As the weather warms up, it is tempting to take cooking and dining outdoors. Summers trigger the urge to spend time outdoors, eat and drink on the patio and soak in the golden sunrays. The two words which best describe summers are bright and bold. With the bounty of fresh produce in this season, a salad can be pure satisfaction. The fruits and vegetables are both juicy and ripe, adding a dash of refreshing zest to our palate. Salads are amazing round the year, but come summers, they are a different ball-game.
Unsophisticated and natural food are a good bet as we embrace the summer months. Salads are a refreshing change from the meat-based dishes. Apart from helping you detox, they are flavorful and satisfying. As you add a dash of color to your meal with an appetizing salad, did it ever occur to you that you can pair it with whiskey?
Let’s get innovative and allow our imagination to run wild as we invite guests over. Combine your salads with summery whiskeys which are known for their intensity and depth. Full-bodied, they exude a warm and cheerful character which complements the crunchy vegetables.
A few display honeyed and fruity aromas which go well with the freshness of salads.
The Bulleit Rye Whiskey which comes with minty vegetal notes pairs exotically with leafy greens. The twiggy, nutty finish and rich oaky aroma perfectly accompany your favorite green salad. The Glengoyne 17 is an absolute companion to a salad made from caramelized walnuts, mesclun, fresh pear batons, Kikorangi blue cheese and dressed with raspberry vinaigrette. The complex and sophisticated malt with hints of Brazil nuts and a creamy finish add to the “nuttiness” of the caramelized walnuts. Both vibrant and versatile, this gourmet pairing is a pure delight!
The delicious Caesar salad with real anchovies pairs well with Scotch. As with most of the salads, Caesar salad is all about the dressing. By the time you have whizzed up an egg yolk and parmesan, you have a creamy dressing which works well with a glass of scotch.
Another interesting way to combine the flavors of whiskey with salads is to use it as an ingredient. How does a broccoli, butternut, bacon and Ballentine’s salad sound? Colorful and light, it is a perfect blend of flavor and freshness. For a healthier choice, you can replace the bacon with chickpeas. The smooth and full-bodied Ballantine’s Finest can be used as a dressing for this salad. It is a brilliant idea to pair a dram of rich and complex Ballantines Whisky with this salad. The rich and complex notes accentuate the grilled flavors of bacon and butternut. When crumbled feta cheese in the salad meets the robust notes of the whiskey, you will vouch that it’s a marriage made in heaven. The flavors will linger and meld beautifully, making it a winning pair.
As the weather warms up, it is tempting to take cooking and dining outdoors.
You’ve planned your menu with impeccable finesse. The freshly-caught sea bass is poaching in a pan, simmering in juices of its lime-ginger marinade. A medley of vegetables, handpicked carefully from your grocer this morning, nestles in the oven to roast. Bottles of the finest Scotch sit perched atop your bar counter, lined up invitingly. Each course mirrors a fine culinary sophistication.
Does a jaunt to the fair with your five-year-old assail you with visions from your own childhood? Does it revive memories of a jolly carousel spin, the breathtaking view from a Ferris wheel, and of course, the food stalls? Of course, sampling the ubiquitous fare of corn dogs, cotton candy and caramel apple may not impart the same joy you felt back then.