What is the best way to drink whisky? | The Daily Dust delivering the best bric a brac, daily news and events with a British flavour

Two of the world’s greatest drinks experts go face to face in a showdown designed to answer the age-old question: how should you take your whisky?

The issue of whether you should drink quality Scots whisky on its own, on the rocks or with a splash of water has divided drinkers the world over for generations.

In an attempt to settle the issue once and for all, master blender at the Isle of Jura distillery and widely recognised as the world’s best whisky blender – and Colin Field, who as head barman at the Ritz Paris is arguably the best cocktail mixer in the world.

Representing polar opposites in the argument over how good Scots malt should be enjoyed, the two men are primed and ready for what looks set to become an historic battle.

Richard said: “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. For years I’ve been forced to stand by and watch as barroom dandies sully the world’s greatest drink with a range of inappropriate mixers and sacrilegious frills, but enough is enough. Whisky is something that should be appreciated in the pure, God-given form that its distillers intended, and now I’m going to prove that once and for all.”

Field on the other hand thinks anything goes as long as it’s a quality experience. “Single malt is a drink for anybody, anywhere, anyhow. The purists can complain about it as much as they like, but with the right mixers and a splash of imagination, it can be conjured into a world-beating taste experience that will knock the spots off anything the whisky snobs might offer,” said The Ritz barman.

“Their time is over, and I’m going to show the world how a new generation of drinkers takes theirs.”

11 Comments

  1. I agree with EnjoyTheFact

    1) Tip up bottle
    2) Pour into face hole.
    3) Swallow
    4) Repeat

  2. Well, simple.
    Once in a pub in a small village in England, I asked the waiter for a goooood whisky. He said “which one”, I said “Ask the (old) lady over there. She seems to know”. She said “give his (whatever brand, I don’t remember). The waiter asked “Ice?” I looked at the (old) lady, she went “no”. That was it.

    Then, I took a chance. I looked at the lady and, talking to the waiter, I said: put it in the freezer 10 minutes. The lady approved.

    AT

  3. The way to drink whiskey is the way God made it: straight!

  4. I enjoyed your article but as a Scotsman I think you should know that the term is Scotch whisky, not Scots whisky. Check the bottle.

    Mind you, at least you didn’t put an ‘e’ in the word when referring to Scotch. In Scotland there’s no ‘e’ in whisky, in England there’s no ‘f’ in whisky. (Say it out loud to get the meaning.)

    To address the question of what you should put in a glass of whisky, I find that it’s always acceptable to add a little more whisky.

  5. It’s Scotch whisky made by Scots.

    The flavour of a good single malt is generally reckoned to be improved with the addition of a little spring water, but it’s a matter of personal taste.

    Anyone who thinks they could identify what premium malt is in a cocktail is delusional and to waste good whisky by adulterating it is a crime only the basest philistine could commit.

    (I lived in Scotland for 5 years and tried a lot of malts and blends)

    if you find Scotch a little rough try Irish whiskey. It’s distilled 3 times not twice and they’ve been making it rather longer than the Scots (the word comes from the Gaelic word uisce, meaning water, as in uisce beatha = water of life). The boom in Scotch happened after an Irishman named Coffey invented what is now called the Coffey still and took it to Scotland.

  6. Its in the fight song of Georgia Tech…

    “Like all the mighty good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear.”

    As a side note, I think Scotch and Bourbon are two different animals, and the term whiskey should be left out of the conversation to avoid confusion.

  7. I enjoyed your article but in china we are like maotai

  8. Just to say that the full video can now be viewed on Richard Paterson’s Whyte and Mackay website – the Master Blender – at http://www.themasterblender.com/2009/07/18/cocktail-debate-settled-whisky-winner/

  9. Great article and video! I always think an added component in answering the question, “What is the best way?”, is the concept of “Where.” Whiskey can certainly be enhanced by a situation, as can the situation be enhanced by the whiskey.

    Here’s my crack at some of the best places I’ve had the opportunity to imbibe:

    http://www.ranker.com/list/best-places-i-have-drank-whiskey-at–in–or-on/stevenltalbot

  10. Whisky, the best drink made by man.if you are in a good mood, drink it on the rocks, fill the whiskey glass with ice to the rim, pour whiskey till it almost reaches half the glass height. wait for the ice to mix with the whiskey a bit, shake it as you are waiting by moving it round and round. then start sipping. its perfect!

  11. Peter Zimmerman (Mast of Whisky) weighed in on this:

    http://www.drinkspirits.com/whiskey/water-is-to-whisky-as-air-is-to-wine/

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