It’s hard to think of Scotland without its whisky, a unique drink that’s grown to be such a part of the Scottish identity and a feature of social life. But it’s not just the Scots who love it. There’s such a demand for Scotch whisky that it accounts for over 85% of Scottish food and drinks exports, amounting to billions of pounds.
For hundreds of years whisky has been distilled in Scotland. And, although its exact origins remain unknown, historical references point to it being around from as early as the 1400s. Originally known as uisge beatha ('water of life' in Gaelic), whisky is a distilled alcoholic drink made from fermented grains, and matured in oak casks for at least three years - a process that has evolved and improved but never strayed far from its original methods.
I'm sure many of you will have had a wee dram of whisky before, but you probably didn't know it's also a secret ingredient used in the culinary world. We certainly love to weave this part of Scottish heritage into our smoking process, to flavour the finest fish and other foods we source. From cold oak smoked salmon to oak smoked Scottish cheddar, the rich aroma of whisky creates a unique and mouth-watering experience.
So here's an idea for your next dinner party or date: add a whisky twist to your evening, and you'll be sure to leave your guests asking for more. For those of you with a brave heart, begin the evening with an Old Fashioned Cocktail (a whisky cocktail with an orange zest) to get the taste buds poised. Then, serve up some roasted smoked salmon with boiled new potatoes melted in butter, with a side of veggies.
The Old Fashioned Cocktail will help to bring out the subtle whisky aroma in the salmon, and warm up your guests' senses. For desert, have a glass of your favourite Scotch to bring a perfect and smoky evening to an end! AND - enjoy!