It was a double whisky past midnight one warm August at the Mansefield Hotel in Scotland, where a few hundred bottles of Scotch Whisky distilled decades ago looked down invitingly from their resting place behind the bar.
Scotland was in the middle of a heatwave, where temperatures reached 28C – almost unheard of at that time of year – and the locals turned to tried and tested tipple to cool down.
In amongst all the rare single malts and blends, the drink of choice for most people in the bar was a Chivas 12 and soda. That night, a classic blended whisky, a block of ice and splash of soda soothed the parched palates of many a Scotsman, and this South African.
And that got me thinking, as whisky after midnight often does, about classic drinks and favourite food combinations.
A thought became a plan and the team at HQ Restaurant came up with a spectacular menu for a whisky dinner this Wednesday, the 13th March.
Tuna with chilli, coconut and lime, espresso and chocolate and their signature steak and chips.
The whiskies we’ll be enjoying contain legendary Single Malts, including the Single Malt that started it all and one from the oldest, licensed, continuously operating distillery in Scotland.
Malts such as Strathisla, Longmorn and The Glenlivet contribute sweetness, rich fruits, nuttiness and mystery to the blend.
Where do the flavours come from?
The water? No. Josie’s well provides some of the water, and pretty as it is, provides texture alone. The flavours come from the malts, grains and aged oak barrels the whisky rests in, for 12 years and more.
But what about the spirits?
Rumour has it that many of the water sources for Scotch whisky are inhabited by Kelpies. These shape-changing spirits haunt streams and rivers, appearing as horses and other animals, kidnapping the unsuspecting Scots.
Many a time whisky production stopped because the Kelpies frightened the distillery workers away, so the workers hid in the nearest bar. Clever chaps, these distillery folk, one can’t take the risk of capture by Kelpie.
R345, a call to 021-424 6373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org will keep your Wednesday night safe from Kelpies, in good company, with Chivas Extra, 12, 15 and 18 as your spirit companions paired with HQ’s dishes.