This month I attend the Whiskey Festival here in Milan. Even though my passion is wine and good food when the temperature dips into the single digits a little whiskey is just what the doctor ordered. Like fine wine aged whiskey mellows out with age and takes on the characteristics of the wood barrel it is aged in. I had the pleasure of tasting the Macallan Special Edition no 2. The palate on Special Edition no 2 is warm with hints of nuts and black pepper. You definitely do not cook with something this special. Macallan has a long history of producing some of the world’s finest and most expensive whiskeys.
Most often Whiskey is paired with seafood especial shellfish such as oysters. However, whiskey can be used in far more versatile ways. I have used whiskey for its umami properties in BBQ sauces and glazes for grilled meats. Whiskey can be used in sweet dishes to add a bit of bite to an already decadent dessert such as an apple tart with goat cheese. Whiskey can even be paired with bitter dark chocolate creating what can only be described as a match made in heavy. A little whiskey goes a long way so it can and should be used sparingly. So the a little investment yields a long shelf and many delicious possibilities.
Being a Gastronomer mean exploring all that there is to try and finding creative ways to use bounty of the harvest. You do not need to buy an expensive bottle of whiskey to cook with. In fact I would suggest you buy a young whiskey with a good flavor to cook with and save the expensive bottle for a chilly winter night to enjoy in front of a roaring fire.