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Issue 70 - The spice route

Whisky Magazine Issue 70
February 2008


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The spice route

Kate Ennis discovers that whisky can be the spice of life

Malts go to India Classic Malts Selection whiskies paired with the snack food of Northern India created by Benares Restaurant Aloo Chaat on Pappadom (potato crostini with ginger and mint chutney) and Macchi Chaat (tandoor-smoked organic salmon with lime leaf and coriander) Cardhu 12 Years Old Onion Bhaji (onion fritters with roasted cumin) and Aloo Tikki (potato and pea cakes) Glen Elgin 12 Years Old Gelawati Kebab Samosa (smoked ground spiced lamb encased in crisp filo pasta) Lagavulin 16 Years Old Chilled Pistachio Mousse with raisins Frozen Dalwhinnie 15 Years Old Gorkha Chutney (smoked tomato and garlic salsa) and Chicken Tikka Talisker 10 Years Old The Indian restaurant can be a jungle out there for the discerning drinker to navigate.As the pungent spiciness and heat of Indian cuisine sends most wines running for cover, Cobras and Tigers reign as kings of the drinks accompaniment of choice.However, with its formidable character and own spicy notes, whisky is well placed to negotiate the spice route.

India represents the biggest whisky market in the world so it's logical that the spirit which appeals to the country's palates would match the complex layers of flavour and texture in their native food.But even the concept of Indian food is difficult to define considering this vast country's enormous variations in climate, religion, and tradition.As a cultural crossroads on the Asian trading routes, with Arabic,Mongolian and Persian influences, Indian cuisine is a melting p...

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