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.
Pairing up drinks with food has always been a tricky affair. However, that has not stopped chefs, restaurateurs and mixologist from becoming adventurous. While their spree of exploration, creativity and inquisitiveness have resulted in the most divine of unions, it has also triggered the emergence of some unlikely bedfellows.
It takes time to appreciate, but then if you do, you cannot really imagine sipping your whiskey without expecting some peat. If you have not acquired the taste yet, give it a little time. And pairing up your dram of peaty delight with the right kind of food uplifts the experience manifold. Many would argue that it isn’t necessary to have a starter with whiskey or scotch.
Inviting friends and acquaintances over for drinks is always an exercise in indecision. What drinks do you serve? Do you just make finger food, or put out an entire spread? Add to this the fact that you are done with the whole chips, dips, and cocktails affair – something a little more sophisticated is in order.