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Issue 146 - Let me entertain you

Whisky Magazine Issue 146
September 2017


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Let me entertain you

Hosting a dinner party with whisky does not need to be an overwhelming experience for your guests. Using a drop of whisky judiciously can transform the experience, and convert even the toughest critic

Anyone who has ever attended a whisky dinner will have experienced the quandary of pairing whisky with a three course meal. Most of the time, it is hard to pinpoint exactly which element of the dish the whisky is paired with. The pairing might work beautifully with the caramelised meat, but falls flat when tried alongside the mash potatoes or gravy that are also on the plate. It all gets quite confusing and the premise is lost. Alternatively, the whisky overwhelms the palate and you can't enjoy either your dinner or the whisky. Even more dire is the situation where the whisky, a short drink by nature runs out long before the course is complete! For these reasons I believe it is foolish to attempt to substitute whisky for wine or even beer at a dinner party. Instead, tease the flavours out with the right food pairing by incorporating small dashes of whisky in each course. Using whisky as part of the meal allows your guests to experience the spirit in a new and surprising way and will win you whisky converts!

A whisky aperitif will set the tone for the evening, but shaking cocktail after cocktail distracts from spending time with your guests. Instead batch up some Manhattans, and stir over ice as each guest arrives, serving with an orange peel and a whisky preserved cherry.

I keep a selection of small spritz bottles filled with my favourite pairing whiskies on hand. Some of them are well-washed vintage perfume atomisers, others are plainer, simple small...

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