rob Roy. Mr. C and I happen to LOVE a Manhattan cocktail, as we have been on quite the bourbon kick lately (thus the reason I included the ‘e’ in the spelling of whiskey). Our newfound appreciation for bourbon began last fall when we visited Lexington, Kentucky and toured three different distilleries.
Named after the 17th century Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor, a Rob Roy cocktail is essentially a Manhattan. But instead of bourbon – or if you’re a purist, rye whiskey – it is made with a blended Scotch (whisky without the ‘e’). We initially wanted to make today’s recipe with Dimple Pinch, a smooth, non-peaty blend that is suited perfectly for mixed drinks. Unfortunately, Mr. C couldn’t find any and the liquor store he went to was thin on blends. So instead, he decided to try one we have never had. It’s called Monkey Shoulder. Great name, right? It describes itself as “blended in small batches of three fine Speyside single malts, then married to achieve a smoother, richer taste”.
Robert Roy MacGregor (1671-1734) was a marauder in the Highlands of Scotland. After falling out with the Duke of Montrose, Roy ran a racket, whereby he earned a living stealing cattle and then extorting money from farmers to ‘protect’ them from thieves. His name was made even more famous by writer Walter Scott when he published his novel Rob Roy in 1817.
Based on its description, I think Monkey Shoulder sounds promising. Let’s see if the taste is as inventive as that fun name!
I’m giddy you stopped by! I hope everyone is enjoying a nice 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.
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.
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.
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.
[Fred:] Just wait until she get a load of my dancing
When I hear the words hot toddy I am always reminded of these lines from the song “I’ll Capture Your Heart”, sung by Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the 1942 classic movie “Holiday Inn” (and consequently, I can’t get the tune out of my head). In the movie, Bing’s character Jim and Fred’s character Ted are both in love with Lila. In the song, Jim sings of his plans to win Lila over with his singing and Ted is confident that his dancing will win her heart. As the movie unfolds, Lila ends up declaring her love for Ted and a broken-hearted Jim leaves town. Jim soon meets Linda, however, after he books her to perform at his holidays-only live entertainment venue at the inn. They fall in love and, of course, a newly dumped Ted shows up and also sets his sights on the lovely Linda. It’s a funny, sweet film, one that I enjoy watching year after year. I adore those old musicals, don’t you?
Several days ago I came across a recipe in Scotsman Food & Drink for a Scottish hot toddy. It is one version of this widely varied drink. There is no standard recipe, but it is consistently made with some type of liquor (generally Scotch or bourbon), a sweetener (such as sugar or honey), a warm base (like water, tea, or apple cider), and lemon.
Since we’re having our first snow of the season today, it seems like the perfect time to give this festive, Scottish version a try.