Harking back to the origins of our beloved Scotch whisky is a compelling tale with a few debaucherous shenanigans added for good measure. Legend has it that St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland, brought the gift of distillation back to his Irish homeland before transporting it to Scotland around 500 AD.
Monks and Barbers were among the first unlikely culprits to produce Scotch whisky. They fervently advocated the spirit’s medicinal properties and its miraculous ability to prolong life, preserve health and provide relief from those pesky diseases. With the dissolution of the Monasteries came tremendous improvement in the quality of Scotch whisky as those ousted monks were driven to an unholy life of distillation.
As the production of Scotch whisky gained momentum in the 17th Century, taxation soared and distillers were driven further underground. Smugglers roamed the lands without reprimand, Ministers burrowed the illicit spirit away beneath their pulpits and there were even scandalous reports of Scotch concealed and transported within coffins.
By the 1820’s, no less than half the Scotch whisky sipped in Scotland was illegal. Thankfully, the Duke of Gordon had the bright idea to make whisky profitable – paving the way for today’s prosperous Scotch whisky Industry.
We like to think that the ingenious introduction of whisky to our dinner plates came from the sloshing of whisky over the Burns’ Night Haggis. Or perhaps from a splash of Scotch in the delicious creamy goodness of Cranachan. Whatever the origin, these Scottish staples have inspired whisky drinkers and food lovers to unite and tantalise taste buds across the world. When added to food, whisky will enliven a dish with its diverse spectrum of flavours: herbal, aromatic, peaty, fruity, fresh, grassy, rich – you name it.
To find out how best to bring whisky to your dinner plate, check out our scrumptious recipe suggestions.