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Not Sure What To Mix With Scotch? Try These Top Drinks

Mix With Scotch

Whisky lovers are well-acquainted with the art of savouring a straight pour of this cherished spirit, appreciating its intricate subtleness. And then there's Scotch Whisky, a type of whisky hailing from Scotland, adored for its velvety texture. Scotch whisky is arguably the base of the spirit, with the very term "whisky" tracing its origins to an ancient Scottish Highlands Gaelic phrase, signifying the "water of life." In the present day, Scotch undergoes a distillation and ageing process akin to most other whiskies, all of which take on a variety of grains as the base. However, what sets Scotch apart is its use of malted barley, making it distinct in the diverse world of whiskies.

Although Scotch matures in oak barrels, imparting earthy and vanilla undertones typical of barrel-aged spirits, it's generally acknowledged for its smokier essence compared to other whiskies. This smokiness emerges from the fact that in Scotland, the barley base is malted over a peat-fueled fire, infusing the final scotch with that distinctive flavour.

Given Scotch's unique flavour profile, which encompasses varying levels of peatiness among different Scotch varieties, you might consider pairing it with another beverage. We've compiled a selection of top choices to best mix the scotch with.

Water

Water is a versatile companion to a wide range of foods and drinks, amplifying their horizons. Scotch whisky is celebrated for its unique, smoky essence that distinguishes it from other whiskies.  However, adding a few drops of water unleashes the potent smokiness of scotch creating a delightful experience. Incorporating water into Scotch doesn't primarily involve water directly contacting your taste buds. According to many experts, the addition of water to Scotch causes it to repel and rise to the liquid's surface. This phenomenon brings forth the immediate aroma and taste of Scotch. Without water, alcohol tends to dominate the upper layer of the pour, trapping the flavour compounds beneath it.

Coke

Scotch with Coca-Cola has gained popularity as a common order at many bars over the years. This blend of smoky Scotch and the sweet infusion of cola nut flavour has been warmly embraced by the masses in recent years. However, mixing Scotch wasn't always the norm. Traditionalists have long considered Scotch a spirit meant for sipping, untainted by mixers. Yet, as younger generations embraced Scotch, they began pairing it with the familiar Coca-Cola, much to the surprise of older Scotch purists.

Orange Juice 

Incorporating fresh fruit juices into alcoholic beverages enhances their flavour profile. The natural sweetness of citrus, such as orange juice, adds a fruity dimension to smoky Scotch, similar to how it complements champagne in mimosas. Additionally, if you opt for fresh orange juice with pulp, it can introduce some thickness to the drink. Surprisingly, what some may find off-putting in texture can actually be beneficial for their health.

The pulp not only increases the fibre content of orange juice but also boosts flavonoids. As per health experts, flavonoids are plant compounds with antioxidant properties that contribute to weight management, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, support cognitive function, regulate blood sugar, and more. So, if you're looking to add a health element to your beverages, simply keep your juicer handy and prepare some fresh and pulpy citrus juice.

Lemonade 

When life gives you lemons, create lemonade and blend it with clear spirits like vodka, tequila, or gin. When it comes to pairing citrus juices with Scotch, it doesn't always have to be about transforming Scotch, or any type of whiskey, into a sour cocktail. While Scotch boasts a less neutral flavour profile, it can certainly find its place on that list too. Lemonade characteristically combines sweetness and tartness, so introducing the smoky notes along with the nuances of a wood barrel finish would only enhance the final beverage, making it a perfectly balanced refreshment.

Bitters 

Sour and sweet aren't the only flavours that go well with Scotch. Bitterness can also balance out the natural flavours of Scotland. In the world of cocktails, one way to add this taste is by using something called "bitters." These are strong extracts made from things like tree bark and citrus peels. Just a few drops of these bitters can greatly improve the taste of a cocktail. There are also bitter drinks like Italian amaros and many others, which are strong-flavoured spirits. You can enjoy them alone or mix them with your Scotch. Depending on which bitter drink you choose, it can change the flavours of your Scotch in different ways.

 

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