Your guide to drink­ing whiskey

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Ab­hi­nav Verma ab­hi­nav.verma@hin­dus­tan­ (In­puts by Rahul Gau­tam, As­sis­tant F&B di­rec­tor, Kempin­ski Am­bi­ence Ho­tel and Har­leen Singh Rawal, F&B Di­rec­tor, Le Meri­dien Gur­gaon)

Ac­cord­ing to lat­est re­search, whisky is set to over­take vodka to be­come the sec­ond-largest spirit con­sumed around the world by 2020, with most of the growth com­ing from In­dia. This deep, rich golden and well-ma­tured liq­uid is far cooler than vodka, rum and more com­plex than gin, it also pos­sesses an artis­tic edge to it. As much we all love it, there is al­ways a ques­tion mark when it comes to know­ing the right way to have it, while the com­mon an­swer re­mains that the best way to have it, is to have it any­way you like and with any­thing. How­ever, if you truly wish to cher­ish and understand this piece of art, then you should know the rules of drink­ing whiskey.

1 Glass se­lec­tion - Your tra­di­tional whiskey glass such as the Old Fash­ioned glass, low­ball glass, or rocks glass, which has a thick bot­tom with a wide open­ing, is not the best glass for the drink. This glass due to its form lets out all the fra­grance. In­stead, opt for a Glen­cairn glass; it has a con­cave shape for the nose to breath in the aroma and wider open­ing to prop­erly sip in the taste.

2 Mixology- For those of us who think ice with whiskey is a smooth com­bi­na­tion, think again. Adding ice neu­tralises and kills the aroma of whiskey. A good whiskey doesn’t need any mix­ing. The only liq­uid which should be added to whiskey is plain old wa­ter, prefer­ably fresh min­eral wa­ter. Adding wa­ter soft­ens the ag­gres­sive­ness of the drink and also frees the fragrances.

3 De­tect­ing colour and age — Af­ter pour­ing the whiskey in the glass, ex­am­ine it by look­ing at it in front of a light source. The colour of the whiskey tells us about its age. The older the whiskey, darker it is.

4 The art of tast­ing — Never rush when tast­ing whiskey, rather take a small sip and hold for 10 sec­onds at least, swirl it gen­tly and then swal­low it. Upon swal­low­ing, there will be an al­co­holic burn in the throat, which is one of the main things which puts peo­ple off from drink­ing whiskey. How­ever, it’s im­por­tant to let this pass, as this is how whiskey re­veals its true fla­vor.

5 Fin­ish­ing — The fin­ish is the taste which comes af­ter you have swal­lowed the whiskey. What sep­a­rates whiskey from other liquors is the com­plex­ity of the fin­ish. Var­i­ous flavours of whiskey tend to re­veal them­selves dur­ing the fin­ish, some of which can be sub­tle. Also, the amount of time the flavour stays in the mouth is called the length of the fin­ish. So, let the taste linger.

The ideal way to con­sume whiskey is to have it with fresh wa­ter at room, rather than adding soft drinks

Rahul Gau­tam, F&B pro­fes­sional If you want to de­velop a taste for whiskey, never gulp it down. In­stead, take a sip and hold for 10 sec­onds

Har­leen Singh Rawal, F&B pro­fes­sional


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