That last part of the Four seasons of whisky is not very. . . seasonal but let’s close the cycle with Winter so as to have a complete picture. It is not surprising to concentrate on sweet flavours. Winter calls for comfort food.
There is an air of simplicity and sobriety in winter. Uniformity of colours when snow covers the ground, bareness of the vegetation, bitterness of the blizzard. Nature goes to sleep. By contrast, this austerity invites to sweet and rich flavours. Old whiskies, lingering finishes and intense chocolate call the tune.
Fruit in disguise
You will need
8 dried apricots
half a tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp single malt (an old sherried malt)
Mix the marzipan with lemon and whisky. Roll bits of the size and shape of an olive. Open the fruit in two without cutting them in two pieces. Stuff them with the marzipan and place them in small paper cups.
Cardamom and chocolate cream with a cappuccino touch
You will need
15 cl milk
5 cl single cream
a few cardamom pods
1 tbsp caster sugar
80 g dark chocolate (chopped)
4 cl whipping cream
1 tsp icing sugar
half a tsp instant coffee
1 Open the cardamom pods and extract the seeds, toast them gently on a pan and crush them in a mortar. Warm the milk and cream with the cardamom and let infuse 5 min then sieve.
2 Whisk the yolks with the sugar, add warm milk and cream. Put on the stove, making sure it does not boil. When it thickens, take off the stove.
3 Melt the instant sugar in a few drops of hot water. Whip the cream with icing sugar. Add the coffee to half of the cream.
4 Pour the chocolate cream in small glasses. Let cool in the fridge one hour. Top with the coffee cream then the plain whipped cream.
Flapjacks are chewy biscuits made from rolled oats, golden syrup or honey, butter and sugar. You can easily find the recipe on the internet.
The single malts to pair with those wintery delights are quite similar to the ones chosen for Autumn but with more oak, longer licoriced finishes and an added sweetness expressed by soft spices and candied fruit. In the like of Glenfarclas 30 Year old, Glenrothes 1978, old Linkwoods, even old peated whiskies like Ardbeg Lord of the Isles or Bowmore 25 Year old (just awarded a Trophy at the IWSC competition), better in our glasses than against the hull of a warship, don’t you think?