Whisky Wednesday With The Butler

Feb 26, 2014 by

Wednesday is a good day to try a dram or two of a new whisky or whiskey, depending on your preference.   You won’t appear as desperate as you might on a Monday night (the week has barely begun), and you’ll have more time to properly savor the taste results than you would on a Friday night (TGIF–just gimme a bottle!).  While you’re at it, you may as well invite a friend over to share in your Celtic heritage appreciation event…but which whisky will make the cut?



Personally, I love single malts, preferably with peaty smokiness, paired with a hint of sweetness.   I’ve read reviews of the newest release from Highland Park,  Scotland’s northernmost single malt distillery, and it may be a good match for me.   Distilled in an area that was once a Norse stronghold in Viking Age Scotland, HP’s new 15 year old whisky is named after Freya, the Norse goddess of love, and is said to taste of lush fruitiness and smoky earthiness, closing with a spicy finish.

Sounds like the perfect uisge beatha to share with my favorite Scottish Butler.

Not sure which whisk(e)y you should try?   I recommend consulting  Whisky For Everyone , a wonderful blog for all whisky lovers, whether you’re just starting to appreciate this much-loved elixir of the Celts or you’re a long-time whisky drinker–they always have a list of the latest whisky releases.

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Whisky: The Original Celtic Curative

Nov 25, 2013 by

It is an old and commonly accepted Celtic maxim that if whisky can’t cure it, there is no cure for it, whatever it may be.  Wise words for the holiday season…

Whisky Drink for Surviving  the Holidays

Whisky: The Celtic Cure for What Ails Ye    Image by Jamie Chung http://ti.me/1fEkDvt


We all know that big family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas bring on stress, and stress, in turn, makes us more susceptible to coughs and colds and other icky illnesses.  Our Celtic ancestors played host to visiting relatives, too, and knew full well the perils of gathering the clan all in one confined space, especially when those clansmen and women were packing heat, or at least swords and axes.
Luckily for you, beautiful Celtic people, your ancestors created a magical elixir to settle frayed nerves and ward off potential nasties brought by relatives on their holiday visit.  I’m speaking, of course, about uisge beatha,  the water of life,  better known as whisky (Scotland) and whiskey (Ireland and the US).  In fact, the word “whisky”(with or without the e) is an anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic word  “uisge” and the Irish Gaelic word “uisce”, meaning water.  Uisge beatha roughly translates as “lively water” or ” water of life.”

When I’m feeling ” a mite peaked “, as we Southerners say, I add just a little hot water to my Lagavulin  and sip it in front of the fire or while I’m reading–always make me feel better. If you aren’t in the mood to take your whisky neat, however, try this clever cocktail created by New York bartender Sam Ross. It combines the curative properties of lemon, honey and ginger with the bracing properties of a good single malt.

Sláinte–to your health!

The Penicillin:

Muddle fresh ginger in a cocktail shaker, add 2 oz of scotch (lightly peated, such as Bunnahabhain ), 3⁄4 oz. fresh lemon juice, 3/4 oz. honey syrup(I use pure honey with equal parts hot water), and shake with ice.

Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass, and pour 1/4 ounce of Islay single malt scotch (such as Laphroaig or Lagavulin) over the back of a bar spoon so that it floats on the drink.
 Garnish with candied ginger.


Need to know how to pronounce all those glorious Scottish whisky brand names?  Scots actor Brian Cox and Esquire magazine created a group of very short videos to help you speak whisky with the best of them.  Here’s Brian’s pronunciation of Lagavulin, one of the best and most famous whisky brands:

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