ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD: WHISKEY-MARMALADE PUDDING

The humble bread and butter pudding dates back to the 11th century – and through the decades, it has witnessed several makeovers before landing on the dessert menu of every upscale British restaurant.

Initially, it was a frugal dish meant for rainy days, when you had little more than bread and butter in the larder. Since then, however, it has become synonymous with rich comfort food – and with the addition of chocolate, a decadent finish to a premium meal.

Let’s explore the next step in the journey – bread and butter pudding, topped off with marmalade and whiskey. Comprising four ingredients you can probably get straight from the pantry, this is a guilty pleasure you can make at short notice and serve at an impromptu dinner party with pride.

While the recipe (for 6 to 8 people) works well with most popular brews, we recommend The Famous Grouse – a unique Scotch whisky which gains a distinctive sweetness from being aged in sherry casks.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of white bread with the crusts removed – preferably slightly stale
  • 50 g of softened unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp and 4 tsp orange marmalade
  • 250 ml milk
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp of The Famous Grouse (or any full-bodied whiskey)
  • 1 apple, roughly chopped
  • 30 g raisins
  • 60 ml of The Famous Grouse (or again a full-bodied whiskey)
  • OR
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • Add the apples, raisins, and whiskey in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to boil. Turn down the heat immediately
  • and leave to soak for a couple of hours (or if possible overnight)

The Process

Butter both sides of the bread.

Cover one side of four slices with a tablespoon of marmalade – add the remaining bread on top to make four marmalade sandwiches.

Cut the sandwiches diagonally into eight triangles; in a large baking dish, arrange them in compact rows.

Whisk together the milk, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, and whiskey in a large glass bowl – pour the mixture over the bread. Let it soak for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 175 degree C (or 350 degrees F).Gently spread the remaining marmalade over the surface and cover with the topping (dust with icing sugar if you skipped this step).Keep in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Wait till slightly fluffy and golden – the bread will peek out from under the layers of custard.

Once out, let it cool for 30 minutes to an hour and serve.

A full-bodied blend, The Famous Grouse combines an oaky aroma (with a hint of citrus recalling marmalade) and a mature fruitiness on the tongue. The wholesome flavor profile is an ideal pairing for the creamy custard – with the crunch of toasty bread gracefully cutting through.


A PRISTINE DELIGHT- RAMOS WHISKY GIN FIZZ

On Saturday, June 9, gin lovers all over the world will raise their glasses to the versatile spirit. So, here’s a bevvy we thought of celebrating World Gin Day with. Needless to say, you can use the same refreshing drink for your next summer party or as an enlivening after-work tipple. Wondering what you should do if you’re more of a whisky lover and still want to try this gin fizz? We’ll tell you. Before you know how to make the cocktail, how about taking a look at its history? Originally known as The New Orleans Fizz, this drink gained popularity in 1888, and was named after its creator – Henry C. Ramos – who then worked at NOLA’s Imperial Cabinet Bar. Later on, Ramos opened up The Stag, another bar, where the reputation of his signature cocktail grew, securing its indomitable place in cocktail history. The Ramos Gin Fizz became so popular that the Ramos’s bar had 20 bartenders who’d work on the cocktail dedicatedly. In 1915, during Mardi Gras, 35 bartenders were employed. In New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em, Stanley Arthur, the author wrote that the bar staff “nearly shook their arms off, and were still unable to keep up with the demand”. To make yourself a Ramoz whisky gin fizz with a slight twist,

Read More

Sea and Scotch Hot Chocolate

Whiskies distilled in the Islands lend a distinct character of the sea to a dram. A sip of an Island whisky will leave you with the scent of the salty mist of waves crashing onto rugged cliffs. Of the seven hundred or so islands dotting the cold seas around the Scottish mainland, only a handful of them are owned by distilleries. These islands endure their fair share of fierce environmental forces, but only one has translated the darkness of the archipelago into their tell-tale whisky-- Orkney. Orkney with its cold rains is home to the Scapa Distillery, second-most northern distillery of Scotland. The wetness also tends to lead to lesser loss of alcohol through evaporation. Scapa whisky is known for its nose of fresh sea air with a smooth, long finish on the palate. A sip from this whisky begins with a smoky fruit cocktail taste before being carefully cut through with the brine. So how do you turn this whisky into something that could take you by absolute surprise? Add it to a steaming cup of hot chocolate, of course. The exceptional flavours well aged in sherry and bourbon casks are a perfect mix with hot chocolate. The rich taste of the hot chocolate compliments the lightness of the whisky.

Read More

Perk Up with Pepper's Pride

Born in an upbeat pub in San Francisco, which goes by the name of Trick Dog, Pepper’s Pride is an improvisation on a traditional cocktail that came straight out of Josh Harris’s vintage cocktail book collection. Josh who? Josh Harris and Scott Baird are the owners of Trick Dog and are brilliant at what they do—crafting cocktails. They also recognize the shift that has occurred from going to a pub to get a cocktail to bartending at home and gladly introduces cocktails that need syrups and tinctures-- seemingly complex but unique concoctions that most cocktail lovers are looking for now. Here’s one cocktail that has a very complex profile and to be honest, while it is not hard work making it, finding the ingredients might not be an easy task. But then we are also amidst a retail revolution, so feel free to preorder your sherry, liqueur and Bénédictine in case they are not available at your closest liquor store. You can look for replacements but we recommend you stay loyal to the ingredients if you want to truly understand how phenomenal Pepper’s Pride can be.  Mix your own Pepper’s Pride In an Old Fashioned glass, pour 150 ml of Bénédictine and another 150 ml of Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur. Give a short stir and pour 30 ml of Oloroso Sherry. We recommend you put Domecq La Ina Sherry or Hidalgo for the perfect flavour profile. Pour 30 bourbon—while you are at liberty to add your favorite bourbon, we would suggest a bourbon older than four years. Try Smooth Ambler or Maker’s Mark. Now, give your cocktail another short stir. Pour medium sized cubes of ice, leaving enough room for another ounce of your preferred bourbon to add on top, here’s your cherry on top. Garnish your cocktail with an orange peel.

Read More