Got some scotch?
On World Whiskey Day, an expert tells you how to make the most of the tipple you have at home.
With liquor stores in the city still closed and alcohol hard to come by, your fix of whiskey may require some amount of rationing. But, Uday Balaji of The Whisky Advisor, who conducts whiskey-based experiences and runs a podcast by the same name, believes that these easy home experiments and tasting techniques can heighten your whiskey experience.
Choose the right glass
Pick a glass that is tulip-shaped. A glencairn glass or sherry tulip is ideal, but you can use any tulip-shaped glass like a wine glass or brandy goblet. The tulip shape is in order to collect vapours in the bowl and concentrate it through the narrow mouth:
- Look at the colour against a white sheet of paper. Darker does not mean better.
- Roll the whiskey in the glass and notice how it drips down. If it comes down quickly you can expect a watery texture in your mouth or if it comes down slowly, you can expect it to be thick and oily.
- Raise your glass up about an inch from your nose and pass it from nostril to nostril, and inhale the aroma.
- Taste the whiskey and chew it; make sure it covers all of your mouth.
Feel the taste
We have a library of aroma and tastes in our minds that we have collected over the course of our lives. Delve deep into it and you might discover a sweet note (like in Bengali mithai) or the smell of wood from your grandma’s cupboard. It’s best to do this with at least two whiskeys so you can compare them:
- Experience the mouth-feel and see how it compares to the visual texture. Was it as light or as oily as you expected?
- Swallow and notice two things on the finish — How long it lasts and a long or short finish and secondly, the flavours.
A whiskey sour is the easiest cocktail to make at home with some lime juice and any whiskey that you may have:
- If you have more than one kind, try different whiskeys and watch the flavour profile change in the cocktail.
- Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Re-purpose your trusted steel dabba for one.
- Try adding egg white as in the classic version. If not, aquafaba [cooking water from chickpea] can lend an interesting texture too.
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