Whisky, or golden hued liquid sunlight – you can spell it whiskey or whisky, the term sounds melodious, and holds a special place in our lives’ libations. Drinking whisky is a magical experience; it’s a drink that can be savoured with close friends, family or at a local pub to make new friends. Whisky has many diverse and versatile palates – bourbon, rye, single malt, blends – that it can appeal to almost everyone. And the way one drinks whisky has an influence on the flavours and aromas when you take the first sip. So, the most important question one should ask is ‘How to serve and savour that perfect glass of whisky.
Let’s begin with the five most popular ways to savour a whisky, which typically include:
A neat pour that lets you appreciate the true flavour of the whisky with absolutely no distractions.
With a splash of water to release the hydrophobic elements in the glass, allowing you to detect more aromatics on the nose and taste more flavours on the palate due to the lowering of the alcohol content.
On the rocks. Whisky poured over ice may not be the preference of the purists but can work beautifully to chill your drink when the temperatures outside are high.
Chilled with whisky stones. Using stones made of stainless steel or soapstone to keep whisky chilled is usually done to keep the drink undiluted and preserve the original flavour notes while keeping it chilled.
Whisky cocktails are a fun way to serve whisky. Great whisky cocktails can thaw you during the lingering months of cold winters or chill you down during the scorching heat. Freshen it up and give it a fruity take or give a dash of mint julep.
Whiskey Glass, INR 6,499
It is also important to find the right glass, which plays a pivotal role in enhancing the flavour and aroma of this oaky spirit and best showcase its richness and versatility. Some of the more popular glassware to hold your whisky are:
Narrower glasses for Aged Whisky. These glasses are suitable for aged whisky generally above 18, 21 or 30 years. For whisky that’s stored for so many years, it needs a glass that converges at the top, so that the aromas are concentrated since aged whisky is mellow.
Snifter glasses for Neat Whisky. Snifter glasses have a narrow rim which keep the aromas inside the glass and a rounded bottom which allows the glass to be cupped in the hand, thus keeping the spirit warm.
Highball glasses are perfect for whisky cocktails since they allow for plenty of ice, spirit and mixers.
Rock glasses. If you enjoy the occasional neat pour as well as cocktails, consider a more versatile Rock glass.
While there many options of glassware to choose from, the luxurious range of handcrafted whisky nosing and tasting glasses offered in the Connoisseur Collection available on thinKitchen.in stands out. This has been designed by me in collaboration with UK’s renowned glassware brand Dartington Crystal, along with thinKitchen™ and has a wide bowl and tall body to fully engage all senses to evaluate the colour, smell, and taste of the spirit, releasing a full aromatic profile for an enhanced whisky drinking experience.
The popularity of the idea of pairing whisky with food is growing. The flavours of whisky vary from light, touch of sweetness and fruit, citrus notes, complex and bold with earthy and smoky notes. According to these flavours, food is paired with whisky in a way so that neither the whisky or the food dominates or overwhelms the palates. Some of these include:
Cheese and Whisky. Soft cheese, strong blue cheese, cream cheese like burrata or mozzarella or cheddar, all of these types can be paired with whiskies with different notes to get the ultimate tasting experience.
Dark Chocolate and Whisky with rich, spicy, bitter dark and chocolate with nuts go very well with whisky.
Sushi and Whisky is another new well accepted pair, especially whisky highball cocktails paired with Sushi. The great rise of Japanese whisky also in recent years has meant this combination has become a hit.
Apple pie and Whisky where the strong flavor of cinnamon is a perfect pairing making a great combination with the slight fruity sweetness and strong whisky flavour.
These simple tips work well in enhancing the whisky you serve, both when you are hosting experts or enthusiasts, alike. So go on and savour one of the finest spirits of all times, the golden hued whisky.
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A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.
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