With Whisky Month well under way, people across Scotland – and the world – are rejoicing in a celebration of the ‘water of life.’ This makes it the perfect time for whisky novices to jump on the bandwagon and discover whisky’s charms.
Edinburgh is full of places to enjoy a dram or two and experience the history of Scotland’s national drink. Here are our five suggestions for getting into the ‘spirit’ and joining the ranks of the #WhiskyConverts.
Try one from each region
There are hundreds of different Scotch Whiskies, distilled in the five whisky-making regions across Scotland, meaning there’s something out there for everyone. For example, there’s a big difference between a light and citrusy Lowland whisky and a peaty one from Islay, so try one from each region until you start to recognise the characteristics and find one you like.
Try it different ways
There are dozens of ways to drink whisky, although in Scotland we tend to be traditional, sipping a dram neat or with a dash of water. However, you could do as the Japanese do, and mix it with soda, or you can serve it in a delicious whisky cocktail. There’s no right or wrong way to sip the water of life. If you like it, that’s what’s important!
Enjoy it in different venues
Whisky can be enjoyed anywhere and Edinburgh is home to some amazing places to enjoy a dram. Take advantage of the city’s great outdoors, traditional pubs, and contemporary bars, or have a whisky at a dinner party at home – there is no shortage of perfect settings.
Keep your eyes peeled
Signs of Edinburgh’s whisky heritage are all around the city, and maybe even in places you wouldn’t expect. When passing through Haymarket station, look up and you’ll find what remains of the Caledonian Distillery. Or marvel at the beauty of the Usher Hall, which was built by the father of whisky blending, Andrew Usher.
Try different food pairings
Whisky pairs well with a variety of delicious foods and there are loads of restaurants in Edinburgh where you can both quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger. Try somewhere that really utilises the breadth of Scotland’s larder and see how whisky can complement or even amplify the flavours. Or for the full experience, discover whisky and food matching at home by stocking up on local delicacies from one of Edinburgh’s weekly markets and artisan producers.
Douglas Walker is Chair of Unique Venues of Edinburgh.
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