Sweet Drams are Made of This

Sweet Drams are Made of This

Decadent handmade chocolates will find their perfect whisky partners during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

On first impressions, it may seem like an unusual coupling, but find the right chocolate and the right dram and it makes for a marriage made in heaven.

A whisky and chocolate tasting event taking place during this year’s Festival will demonstrate how both whisky and chocolate reflect their origin. Just as different regions produce distinct flavours of whisky, so too do cocoa beans reflect individual characters from their origins.

Mark Angus, Retail Sales Manager at Gordon & MacPhail’s retail shop, which is hosting the ‘Sweet Drams’ event says: “The art of matching whisky and chocolate is a complex one and requires a deep understanding of how flavours complement each other.

“Our whisky and chocolate experts have taken time to carefully select, and taste, decadent handmade chocolates and match them with their perfect whisky partner - ideal for the malt lover with a sweet tooth!”

This is just one of a number of food-related themes featuring in this year’s festival which takes place from April 30-May 4 in the heart of the world’s best known whisky region.

Scotland’s national dish meets Scotland’s national dram in a quest solve one of the mysteries of the world – which nip goes best with a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties.

This taste bud challenge at St James’ Hall in Dufftown is being billed as the “perfect festival lunch,” with a hearty serving of Scotland’s national dish being served with four samples of Scotland’s national drink. Diners will be asked to vote for their favourite combination – with strict rules prohibiting the addition of a squeeze of sauce or a few slices of beetroot on the side!

Whisky works wonderfully well as an ingredient to add to dishes, as well as to accompanying them. Whisky and food writer Martine Nouet, the so called Queen of the Still, will be demonstrating how to season meals with single malts at the Oakwood Cookery School, Elgin.

Giving an insight into her ‘Glass to Plate’ cookery sessions, Martine says: “We will start with tasting the Speyside single malt chosen to enhance the dish.

“We will then go through the principles of pairing food and whisky and cooking with whisky.

“I will demonstrate the dish and of course we will taste it and then the recipe will be shared.”

Martine will focus on a starter, main course and creative sweet during her demonstrations. 

As one of the world’s biggest festivals celebrating of Scotland’s national drink, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival features a packed programme of almost 400 events, with music, crafts, food themes running alongside a wide range of distillery tours and tastings.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival takes place from April 30 to May 4, 2015.  Visit www.spiritofspeyside.com to buy tickets and follow the Festival at www.facebook.com/WhiskyFestival or www.twitter.com/spirit_speyside.

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