“Hey what’s your one favourite song?”
Did I just stump you? Out of the thousands of beautiful songs out there, meant for different occasions, from different genres, by different musicians, how do you pick one, as your single best preference? Isn’t the question ridiculous to begin with!
Well, that’s how the notes of whisky work for me. I believe there is nothing called “one favourite” whisky. My preferred dram is usually a resulting function of the setting, the company I have, my mood, and most importantly, what I am eating with it.
I intend to put a lot of stress on the last bit.
Yes, food and whisky make an almost sacred combination. The selection of a whisky depends on the food, and vice versa. Borrowing more from the music analogy, it is absolutely fascinating to see how certain whiskies strikingly pair a symphony with certain foods, a composition that would otherwise go unnoticed individually, or under the impact of any other accompaniment.
Don’t let words like “gourmet” and “epicurean” overwhelm you. There is no hard-wired science behind pairing whisky and food. However, certain inherent aromas of whisky intrinsically complement particular appetizers better. The trick is to rely on your instinct and judgement.
Whenever starting the food journey, start with uncomplicated combinations. You may have a great whisky to go with a great dish, but if the tastes don’t match, your palate is tainted. Here is a great DIY model to try. Take your most favoured whisky, choose four most diverse ingredients like salt, sugar, lemon (juice), chicken. See how the whisky’s taste reacts in a varied manner to each of these. You can keep graduating from sugar to honey, and onwards to chocolate. In a similar fashion, move to cheese, fish and variations thereon.
This fun, exploratory process will lead to some positive inferences and discoveries – of good pairings that enhance the core flavour profiles, contrasts that create a more exciting flavour, and complimentary pairings that lead to a robust aftertaste.
To put it simply, the result should be better than the sum of the parts. At Liquid Sunshine, we conduct such appreciation sessions to demystify this space. From easy food pairings, to elaborate culinary experiences, the sessions vary in complexity, but always converge on one common goal – to help whisky lovers make the most of this eccentric love affair.
We look forward to help you find the choicest picks of hors d’oeuvres with the right whiskies. For more information, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org