Here’s to smoky whisky!

Thursday, May 13th, 2021 00:00 |
Steak infused with Adbeg whiskey and served with spicy French fries. Photo/PD/FAITH KYOUMUKAMA

For a drink that is often referred to as the nectar of the gods or the water of life, it was only appropriate that a day be set aside to ccelebrate. So, why not serve yourself a glass of your favourite Scotch and join the rest of the world in celebrating World Whisky Day this Satarday?

Faith Kyoumukama @martkinel

Just so you know, this weekend, we will be marking World Whisky Day. Did you feel a little thirsty when I said that? 

Well, if you love a little whisky, you can make it your excuse this whole week,  because... its world whisky week!

Kicking it off on Sunday, Ardbeg, which is a single malt whisky from Scotland held a grill tasting at the Baobox Bar and Restaurant at Pramkuh Towers in Westlands.

The dinner was hosted by Ardbeg East Africa brand ambassador Antoine Chidi. 

It was a rainy evening, and I was sure that just a little whisky would warm me up... okay, that sounded a bit intense. 

On arrival, I had my first ever peaty cocktail. You see, Ardbeg is a peaty whisky, meaning, it is given a smoky flavour by compounds that are released by the peat fires used to dry malted barley.

The length and exposure to the peat smoke dictate the strength of this flavour. 

According to the experts , when peat is burned to heat the kiln, it also produces aromatic smoke.

French fries paired with the steak and whisky make a perfect combo. Photo/PD/FAITH KYOUMUKAMA

To a point, this smoke has a considerable influence on malt during kilning resulting in smoky flavours.

That’s just a short explanation, there is more, but because we are foodies, that’s enough to keep us going at this table. 

Now, with peaty whisky, in the words of Antoine, it’s either you like it or you do not. There is no in-between... you can guess where I reside.

To my surprise, I  loved the peaty whisky, especially when in cocktail. I know many whisky lovers would cringe when they hear me say that, especially because they would rather have it neat. This particular cocktail was called ‘Ardbeg the last ship’.

It had fresh pineapple juice, lemon juice, syrup and shots of Ardbeg, and I loved the balance between sweet and sour with a smoky taste.

On the menu was steak, which had been infused with Ardbeg whiskey for 24 hours served with spicy French fries.

You see, in the world of food, chefs are increasingly using whisky to enhance smoky salty and sweet flavours.

I’m told the whiskey helps to tenderise the beef. Usually, I wouldn’t go for steak, especially, because sometimes I start to struggle with its chewy nature. But this one was soft, juicy and so flavourful.

It was medium rare, something, I also wouldn’t go for on the norm.  Even before cutting into it, you can tell from its surface that its going to be a juicy steak.

You could also taste the smoky flavours, enhanced obviously by the whisky. This was my first time eating steak and finishing the steak. 

The French fries were also so tasty and spicy, and when paired with the steak, it is the right combo.

The French fries tasted like they were mashed potatoes and then fried.

In case you have been wanting to prepare your meals with a whiskey marinade consider getting a peated whisky when you want to do a grill.

Curate a marinade and use a peaty whisky mistress and your steak will be a little different from the norm. Now that we have an excuse this week, let’s whisky.

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