Summer. The Dog Days of Whisky

I’ll admit, whisky isn’t the first drink that comes to mind when it’s hot and sunny. Ice cold beer or a chilled Chardonnay, maybe. After all, it’s not the time to be sitting by a warm fire in your smoking jacket, sipping a Lagavulin. But, aside from that, I think that there’s a whisky for all occasions.
So maybe it’s not the Lagavulin or the Arbeg, At room temperature. Try to imagine, instead, something light and cold. Perhaps a little fizzy. If you are a neophyte, a beginner into the world of whisky, summer is a great time to get started.
My first foray into whisky wasn’t great. I found the taste to be strong. And slightly bitter. Where’s my beer? But there were ways to ramp-up to the full taste of whisky and get those taste buds acclimatized. Like when you’re young and trying to get used to the taste of coffee. Lot’s of milk and sugar, then a gradual weening until you’re guzzling it black as soon as you roll out of bed. The way that Juan Valdez intended.
Same for whisky. I started by mixing in a little Drambuie to sweeten it (it actually has a name – Rusty Nail). Drambuie has a scotch base so I figured that it was a natural choice. A few ice cubes and things were starting to taste pretty good. Gradually, less and less Drambuie, until it was just whisky, followed by a gradual elimination of ice, until it was just good.

But it’s summer, so there are all kinds of opportunities out there. Perhaps a splash of soda – ginger ale or soda water. I don’t recommend mixing your expensive single malt with anything. But there are plenty of great blends, at reasonable prices, that you can experiment with. A nice Rob Roy (scotch with sweet vermouth and bitters), or an Old Fashioned (whisky, bitters, sugar and a twist of orange) make for great summer whisky drinking. Or just a nice single malt on ice. Sipped slowly, as the ice melts and dilutes the taste until it slides down smoothly. Sigh…..

Anyway, don’t wait for the cooler weather. Give those taste buds the summer break that they deserve and treat them to some thing special. And have a great summer. See you in the Fall, when we will get into a whole bunch of great whisky discussions. Cheers!

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