By Alex Kavita
Conservatively wine? I agree. But is wine the only alcoholic beverage that can be taken alongside food? Most bartenders have a great understanding of flavours in all beverage and with this foundation, they indeed can work with chefs to create amazing meal pairings. Indeed food can be paired with spirits like scotch etc.
Last week I had an amazing experience with a chef I respect a lot. I have done a lot of whisky pairings where I do support some chefs but when its Chef Aris Athinasou of Movenpick then it’s time to stand back and let a maestro do his thing.
The market is shouting out loud that experiential is the way to go. Thus, Chef Aris and I planned and showcased a dinner of five courses/ five Diageo whiskies. Exceptional pairings – a whole new level of scotch showing up at the dinner table.
The Cardhu 12-year-old pairing was a favourite for the day. Cardhu is a Speyside single malt that is not ‘so complex’ to break down. Its silky smooth with notes of dried fruit, honey, nuts and a little whiff of smoke. It is mellow at first taste but it cements its flavours as you continue to sip.
Chef Aris made a cold starter of prosciutto (ham), pear and apricot jams, honey mustard. My favourite touch was dehydrated orange peel dust! That and the smoky salty flavours from the main component are beyond comparison. Delicious!
So yes it does work – as we had four more courses with four other Diageo scotch entities. The main point is appreciating that experiences as far as beverage haven’t been fully exploited with wine. The diversity of scotch and the diversity in food items will keep you searching for the next pairing. You will be amazed as this is only the tip of the iceberg. Scotch and other spirits going forward will continue to show up at the dinner table. Easy DIY – Singleton tail fire with rum and raisin chocolate. Remember that water does well to mellow scotch to palatable levels.
Demystifying single malts with a cocktail
Indeed, the Single malt is deemed consumable in a certain way but with the growth of the bartender craft, here is a simple way in which single malt flavours can be used as a foundation to create exciting cocktails:
60 ML Bulleit Bourbon (Flat washed with clarified butter)
60 ML Cardhu
30ML honey syrup
One egg white
Shake all the ingredients and strain into a whisky glass.
Garnish with orange.