Whiskey and Oysters: Territorial Aphrodisiacs
Whiskey and oysters may seem like an odd pair at first, but with some innovation and thoughtful pairing, these two can literally go hand-in-hand.
The distillers over at Bowmore Scotch Whisky have drawn out what they affectionately call the “Oyster Luge”. This pro-method for consumption involved first sipping the oyster brine, followed with some scotch, then an oyster down the hatch, and a quick refill with some more scotch, and a final drink of, you guessed it — scotch.
Before accurately pairing spirits with oysters, it is important to know the distinction between scotch, bourbon and whiskey. Scotch whisky is made of malted barley and distilled for many years in Scotland. Bourbon is made from corn and aged only a few years in Kentucky. Whiskey is only spelt with an “e” when it comes from America or Ireland and can describe Tennessee whiskey, Irish whiskey, rye, malt or wheat blends. The difference among these lawfully regulated savored spirits is age, blend portions and location.
Whiskey and Oysters work so well together because both are exclusive in their flavors being direct products of their environments. Both have such distinct homeland flavors that matching them can be an interesting trade.
The Islay region of Scotland is a salty windy island and home to a handful of scotches distilled a rock’s throw from the coastline, all to create a salty and briny flavor to match the oysters that live close off shore. The sweetness only Kentucky Bourbon can fight with the bitterness of saltwater oysters.
With all the undiscovered flavor combinations and consumption methods, this duo is a new frontier with many open doors. When paired correctly, these hometown heroes can bring out the best in each other. The relationship between these two aphrodisiacs can be challenging, but mix and match and you could get lucky.